Low-key celebrations pledge sav­ing en­vi­ron­ment, wa­ter

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI - Sang­hami­tra Sen­gupta sang­hami­tra.sen­gupta@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Apart from the grand celebrations as­so­ci­ated with dahi handi, some or­gan­is­ers like one in Kopar Khairane, chose to give a green twist to the celebrations.

The event held in Kopar Khairane near D-mart aimed at spread­ing aware­ness about pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and sav­ing wa­ter.

“Pledg­ing to be eco-friendly and save the en­vi­ron­ment, we gave away neem saplings to all dahi handi par­tic­i­pants and other peo­ple who came to watch the fes­ti­val,” said Vaib­hav Naik, from Van Vaib­hav Kala Krida Nike­tan.

Airoli, how­ever, stole the show by or­gan­is­ing the big­gest dahi handi event in Navi Mum­bai.

The event was or­gan­ised by Su­nil Chougule Sports As­so­ci­a­tion in sec­tor 15 and 16.

Around 200 govinda pathaks from across Mum­bai, Navi Mum­bai and Thane had taken part in the event.

“We made ar­range­ments for the event by com­ply­ing with all the Supreme Court rules and gave away prizes to the best per­form­ing man­dal, with the high­est prize money be­ing of Rs11.11 lakh,” said Vi­jay Chougule, one of the or­gan­is­ers.

He added, “We also had all the nec­es­sary pre­cau­tion­ary fa­cil­i­ties like first-aid kits, am­bu­lance and oth­ers to deal with any kind of emer­gency.”

How­ever, not all man­dals man­aged to main­tain their en­thu­si­asm for the fes­ti­val with the re­stric­tions im­posed on them.

One of the big­gest dahi handi events in the city, held in Vashi sec­tor 17 that has been cel­e­brated for the past seven years, was called off due to the new re­stric­tions im­posed by the high court and held up by the Supreme Court.

“We had or­gan­ised the last dahi handi in 2014 but af­ter the high court or­der, we de­cided to dis­con­tinue with the celebrations,” said or­gan­iser Sam­pat She­wale.

Ravin­dra Ithape, an­other Dahi Handi or­gan­iser, was also vo­cal about his dis­con­tent with the courts’ rul­ing.

“We have ad­hered to all the Supreme Court rules but the ver­dict has taken away the charm of the fes­ti­val. We had fewer govinda pathaks par­tic­i­pat­ing this year. Hence, the feel­ing of com­pe­ti­tion among them was also min­i­mal so we had to re­duce the prize money to Rs50,000 in­stead of the usual amount of Rs 1.5 lakh,” said Ithape.

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