Low-key celebrations pledge saving environment, water
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.