Other organisers may also follow the suit in coming days.
Mumbai: Dahi Handi celebrations in Mumbai could be a subdued affair this year. One of the well-known Dahi Handi organiser and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Ram Kadam on Thursday announced the cancellation of the Janmashtami event owing to the devastation caused by floods in Western Maharashtra. Other organisers may also follow the suit in coming days.
Explaining the reason behind his decision, Mr Kadam said, “Floods devastated Western Maharas-htra and many people lost their lives, homes in this deluge. The water has now started receding and we need to focus on the relief work so instead of spending money on Dahi Handi celebrations, we will use it to help the flood victims.”
Mr Kadam also appealed to other organisers to cancel their events and divert the money towards flood relief work. He, however, did not disclose the am-ount he will be spending on the flood relief work.
His decision did not fare well with Dahi Handi mandals and they are not happy with the cancellation of the event. Jai Jawan Govinda Pathak’s coach Sandeep Dhawale said, “The intention behind cancellation of the event is good, but for us, it is a sport and we need to keep the spirit high. It would be better if we can observe a safe Dahi Handi without wasting much water and money.”
Another organizer, Mahesh Tambat of the Shri Sai Govinda Pathak (Kala Chowkie) said, “We sympathise with the flood victims but those who participate in Dahi Handi competitions have been practising for a couple of months and cancellation of the event will be a huge disappointment for them. It would be better we play it in good spirit without any extravaganza.”
This year, Mumbai Police has made it mandatory for every participant to obtain a life cover of Rs 10 lakh. Public and private insurance companies have also come up with several group insurance packages for the Govinda Pathaks as the participants are called.