Zee Media Bureau
Mumbai: After the death of a 14-year old boy, who fell from the fifth tier of a human pyramid, hit headlines, raising safety concerns for the youngsters taking part in “Dahi Handi” festival, the Bombay High Court in a significant ruling has ordered that only those above 18 years of age can participate in the pitcher-breaking competition that is held to celebrate the Krishna Janmashtmi festival.
Keeping in mind the recent incidents where people have been severely injured after falling from the human pyramid, the Bombay HC has banned the Dahi Handi festivals from being held at concrete roads and also necessitated the placing of cushion or mattresses to minimise the injuries.
Also, the maximum height at which the handis can be strung has been reduced to 20 feet.
Citing that many govindas suffer permanent injuries and also succumb to death in these competitions, the Bombay High Court warned that any organisation breaking the rules would be taken to task.
The court also suggested a safety kit including helmet, cushion, belts and jackets should be provided to the govindas.
The ruling by the Bombay HC comes almost a month after the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) on July 14 banned the children below 12 years from joining the human pyramids during the Dahi Handi celebrations.
The latest ruling comes just days ahead of Krishna Janmashtmi festival that falls on August 18 this year.
In Dahi Handi competition, participants - that include boys as young as 10 year old – form a human pyramid and try to break the pitcher carrying buttermilk. The festival is quiet popular due to lucrative prize money running into crores.