Gujarat government is considering giving adventure sport status to Dahi Handi

Since Dahi Handi is celebrated across all major cities, including Ahmedabad, Surat and those in Saurashtra.

Vadodara: Taking a cue from neighbouring Maharashtra, the Gujarat government is considering a proposal to accord adventure sport status to the traditional Dahi Handi ritual marking Janmashtami festivities.

Since Dahi Handi is celebrated across all major cities, including Ahmedabad, Surat and those in Saurashtra, with much fanfare on Janmashtami, the state is seriously mulling to declare it as an adventure sport similar to that of mountaineering, rock climbing etc, Gujarat Sports, Youth and Cultural Affairs minister Rajendra Trivedi said.

Noting that the festival will be regulated on the lines of Maharashtra where the government accorded the status to the human pyramids of Govindas, the minister said those below 12 years of age wont be able to participate in it.

Also, after the Gujarat government takes a call on the status, Trivedi said the sport would not be restricted to Janmashthami but will be celebrated round-the-year under the auspices of a state-level governing body.

Last year in August, Maharashtra governments decision to grant the status was based on a report by a committee headed by BJP MLA Ashish Shelar after it recognised the spirit of unity, team and discipline in the activity.

However, the government had made it clear that the adventure sport status will also entail that organisers ensure that medical treatment is provided if a participant is injured, foam mattresses, harnesses, and guards for knee, chest and head are used, and Govindas (who climb the high pyramids to break the earthen pot) are insured.

Though the pyramids, which sometimes rise upto as many as 10 tiers of Govindas, are an integral part of festival, the activity has invited flak because of the fatal injuries the participants can receive in case of a fall. The Supreme Court yesterday capped at 20 feet the height of the human pyramids during Janmashtami across Maharashtra.

( Source : PTI )
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