77 Dahi Handi participants injured in Mumbai, 11 in neighbouring Thane

Mumbai: At least 77 ‘Govindas’ involved in the formation of human pyramids as part of the Dahi Handi celebrations were injured in Mumbai on Thursday, while 11 such participants suffered injuries in neighbouring Thane city, officials said.

Dahi Handi festival was celebrated with traditional fervour in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra to mark Krishna Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. As part of the celebrations, Govindas or Dahi Handi participants formed multi-tiered human pyramids to break ‘dahi handis’ (earthen pots filled with curd) suspended in the air.

The celebrations began in the morning and continued till late evening. Competitions were organised at various locations across the city, offering cash prizes for the Govinda groups that succeed in breaking dahi handis. During the formation of human pyramids, there are chances of participants falling down and getting injured, in some cases critically.

“As per the information available till 6 pm, at least 77 Govindas suffered injuries during the Dahi Handi celebrations in Mumbai. Of them, 25 were admitted to various civic-run and government hospitals in the city. Eighteen of them were discharged after treatment, while seven others continue to be hospitalised,” an official said.

Fifty-two others are getting treatment at the out-patient departments (OPDs) in state-run and municipal hospitals, he said.

The injured participants were taken to various hospitals, including KEM Hospital, Sion Hospital, Rajawadi Hospital, ST George Hospital, Nair Hospital, Bombay Hospital and Cooper Hospital, the official added.

As part of its proactive measures, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had kept 125 beds ready at civic-run hospitals to treat the injured Govindas, officials said.

Meanwhile, 11 Govinda, including a 34-year-old woman from Jogeshwari, were injured during the Dahi Handi events in Thane city, a civic official said.

Of the 11 injured, seven were admitted to a civic-run hospital in Kalwa, and four others to some other facility, said Yasin Tadvi, chief of the local disaster management cell.

As part of the festival, dahi handis decorated with flowers were hoisted many feet above the ground at several housing societies, roads, junctions and public grounds across the city. Dressed in colourful attires, Govindas were seen crisscrossing parts of the city in trucks, tempos, buses and two-wheelers throughout the day.

Popular Bollywood songs about the festival kept blaring from speakers at every nook and corner of the city, with the festive spirit particularly high in Marathi-dominated pockets like Parel, Lalbaug, Worli, Dadar, Bhandup, Mulund, Goregaon and Andheri.

In recent years, some Dahi Handi events backed by politicians in Mumbai and neighbouring cities have become famous due to hefty prize money, the presence of celebrities and entertainment programmes organised there. These Dahi Handis attract huge crowds and a steady flow of Govindas.

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