“Dahi handi is a regular sport and minors cannot be prohibited from participating in it,” said Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar on Thursday. “It is the same as gymnastics. Children are trained for it from a young age.”
The Bombay High Court was hearing the petition filed by a city-based NGO, The Support India Foundation, seeking that minors be stopped from participating in ‘dahi handis’ — forming a human pyramid during the celebration of Janmashtami in the state.
However, the court asked the state government to consider framing guidelines or precautionary measures for participation of minors in dahi handi.
Refusing to interfere with the festival, the high court asked the government to look into it and frame guidelines.
“See whether you can impose conditions like having nets compulsorily so that no one is hurt,” said the chief justice.
Government Pleader Bharat Mehta told the court that the government does inform the organisers to take safety measures.
“We will consider framing of guidelines,” said Mehta.
The Foundation through RTI found that children are injured while participating in the traditional ‘dahi handi’ celebrations when they form a human pyramid — some times as tall as a five-storey building.
“During the last five years, nearly 100 children were injured in ‘dahi handi’ celebrations,” said Geeta Singh, Director of the Foundation.