Trekkers to teach Dahi Handi teams how to use harnesses
With an eye on safety this Janmashtami, over 35 organisers have roped in various trekking groups which help the climbers use harnesses during the festival. Organisers from Thane, Worli and Prabhadevi have already begun arranging for the set-up, ahead of the festival on Saturday.
While there is no restriction on the height of a pyramid this year, the Bombay high court (HC) has said those below 14 years of age cannot be a part of it.
Ratnakar Kapileshwar, president of Maharashtra Trekkers Association, said more than 35 Dahi Handi teams are expected to use the harnesses, which will act as a safety measure in case the pyramid collapses.
Two mountaineering ropes – each with a capacity to handle weight up to 1800 kg – will be tied parallel to the rope that holds the Dahi Handi, and a carabiner will be attached to it.
A few trekkers will be assigned to manage a pulley from the ground. “For the past few years, we have been reaching out to members from our trekking groups and asking them to help organisers, as it will reduce the number of injuries. As of now, we have over 17 people who will help various organisers with the techniques,” said Kapileshwar.
While Kapileshwar first conceptualised the idea in 2011, there has only been an increase in demand for climbing equipment after the Bombay HC emphasised on safety provisions in the past two years.
Nandu Chavan, a resident of Borivli, will provide the harnesses for teams forming pyramids at Malad and Worli.
“Some mandals said if the climbers are attached to a harness, they would lose their balance. But, we are still reaching out to a lot of Govinda pathaks to ensure their team members are safe,” Chavan said.