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Dahi handi in Mumbai: MNS announces Rs11 lakh cash prize for 9 tiers, 40 events cancelled in Thane

Sources said demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax have made getting sponsors for events difficult and around 40 mandals decided to not set up any pandals.

mumbai Updated: Aug 15, 2017 11:32 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,dahi handi,MNS

This year will see fewer events for dahi handi celebration and less prize money than last year in Thane, Kalyan and Dombivli areas.

Sources said demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax have made getting sponsors for events difficult and around 40 mandals decided to not set up any pandals.

A police officer said, “The number of public dahi handi events this year has dropped to 306 from 345 last year across Thane, Kalyan and Dombivli. The private celebrations too have fewer registrations as this year the number is 1,267 against last year’s 1,322.”

Thane’s dahi handi has earned a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. Following the cap on height of the pyramid and the age of Govindas, the celebration in the city had lost its sheen in the past two years. This year the court’s decision to ease the restrictions had cheered the Govindas, however, the same excitement does not seem to prevail among the organisers.

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has declared the highest price money at Rs11 lakh to the Govinda troupes that forms nine tiers. The prize money till 2015 used to be Rs21 lakh.

Apart from MNS, Sanskruti Yuva Pratishthan founded by MLA Pratap Sarnaik has declared that it would give the winner troupe Rs1 lakh. Other organisers too have declared much less booty as prize money than previous years.

Sarnaik said, “We have changed the format this year. The ground will be arranged like a stadium and the celebration will be like the Pro-Kabbadi event. There will be competition between two Govinda groups and the group forming nine tier first will be awarded Rs1 lakh.”

The few well known organisations like MLA Ravi Phatak’s Sankalp Pratishthan too have refrained from grand celebrations. An organiser who cancelled the event this year said, “Demonetization and GST has impacted the celebrations. There is dearth of sponsors as the market situation is bad this year. So we organisers either have to cut the prize money or cancel the event.”

First Published: Aug 15, 2017 10:30 IST