In Mumbai: Thane Govindas begin practise for taller pyramids | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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In Mumbai: Thane Govindas begin practise for taller pyramids

The HC this year lifted the height restrictions while the age limit was also reduced from 18 to 14 years

mumbai Updated: Aug 09, 2017 23:14 IST
Megha Pol
A Govind pathak practises pyramid formation in Thane on Wednesday
A Govind pathak practises pyramid formation in Thane on Wednesday (Praful Gangurde)

Govindas in the city are gearing up to form human pyramids after the Bombay high court relaxed height norms.

The Govinda troupes in the city though lamented that they now have very little time to practise. Moreover, few also demanded that the age restriction be further lifted from 14 to 10 years.

They said the limitations on height, age of Govindas and sound had crippled the excitement of dahi handi celebrations in Thane in the past two years. The HC had earlier capped the height at 20 feet.

Also, the court had said no minor would be allowed to participate in the formation of human pyramids.

This decision had not gone down well with organisers in the city who had demanded that the state intervene in the matter. Most Govinda troupes even went ahead and violated the court’s orders.

The HC this year lifted the height restrictions while the age limit was also reduced from 18 to 14 years.

Ganesh Shedge, president of Aai Chikhaladevi Govinda Pathak popularly known as Amhi Koprikar, said, “This order will bring festivities back to the city. We make seven-tier pyramids every year and will now aim for eight. However we want the age limit to be further reduced from 14 years to 10 or 12 years.”

He added, “It is essential that children start participating from young age so they do not falter at the higher tiers, a 15-year-old will be scared to climb to the top but a 10-year-old will do it with ease. The young generation needs to know and learn about the sport from an early age.”

When asked about youngsters getting hurt while forming pyramids, he added, “We give professional training to these Govindas, they are taught how to fall the right way and people at the ground level also catch them in time. Injuries can be avoided with right coaching and ample practice.”

Sameer Pendhare, president of Sarvajanik Gokulashtami Utsav, Khopat, said, “We are happy that the height restriction has been lifted and have now begun practising for bigger tiers. However, we were practising for six to seven tiers for the last two months and there are merely eight days to go for the festival. We will attempt eight tiers only if we have practised enough for it.”

Some Govindas are happy with the age restriction too. The festival sees a lot of injuries.

Rakesh Yadav of the Thanyacha Raja Govinda Pathak said, “We also said that small children should not participate in the dahi handi, but were not happy with the cap on age. The limit on the height had taken the fun out of the festival.”