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Independence Day celebration, lower cash prizes hit dahi handi festivities in Thane

Until 11.30am, the roads were empty, with no sign of govindas, who usually travel from one end of the city to another in trucks to cover as many events as possible.

mumbai Updated: Aug 15, 2017 12:36 IST
Independence Day,dahi handi,cash prizes
A govinda group tries to break a dahi handi in Thane.(Praful Gangurde)

While Independence Day celebration delayed dahi handi festivities in Thane on Tuesday, the lower cash prizes brought down the enthusiasm of the mandals.

Until 11.30am, the roads were empty, with no sign of govindas, who usually travel from one end of the city to another in trucks to cover as many events as possible.

Most major event organisers have refrained from announcing big prizes this year, owing to lack of sponsors.

The only talked about event is of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, which announced Rs11 lakh cash prize for govindas who manage to reach nine tiers.

Around 40 events have been cancelled. A police officer requesting anonymity said, “Celebrations in housing societies too are low-key. Only 1,267 events have been registered, compared to 1,322 last year.”

Dahi Handi in Thane is one of the most talked about festival of the year.

Thane’s dahi handi found a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Spanish Castellers, too, have paid a visit to observe the human pyramids, which are similar to their version of the game.

Following the cap on height of the pyramid and the age of the Govindas, the celebration in the city lost lustre over the past two years.

While the court’s decision to ease restrictions cheered up govindas, it failed to have the same effect on organisers.

Meanwhile, in Kalyan, a 50-ft high dahi handi has been put up at Shivaji Chowk.

Around 315 dahi handis will be put up across Kalyan Dombivli.

“We are happy with the easing of no restrictions on height. However we have decided to take necessary precautions while selecting govindas,” said Vishwanath Bhoir, Kalyan city chief, Shiv Sena.

First Published: Aug 15, 2017 12:17 IST