Youth succumbs to injuries received in dahi-handi fest

Sunday, September 5, 2010

THANE - A youth injured during the dahi-handi celebrations to mark the birthday of Lord Krishna died Sunday, becoming this year’s first fatality of the festival, police said.

Kishore Kamble (21), a resident of Dnyaneshwar Nagar in the city, succumbed to injuries sustained Thursday. He died after blood accumulated in his chest, police said.

Kamble was a member of the Om Sai Mitra Mandal, which organised the dahi-handi celebrations Thursday. He fell at least four times while attempting to build a human pyramid at different locations to break the dahi-handis for the lucrative booty they contain.

He was positioned at the fourth level on the pyramid and injured his chest at different locations while hunting for the dahi-handis.

It was only after his fourth fall - which ultimately proved to be fatal - that he complained of pain in the chest.

He was rushed to a private medical centre where he breathed his last Sunday morning, doctors attending on him said.

This is the first casualty in the dahi-handi celebrations, during which human pyramids are formed all over the city and neighbouring parts to mark the birthday of Lord Krishna.

Kamble’s grieving family members alleged that the organizers had kept them in the dark over the nature of Kishore’s serious injuries.

This year in Mumbai and Thane, at least 170 of the revellers, popularly known as ‘govindas’ sustained injuries during the celebrations.

Two of them continue to be under treatment in different city hospitals.

The large number of injuries, followed by Kamble’s death, has prompted more people to protest against the dizzying heights at which the dahi-handis are tied or held up by cranes in different parts of the city.

This necessitates building tall human pyramids to break the dahi-handis for the lucrative booty - ranging from a few thousand to a few million rupees at various locations, which is shared by the ‘govindas’ in the group which succeeds in the effort.

This year, some of the pyramids touched a dangerous nine-tier - height of an eight-storey building. On on average, about 50 ‘govindas’ are involved in building a pyramid.

Incidentally, in view of the huge public response that dahi-handi celebrations evoke, all political parties go all out to make their presence felt by offering lucrative cash prizes for the winners.

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