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Dahi Handi player 'Govinda' injured on Janmashtami dies in Mumbai

MUMBAI, Aug 24: A 24-year old Krishna devotee who was injured in a fall during the Dahi Handi festival on Janmashtami on Friday in Mumbai died on Monday. According to BMC officials, Sandesh Dalvi, a resident of Kurla, was a member of Shiva Shambho Govinda Pathak group, and fell off a human pyramid at the function celebrating Dahi Handi at Bamanwadi, Vile Parle.

Dalvi had suffered serious head injuries and was admitted to Cooper hospital and later shifted to Nanavati hospital by his family. However, Dalvi succumbed to his injuries on Monday night.

According to reports, over 200 players (Govindas) were injured during Dahi Handi festivities this year in Maharashtra.

Dalvi's father told Mid-Day that the Government had declared Dahi Handi a sport but is not ensuring safety of the players.

“Sandesh was in the second-top tier of the pyramid and Vinay Rambade was on the top. As Vinay broke the handi, the second tier lost its balance. Vinay grabbed the rope and Sandesh his leg, but the rope broke and both crashed to the ground. Sandesh started bleeding from his ears and nose, and was rushed to Cooper hospital,” Sachin Pawar, the deceased’s friend, told mid-day. Rambade, who was also injured, is undergoing treatment at Cooper hospital and his condition is stable.

The police have booked the organiser of the event.

Hundreds of players are injured every year during Dahi Handi festivities in the State.

The Dahi Handi, which marks Lord Krishna's birthday known as Janmashtami, is a festival celebrated all over Maharashtra with fervour.

During the festival, young players called 'Govindas' dressed in colourful attire, enacting the role of young Krishna, form a human pyramid, standing one upon other, to reach an earthen pot containing dahi (curds) suspended at a height one cannot reach from the ground, and break it. The story goes that Lord Krishna as a child was hugely fond of curds and butter and would even steal it from wherever it is kept away from his reach even using a ladder etc. And hence the enactment on his birthday.

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