The delay in final rules that were supposed to be implemented for Dahi handi festival for GST is expected to have a significant impact on the performance and participation numbers in the human pyramid contest in Maharashtra.
The entire celebrations could be a shallow key affair as there is hardly any time left for the sponsors to coordinate among themselves and the participants.
The Bombay high court earlier refused to pass any order or criteria related to age, sex and height restrictions or prohibitions for the Dahi Handi festival.
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This delay has left mandals without any time to practice for the festival that is expected to be organized on 15th August. Many mandals chose to wait for the courts’ decision before commencing their practice, which eventually has left them with no time.
The Maharashtra state government is expected to call a meeting soon to discuss the number of tiers to be allowed in the human pyramid. Each mandal has been asked to pursue all the safety measures such as wearing helmets and jackets. The Dahi Handi committee has also introduced an insurance of Rs 10 lakh for every mandal and an additional Rs 1 Lakh to cover the medical charges for all the participants.
The Goods and service tax has also impacted the marketing and sponsorship procedure as many sponsors chose not to fund the teams due to GST implementation. The dip in the overall business further created negative sentiments and led the authors to drift away from giving sponsorships. Thus the organizers have been forced to put their own money to cover for the festival regarding logistics and requirements such as t-shirts.
Overall the number of mandals participation has also been impacted with only 700 participating this year as compared to the historical average of 900.