Govindas of Sonzari Nagar ready for ‘Dahi Handi’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Sep 2018 09:22:00


By Praveen Vighre,

SINCE last one decade, three teams Jai Bholeshwar, Jai Mahakali and Jai Shree Ram, comprising youths of Sonzari Nagar, are dominating Dahi Handi competitions not only in the city but also other parts of Vidarbha. Confident of maintiaing their stranglehold this year too, the teams are gearing up at the Shitla Mata Mandir ground, Sonzari Nagar, attracting big crowd daily with their formations and balancing act.

“We started practise a week ago. We have a few invitations of Dahi Handi competitions from city and we are expecting more,” said Kiran Behare of Jai Mahakali Mandal, readying the team for this year’s challenges. The new season is to begin on September 2 till September 10. This year, Jai Mahakali and Jai Bholeshwar are ready for the contests
while Jai Shree Ram has not yet decided on participation.

The three teams’ domination has come through rigorous practice sessions. “In our childhood days, when teams from other cities won Dahi Handi competitions it used to pinch us. We resolved to make our name in the contests and and started by organising the competition in our area. Soon we gained confidence and since last 15 years, Jai Bholeshwar (our first team) and Jai Mahakali are dominating the competitions within and outside the city,” stated Rakesh Bhimare, one of the old members. The old team of the Sonzari Nagar has to its credit 55 competition victories till last year all over Vidarbha.

“In fact, our record of building six layers in one minute and a few seconds at Arvi in Amravati district still stands,” gushed Sudhir Patre, one of the senior member of the team. He informed that the teams have over 100 players, all above 16 years of age.
“We are training young players too but do not take them in competition. We lost one of our top players last year due to dengue. We have replaced his position with a new player,” Patre added.

Majority of the Govindas from both the teams are workers and practise for an hour after returning from work. “We have to practice, as during the competition the organisers throw water with force and we have to resist that pressure,” added Sunil Bhimare, President of Jai Bholeshwar Mandal.

All the prize money the teams received is kept as a welfare fund. It is one of the motivating factors to keep them fit. Though the Government has shortened the height of the ‘Dahi Handi’s, it has no affected enthusiasim of the Govindas of the Sonzari Nagar. They are prepared to make new records in the upcoming season.