Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday announced that 'Dahi-Handi' will now be recognised as an official sport in the state.
He further stated that "Pro-Dahi-Handi" competitions will be introduced in the state.
On the occasion of Janmashtami, Shinde said, "'Dahi-Handi' will be recognised under the sports category in Maharashtra. 'Pro-Dahi-Handi' will be introduced. The 'Govindas' will get jobs under the sports category. We will provide insurance cover of Rs 10 lakhs for all 'Govindas'."
Insurance cover will be Rs 10 lakhs if any Govinda loses his life, and Rs 5 lakhs if they end up being partially handicapped.
"These Govinda's will get reservations in jobs too," he added.
He said that many cities in the state celebrate 'Dahi-Handi' and it is an adventurous sport. Hence the decision was taken to include it in the state sports category.
Janamashtami, the festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, is often observed with numerous rituals of which 'Dahi-Handi' is one of the most prominent.
Also known as the 'Gopalakala,' 'Dahi-Handi' is a ritual in which devotees of Lord Krishna recreate the famous act of 'Maakhan Chori' or butter stealing which is one of the many mischievous acts from the Lord's childhood stories. It is observed on the next day of Janamashtami.
Every year the festival of Janamashtami is celebrated by Hindus to mark the birth of Lord Krishna, the God who is the embodiment of playfulness and innocence.
As per the Hindu calendar, Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, was born on the eighth day of the month of Bhadra. The day mostly falls in the months of August or September as per the Western calendar.
The festival of Janamashtami is celebrated by offering prayers to Lord Krishna, with beautifully decorated swings, dance and music performances, and the 'Dahi-Handi' competition.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)