Ox cart racing resumes in district after Sc ban lifted | Pune News

PUNE: Ox cart races are held in Landewadi in Ambegaon tehsil and Nanavali in Maval tehsil, both in Pune district, for the first time after the Supreme Court lifted the ban on such events in December of last year. Hundreds of runners have signed up and in Landewadi the races will continue for the next two days.
Farmers with their oxen come to the “ghat” where the races take place in the early morning, some in processions accompanied by brass bands. Thousands of spectators from Pune and Ahmednagar also arrived at the scene. Their enthusiasm is palpable as the scorching heat has not deterred their presence.
“As many as 800 farmers registered for the race in Landewadi alone,” said former MP Shivaji Adhalrao Patil, the main organizer, adding, “Due to the overwhelming response, we have extended it to two days.
A separate booth has been set up for ox checks. “We don’t want weak oxen racing in the competition. We will ensure that we comply with the directives given by the Supreme Court. We even recorded the races on video. If anyone objects, we can show the reality,” Patil said.
In the village of Nanavali, the organizers offered 20 motorcycles to the top performers on the first day. “A total of 200 ox carts participated,” said Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Sunil Shelke of Maval, chief organizer here.
Bhaguji Tengle, owner of an ox cart, said: “The organizers have installed pandals in the ghat section, which was not the case in the past. Veterinarians were present to check the health of the bulls. It is a positive gesture. »
Abhinav Deshmukh, Superintendent of Police (SP-Rural Pune), said: “We have categorically asked the villagers to adhere to Covid standards. Only those who have permission from the district can organize races. Friday, in the two villages, the races took place peacefully and according to the directives given.