On the first day of Navratri, Monday, a participant in a garba event organised by the United Way of Baroda (UWB) in Vadodara filed a complaint with the consumer court alleging the presence of sharp stones on the garba ground.
In a widely shared social media video, participants can be seen complaining about their feet hurting due to the presence of stones in the playing area of the city’s’most expensive’ garba event.
UWB, which chose a new ground at Kalali this year, it had begun’repair and levelling’ of the ground to alleviate the players’ inconvenience.
A group of advocates in the city offered to fight ‘consumer cases for free’, if UWB did not refund the fees collected from the players on Monday while a city-based lawyer also filed a consumer complaint against UWB.
Advocate Viratsinh Waghela, who purchased passes of UWB for nine nights of garba, has said in his complaint filed in the consumer court under the Consumer Protection Act, ‘The presence of stones in the playing area has caused injuries to the petitioner. The organisation UWB, has charged Rs 4,838 per player (for male players) and provided no facilities at the ground…’
‘The presence of stones and wild shrubs in the playing area has left the petitioner and the family members with injuries on their feet on the first day of the garbas… When we tried to reason with the management, we were insulted and told that we would have to make do with the current arrangements,’ he added.
When contacted, members of UWB said that the organisation had already undertaken the repair work to resolve the inconvenience faced by players. Minesh Patel of UWB said, ‘We have already undertaken further levelling of the playing area with the yellow mud… The ground is new and it was agricultural land with black soil, which is not feasible for playing garbas. After we rented it for the event, we have already levelled it, added a layer of ash and thereafter several trucks of yellow mud, which is used for garba fields. It is true that some pieces of stones were present in the playing area but we have taken the complaints seriously and already brought in more trucks of yellow mud.’