Jallikattu
According to reports, the Madurai district administration has announced a compulsory insurance scheme for bull tamers.
File image, for representation

Jallikattu season is currently underway in Tamil Nadu and reports say that as many as 57 people have been injured so far in the bull-taming sport. According to one report in the Times of India, 44 people, including bull tamers, handlers and the general public, were injured at the Avaniyapuram jallikattu event in Madurai. While eight of the badly injured persons were sent to the Government Rajaji Hospital in the district, they were reportedly out of danger.

Meanwhile in Pudukkottai district, 13 people were injured. According to one report in The Hindu, while four of the injured persons were sent to the Thanjavur Medical College Hospital for treatment, nine others were given medical aid at the event.

According to one report in ToI, the Madurai district administration has enrolled participants in a mandatory insurance scheme that is applicable in the event of death. The jallikattu participants were reportedly asked to visit their banks to sign up for the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) scheme on Monday which would provide them with a risk coverage of upto Rs 2 lakh.

Speaking to the newspaper, District Collector S Natarajan said that the district administration introduced the initiative so that the bull-tamers wouldn’t need to undergo too much stress or tension before taking part in the event. “By insuring, they could compete in jallikattu with a free mind,” the collector said, adding that another major reason to introduce the scheme was that when the district administration enquired, many bull-tamers had not applied for any insurance.

In 2017, following massive protests across Tamil Nadu, the banned bull-taming sport was legitimised through an ordinance by the Tamil Nadu government. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 was amended for the state on the grounds that jallikattu plays a vital role in preserving and promoting the culture and tradition in large parts of the state.