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Sporting gear of Olympians attracts most interest at e-auction

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 18, 2021

Proceeds will be used to conserve, rejuvenate Ganga

The javelins used by Olympian Neeraj Chopra and Para Olympian Sumit Antil to grab gold at Tokyo were priced highest at the e-auction of the Prime Minister’s mementos being organised by the Culture Ministry. They have a base price of ₹1 crore each.

The third edition of the e-auction, which kicked off on Friday, coinciding with PM Narendra Modi’s birthday, is dominated by an autographed sporting gear gifted to him by the winners of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The e-auction will continue till October 7, and individuals and organisations can participate in it by logging on to the website, pmmementos.go.in

Boxing gloves

The blue boxing gloves worn by Lovlina Borgohain at Tokyo, and signed by the player, are also part of the auction. The badminton racquet, autographed by Krishna Nagar, Gold Medallist at the Paralympics, is also in the bid. Also attracting eyeballs is the Table Tennis racket, autographed by Bhavina Patel, Silver Medallist at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Over 1,330 mementos, received by the Indian PM, are being auctioned digitally. The lowest priced item is a small-sized decorative elephant for ₹200.

Other artefacts include replicas of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir, Chardham, sculptures, paintings, and angavastrams, among others. There has been considerable interest for the replica of the Rudraksha Convention Centre in Varanasi.

Proceeds from the e-auction will go to the Namami Gange Mission, aimed at conserving and rejuvenating Ganga.

The 2019 edition of the auction was held in two phases – a physical auction organised at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) for two days – and an e-auction through the website, pmmementos.gov.in. More than 1,800 mementos were successfully auctioned to the highest bidder then. During the earlier editions, a wooden replica of the Ashok Stambh, which had a base price of ₹4,000, was sold for ₹13 lakh.

It was the practice of Modi to auction gifts received by him even when he was the CM of Gujarat, with the proceeds going towards the education of girl children.

Published on September 17, 2021

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