Gifts and mementos received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are now up for auction in a bid to raise funds for the government’s flagship Namami Gange project. The virtual auction is being held from 17th September to 7th October, and if the first day of bids are any indication, memorabilia from India's Olympians and Paralympians are a hot favourite.
Olympic medal winning boxer Lovlina Borgohain’s gloves and gold medallist Neeraj Chopra’s javelin are the top draws alongside a discus autographed by Paralympics silver medalist Yogesh Khatuniya. At the time of writing this article, all three items had received a highest big of Rs. 10 crore each. Sumit Antil follows closely behind them with a higest bid of Rs. 9.99 crore for the autographed javelin that had garnered him a gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics.
As per a PIB press note, around 1330 mementos are being e-auctioned in this round. The list of items includes numerous other Olympics such as badminton racquet autographed by Krishna Nagar, a Table Tennis racket autographed by Bhavina Patel, the t-shirt worn by Paralympic shooter Avani Lakhera, a stole bearing the signatures of Tokyo Olympic players, the sabre used by fencer Bhavani Devi, the hockey sticks of the the women’s and men’s Olympic teams, and an autographed racket which P.V. Sindhu used to win the bronze medal.
Some items including Chopra's javelin began with a high base price at Rs one crore each. The lowest priced item is a small sized decorative elephant for Rs. 200. The proceeds from the first of its kind e-auction shall go to the Namami Gange Mission aimed at conserving and rejuvenating Ganga.