At the e-auction of gifts and mementos received by the Prime Minister, Olympics bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain’s pair of boxing gloves was getting more traction than gold medalist Neeraj Chopra’s javelin. While the gloves, with a base price of Rs 80 lakh, received a bid of Rs 1.92 crore, Chopra’s javelin that started at Rs 1 crore, received a bid of Rs 1.5 crore. The bid for Paralympics gold medalist Sumit Antil’s javelin, which also started at Rs 1 crore like Chopra’s javelin, went up to Rs 1.07 crore, as per the official auction website pmmementos.gov.in.
On the block are as many as 1,300 items, which include the T-shirt worn by Avani Lakhera (with a base price of Rs 15 lakh), a stole with the signatures of Tokyo Olympic players (base price of Rs 90 lakh), the fence used by Bhavani Devi, Rakshak Brand hockey sticks used by the Women and Men Hockey teams and an autographed Badminton racket used by PV Sindhu to win the bronze medal.
Besides sports gear and equipment of other medal-winning Olympians and Paralympians, the memorabilia also included a replica of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir presented to the PM by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a wooden replica of the Chardham presented by Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj, a replica of Rudraksha Convention Centre in Varanasi and a memento of the Victory Flame presented to the Prime Minister by General Bipin Rawat, celebrating 20 years of the Kargil War.
The proceeds from the e-auction will go towards the Namami Gange Mission, aimed at conserving and rejuvenating the Ganga. There are also other models of important buildings, sculptures, paintings and souvenirs that the PM received from visiting dignitaries and during important functions over the last two years.
At the last similar auction held in September 2019, as many as 2,770 objects went under the hammer, including paintings, sculptures, shawls, jackets and traditional musical instruments. The proceeds from the auction were also donated to the Namami Gange Mission.
Even as there was a physical display of limited items from the lot at the National Gallery of Modern Art in 2019, officials say the auction is completely virtual this time even as it is being managed by NGMA. Individuals and organisations can participate through the website https://pmmementos.gov.in till October 7. After the auction ends, the ministry will notify the highest bidders through email.