Auction of PM Modi’s gifts: Racquet signed by Thomas Cup winner gets highest bid at ₹51L

The fourth annual auction of mementos presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded on Wednesday. A badminton racquet signed by Thomas Cup winner K. Srikanth received the highest bid this year — 51 lakh — according to the auction website.  link

The auction started on October 2.

The item description for the badminton racquet on the auction website reads: “black racket having a white grip with a quote saying, THANK YOU SIR FOR YOUR SUPPORT, written with a marker preserved inside the black velvet sling bag”. Its starting bid was 5 lakh.

Sports gear and equipment of medal-winning Olympians and Paralympians and a replica of the Ram temple in Ayodhya were among the other items in this year’s auction. link

The racket was followed by a T-shirt autographed by Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Gold medallist Manish Narwal, which was the most expensive item to go under the hammer. “It is a white and blue colored shirt with the logo of the Paralympic Committee of India along with the Indian national flag. The central portion of the T shirt includes the autograph of Manish Narwal along with the words, MANISH NARWAL and SHOOTER, written in uppercase letters,” states the website. Its bidding started at 10 lakh and closed at 50,25,000. link

A T-shirt autographed by para-powerlifters Sudhir, Manpreet Kaur and Parmjeet Kaur received the third highest bid. It opened for bidding at 5 lakh and was sold at 50,20,000.  link

“T-shirt autographed presented by para-powerlifter Sudhir, who secured the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games 2022. The T-shirt is also autographed by Para powerlifters Manpreet Kaur and Parmjeet Kumar who won bronze medals at Pyeongtaek 2022 Asia Oceania Open Championships,” its description states. link

A pair of boxing gloves autographed by Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Nikhat Zareen and IBA medalists Manisha Moun and Parveen Hooda fetched 50 lakh — the bidding started at 5 lakh.

A model of the Kashi Vishwanath temple presented to PM Modi by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath during the inauguration of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham was also sold at 50 lakh. The bidding started at 16,200. link

“It is a wooden laser-cut model clearly delineating the outline of the revamped shrine marked with its detailed embellishments. The main entrance, mandapa, and garbha griha are elegantly carved along with the refurbished architectural establishments.The small temples of Parivar devatas such as the Kala Bhairava, Kartikeya, Avimukteshwara, Vishnu, Ganesh, Shani, Shiva and Parvati are intricately chiseled. The model gives a realistic perception of the holy abode of Lord Shiva and evokes a sense of calm and serenity,” its description reads. link

The lowest starting bid, 100, this year was for an image of Lord Ganesh sourced from the Shree Vinayaka Devaru temple in Karnataka.

Last year, the auction was topped by Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra’s javelin, which fetched 1.5 crore. A total of over 16 crore was collected for over 1,300 items that were auctioned. link

The proceeds of the annual auction go to the government’s ‘Namami Gange’ initiative — an integrated conservation and rejuvenation programme initiated in June 2014 to ensure effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the Ganga river by adopting a comprehensive river basin approach.  link

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