Around 1800 mementos gifted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi were auctioned at the National Gallery of Modern Art here on Sunday and Monday in a bid to raise funds for government’s flagship programme “Namami Gange”.
The auction included nationally and internationally gifted items like wall paintings, photographs, crafts, shawls, jackets, pagris, statues, sculptures, silver items, and wooden items.
In the auction, articles with a basic price of Rs 1000 were sold at Rs 22,000 or more.
“This is not about money, this is a way to contribute for a noble cause – Namami Gange. I respect Prime Minister Narendra Modi and buying his mementos is a matter of pride for me,” said Amit Kumar, who bought a memento with a message inscribed in Gujarati.
National Gallery of Modern Art’s Director General Adwaita Charan Garanayak said the response for the auction has been positive as there is enthusiasm among bidders.
“There was a huge rush yesterday; the bidders even bid 15 times more than the value. Apart from the value of the objects, there is an emotional value attached to it as it is possessed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The shawl is the most sought after item among bidders and visitors,” he noted.
Adwaita also said a small statue of Swami Vivekananda was sold at Rs 30,000 after relentless bidding.
Surjeet Yadav, National vice-chairman of the Hindu Sena bought gifted items worth Rs 2 lakhs in the two-day event. “I bought these items as it’s for a noble cause. I will donate it to schools. The Prime Minister is doing outstanding work,” he said. All proceeds from the auctions will be channelized for the Namami Gange mission.