New Delhi: It was BCCI, which had made a winning bid of Rs 1.5 crore for Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra’s javelin when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s collection of mementos was e-auctioned last year, a Cricket Board official told PTI on Friday.
Chopra had presented one of his javelins to Modi when Prime Minister hosted Indian athletes after the Tokyo Games.
The javelin was part of many items that were presented during the e-auction, the proceeds of which went to ‘Namami Gange Programme’.
‘Namami Gange Programme’, launched in 2014, integrates the efforts to clean and protect the Ganga river.
The auction was held between September and October in 2021.
“BCCI had made the winning bid for Neeraj’s javelin. But we also bid for a couple of other collectibles. It (Namami Gange) is a noble cause and the office bearers in BCCI felt that as one of the premier sporting bodies in the country, we had a duty towards the nation,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“As an organisation we are proud that we have a sporting good of one of India’s greatest athletes,” the official said.
The BCCI had also contributed Rs 51 crore to PM Cares fund during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
Apart from Chopra’s javelin, BCCI also bought an angavastra, autographed by the Indian Paralympic contingent for Rs 1 crore.
While Chopra’s javelin that was bought by BCCI fetched the highest bid value, fencer Bhavani Devi’s sword fetched Rs 1.25 crore while Paralympic champion javelin thrower Sumit Antil’s javelin was bought for Rs 1.002 crore by other bidders.
Lovlina Borgohain’s boxing gloves were bought for Rs 91 lakh.
During the auction last year, 1348 mementos including sports collectibles were put in for the e-auction and a total of 8600 bids were received.
Recently, Chopra had donated the javelin he used to win the Olympic gold in Tokyo, to the Lausanne based Olympic museum. It was confirmed by the official twitter handle for the Games.