Rediff.com  » News » Broken mementos sour the experience for some PM auction bidders

Broken mementos sour the experience for some PM auction bidders

By Twesh Mishra
January 18, 2022 15:23 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Recipients of these damaged mementos have been given the option to either seek a refund of their bid amount or get a replacement for these broken items.
Twesh Mishra reports.

IMAGE: An exhibition cum e-auction of gifts presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the National Gallery of Modern Art, in New Delhi in 2019. Photograph: ANI Photo

The delivery of broken items has soured the experience of some bidders who participated in the auction of mementos received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Recipients of these damaged mementos have been given the option to either seek a refund of their bid amount or get a replacement for these broken items.

Multiple bidders said they have been approached by representatives of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, the culture ministry's arm tasked with conducting the PM Mementos auction.

 

The bids were called under the third round of e-auctions for gifts and mementos presented to the prime minister.

The auction was held online from September 17 to October 7, 2021.

In all, 1,348 mementos were bid for in this round.

These included replicas of the Ayodhya Ram temple, Char Dham, and the equipment gifted to the prime minister by winners of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, such as the boxing gloves of Olympian Lovlina Borgohain.

Proceeds from the e-auction were to go to the Namami Gange Mission.

According to a senior NGMA official, while there have been complaints about broken items being delivered, such instances are outliers.

"Even if you order from Amazon or Flipkart, it does happen that broken items end up being delivered. Here, too, some broken items have been received by bidders but their number is very small," the official said.

The delivery of these products was entrusted to India Post, which also collected handling, packaging and shipping charges from the bidders.

"It is to be decided whether the funds for reimbursing payment to bidder or for repairing broken mementos will be borne by India Post or by NGMA," the official added.

Most bidders who participated in the auctions were enthused with the prime minister's name being associated with these products.

"I had participated in the PM mementos auction for two items. One was a shawl and the other a photo of a tree. While the shawl was fine, the tree photo was damaged and I have requested for a replacement of the item or a refund of the bid amount," said Greenize Jain, an executive working for a multinational company who had bid in his personal capacity.

"I eventually got a call from the National Gallery of Modern Art enquiring about the damaged product, and it was subsequently collected by a courier agency," Jain said.

"I was then informed by the courier agency that I will be getting a replacement. But I have not got any update since," he said, adding that he is unable to get in touch with NGMA officials regarding this request.

Ajay Kumar Mahawar, a member of the Delhi state legislative assembly from Ghonda constituency, also received one such broken memento.

Mahawar, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, had bid for a framed photo of Matabari deity, Tripura Sundari, and bagged it for a winning bid of Rs 1,900.

But the photo frame was broken when it arrived last month.

Another person, who did not wish to be named, said the decorative piece of Lord Ganesha that he bid for was broken when it arrived.

The winning bid amount for this featured memento was Rs 2,900 and its base was of wooden ply with marble chips.

"I had ordered three items. Two were fine, while this one was broken," said the bidder, adding, "Since damaged idols of gods are not kept in homes, I have requested for a refund of the bid amount and have returned the item."

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Twesh Mishra in New Delhi
Source: source
 
The War Against Coronavirus

The War Against Coronavirus