Khashaba Jadhav’s bronze Olympic medal — first individual medal won by India — has been put up for auction by family members to garner funds for building a wrestling academy named after the Olympian.
Khashaba Jadhav, then 27, went on to create history by becoming the first Indian to win an Olympic medal (bronze) in an individual sport in 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
"The decision to auction the bronze medal is a painful one but we are left with few options as the state government has reneged on its promise to build the academy," Ranjit Jadhav, son of the famous wrestler, said on Tuesday.
"In 2009, at a wrestling event in Jalgaon, then state sports minister Dilip Deshmukh had announced that the government would set up a national-level wrestling academy, named after my late father, in Satara district," Ranjit said.
"After eight years, nothing has materialised. In December 2013, Rs 1.58 crore were sanctioned for the project. But the project has failed to take shape," he said.
The hockey team led by Balbir Singh had won India its first gold in the 1948 London Olympics.
"My father was an introvert and never marketed his achievements. He was alive till 1984 but the government didn't felicitate him with an Arjuna Award, which came his way 16 years after his death. Why can't we honour accomplished people when they are alive?" asked Ranjit.