India's first individual Olympic medal to go under the hammer

India's first individual Olympic medal to go under the hammer

The family of Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav — who was the first Indian to bag an individual medal in the Olympics — has decided to auction his bronze medal because of the failure of the Maharashtra government to honour its commitment of opening a wrestling academy at Goleshwar in Karad taluka of Satara district.

Besides, the Jadhav family and the  villagers are unhappy that Khashaba Jadhav had not been conferred with any of the Padma awards.

Jadhav (1926 – 1984), popularly known as ‘Pocket Dynamo’, won a bronze medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics at Helsinki in Finland.

It was exactly 65 years ago, on July 24, 1952, that he bro-ught laurels for the country.

“It is unfortunate, but we have decided to auction the medal. Let the government decide the right price,” his son Ranjit Jadhav told DH.

He also plans to go on a hunger strike, along with other villagers, on the eve of the 70th year of Independence, from August 14.

Ranjit said it was the government which proposed a wrestling academy and now it is turning a blind eye.
“It should say if that is not happening,” he said, adding that the wrestling academy at Goleshwar was proposed in 2009. “We have corresponded with the Congress-NCP Democratic Front government as well as the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance government, but nothing seems to be happening. We have to look at the importance and achievement. His was the first individual medal by an Indian in Olympics. It was 44 years later that Leander Paes won the second individual medal, a bronze, in 1996. So far, we have 15 individual medals in Olympics, in a country with over 130 crore population,” he said, adding that Jadhav is an inspiration for future wrestlers.

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