The Aligrah Muslim University (AMU) has put on auction a 22-karat gold necklace, studded with valuable pearls, which US-based alumnus Dr Afshan Hashmi had donated to the university.
Hashmi is a scientific and business development consultant and also hosts radio and television talks shows in the US. The money that AMU will get from auctioning the “Mughal inspired” antique jewellery, which also include a pair of earrings and a finger ring, will be used to fund scholarships to meritorious students.
The auction is open online on AMU website. The AMU administration has reserved the minimum price of Rs 5 lakh for the jewellery to be sold to the person who will make the highest bid till February 8. So far, three persons have bid. They have quoted prices of Rs 6 lakh, Rs 5.5 lakh and Rs 5,50,001. Hashmi’s maternal grandfather, Abdul Aleem, was the former AMU V-C. Her father Professor Abdul Majid Siddiqui was the founder of AMU’s biochemistry department.
AMU authorities said in the last alumni meet held a few months ago, another alumni had donated two gold bangles, which was sold for around Rs 7.5 lakh in an open auction. Interestingly, the highest bidder donated the bangles back to AMU, which are now on display at the university museum.
AMU spokesperson Zeeshan Ahmed said the university was auctioning the jewelleries to fund scholarships. “This is the second time that the university has received jewelleries as gift from alumni, otherwise, alumni donate cash, which is directly used for scholarships,” said Ahmed.
He added that number of alumni giving gifts and donations to AMU has increased after V-C Lt General (retd) Zameer Uddin Shah appealed to all alumni for donations. In June 2013, the V-C had appealed to AMU alumni and members of its Old Boys Associations across the world to make contributions, as the university requires funds worth Rs 100 crore over the next five years to improve infrastructure and carry out development programmes. He had written an open letter to all the alumni, addressing them as AMU’s “custodian”. “Recently, an alumni from a Gulf country has donated Rs 10 crore for development of two swimming pools on the campus,” said Ahmed.