Sania joins Sourav to raise funds for tsunami victims

Published: Sunday, February 20, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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West Bengal:After enthralling the nation with an inspiring on court performance, India's teenage tennis sensation Sania Mirza on Sunday pitched her lot with national cricket skipper Sourav Ganguly and soccer star Bhaichung Bhutia to raise Rs. 55 lakh for the tsunami victims.

Participating in a fund-raiser for the hapless thousands who fell prey to the December 26 disaster, the 18-year old auctioned her tennis gear at a packed Kanchenjungha Stadium in Kolkata saying that she felt proud to be part of such a noble exercise.

Two of Sania's tee-shirts, a racket, as also her dress at the recent Australian Open - where she became the first ever Indian woman to reach the third round - went under the hammer, with the player herself encouraging higher bids from the 15,000 odd spectators.

The Australian Open dress fetched the highest amount - a whopping rupees two lakh, while Ganguly auctioned off his cap, gloves and Indian team's blue jersey.

His deputy Rahul Dravid, who could not attend the function, sent his cap and jersey, while Bhutia donated a dress for the auction.

Later, a cricket bat signed by Sania, Ganguly and Bhutia also came under the gong, and commanded a good price.

While Rs 12 lakh was raised from the auction, Rs 43 lakh more came from donations by industrialists, traders and eminent persons.

Before the auction, the three leading sportspersons went round the stadium as a song on the tsunami created a poignant ambience.

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