The cricket bat Shakib Al Hasan used during the 2019 World Cup was sold at Tk20 lakh on the first day of "Auction for Action", an on-going online auction, where celebrities and noted personalities are auctioning their memorabilia and donating the money for the underprivileged in the community.
It is a new concept in Bangladesh, conceived by social worker Arif R Hossain and photographer Prito Reza.
The proceeds of the auctions will go to different non-profit organisations to help fight the Covid-19.
The first bidding took place on April 22, where cricketer Shakib Al Hasan's bat was auctioned with a base price of TK51 Lakh. The proceeds were donated to Shakib Al Hasan Foundation.
The next auction was held on April 27 where popular musician Tahsan's first solo album master DAT, and the page containing the lyrics of his popular song "Irsha," were auctioned.
The highest bidder would also get to spend a day with Tahsan. The base price of Tahsan's items was Tk3 lakh and lastly those were auctioned for Tk7.5lakh, which was donated to Brac.
The two minds behind the unique idea is Prito Reza and Arif R Hossain. Recently, they both spoke with the Business Standard about the auction and its module.
Prito Reza explained: "I was thinking how we can help the middle-class people as they are struggling the most during the pandemic. Suddenly, I thought of the idea of auctioning memorabilia of celebrities to raise money and shared the idea with Arif."
"Later, Chisty Iqbal, who is the advisor of Shakib Al Hasan Foundation came on-board. Currently, three of us running the auction and each and every celebrity came forward to our platform with much enthusiasm." "The whole thing took a shape in 3 to 4 days," he said.
Upon asking how they are deciding which item would be auctioned by each celebrity, he said "It is a collective effort, sometimes we are giving them ideas and at other times they are telling us what to do".
"People from all walks of life also showing interest to auction their collectibles and donate the money to charity," Prito said.
Asked how and where the bidding takes place, he replied, "The whole process is based on social media, we run the auctions through live videos on Facebook."
"Bidders can come live with us, mention their price in the comment section or they can also just inbox their price as well," he said.
Their plan is to organise auction sessions after every 3 or 4 days and to continue it for as long as needed.
"We are not dealing with money or charity activities directly, celebrities decide which foundation or organisation the money will go to, and bidders disburse the money directly to that organisation, working to help the poor during the pandemic," Prito said.
"I am contacting the foundations and co-hosting the auctions with Prito," said Arif R Hossain.
"Prito and I have common interests, so when he asked if I wanted to do something like this, I jumped on the project and we first approached Shakib Al Hasan," Arif said.
"We are overwhelmed with the responses so far, and Bangladeshis are bidding from all over the world," Arif added.
So far, the list of participating celebrities includes James, Shakib Al Hasan, Tahsan Khan, Jaya Ahsan, Nuhash Humayun, Asaduzzaman Noor, Ananta Jalil, Partha Barua, Mashrafee Bin Murtaza, Liton Das, band members of Chirkutt, Ali Zaker, Taskin Ahmed, Bappa Mazumder, Shafin Ahmed, Munni Shaha, Nirmalendu Goon, among others.
Celebrities are auctioning a very special item or offering an opportunity for a lifetime experience for the fans.
For example, Mashrafee will put an item which has been a part of his life for the last 16 years. He has not revealed what the item is as of yet.
A lucky Asaduzzaman Noor fan will get to spend a day with him.
Popular musician Shafin Ahmed said that he is auctioning an acoustic guitar that has been with him for around 30 years.
"It is a good initiative; I appreciate and thank the people behind it. Chisty Iqbal approached me to be a part of this, and I liked the idea," said Shafin Ahmed.
"I am giving away an acoustic guitar to the auction. It is very important to me, because I bought it with the money I saved from my odd job in London. It is a Yamaha guitar and I have played this at various pubs in London," Shafin said.
"It is an important guitar for me as it has been with me for at least 30 years," he recalled.
"Musicians always participate at charity concerts and we try to give back to the community whenever there is national issue," he further added.
"During this situation artists should be taken care of as well, so that the artists can survive," he emphasised.
Nuhash Humayun will take winning bidder to Nuhash Polli, while recalling memories of his father, Humayun Ahmed.
He told the Business Standard, "I was approached to be a part of this charity event and I loved the initiative because it is definitely a good idea to give back to the community.
"People organising the charity actually asked me put something of my father at the auction, but then I thought what could be more precious than something material? I figured it would be a memory and experience. Nuhash Polli is something precious to him and he built as his ow safe haven. He used spent days after days there and I spent quality with time with my father there."
"So, I thought it could be something very magical whoever wins the auction, has a nice day there and spend the day with me so that I can show them around and it would be a nice way to celebrate Humayun Ahmed."