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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Jeffrey Archer helps Pataudis raise Rs. 1.5 crore to help blind people

Prashant Singh, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 20, 2013
First Published: 12:52 IST(20/9/2013) | Last Updated: 14:23 IST(20/9/2013)

A few days back, HT Café reported that author Jeffrey Archer was turning into an auctioneer for the Pataudis’ fundraiser in London. And now, Archer has apparently helped the family raise £150,000 (Rs 1.5 crore approx) to eradicate curable blindness in India through the Pataudi Hospital.

The entire family is extremely grateful to Lord Archer for helping them raise the money. Soha, who shared the stage with him, is happy about the funds. “I had the best seat in the house as he was a foot away from me. He is funny and got people to dig deep to raise funds for charity, and left no one unscathed by his razor-sharp wit,” she says.

Interestingly, all the items, including a saree worn by the Pataudis’ daughter-in-law Kareena Kapoor in RA.One (2011), a jersey autographed by star footballer Lionel Messi and a bat autographed by Rahul Dravid, were auctioned for £60,000. Then, Archer asked ten people to stand up and pledge £1,000 each.

“It’s an amount that would give 50 people the gift of eyesight (a cataract operation costs approximately £20). Within five minutes, 40 people were standing, raising £40,000 and taking the total to £1,00,000 in a matter of minutes,” adds Soha.

Finally, when the ticket sales were added, the total amount raised came to around £1,50,000. “Lord Archer came solely out of fondness and respect for my father and he was at the top of our list when we thought of who should host the auction. We are very grateful to him,” says Soha.

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