Tilak family awaits 3 lakh coins

At Kesariwada, the Tilak family is eagerly waiting for the Rs 5 coins minted to commemorate Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak's 151st birth anniversary. The demand in Pune for the coin is high and the family has requested as many as three lakh coins.

Early this year, a letter was dispatched by the Finance Ministry to the Tilak family apprising them about the government's decision to mint around 20 lakh coins. The despatch of the coins has been held up due to a fault in the plate. Tilak's great-great-grandson and trustee of Kesari Maratha Trust Rohit Tilak told The Indian Express on Friday that the coins are in demand from private collectors, businessmen, shopkeepers and citizens. "Shopkeepers and businessmen will need them in thousands and have asked for them. Some have even told me that they need around 50,000 coins," Tilak said.

The popular expectation was that the coins would arrive by August. However, a few days before the event, the plates had to be corrected. "So there has been a delay of a few days. I am expecting the coins to arrive soon," added Tilak.

"We have asked for three lakh coins from the Finance Ministry and they have told us that they will inform us and send the coins as soon as they are minted. Once they inform us, we will know how to make the payment," he added.

On July 23 in New Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had unveiled the commemorative coins. "It was an important event, considering Lokmanya Tilak's contribution towards the country's freedom movement."

The idea to mint a coin bearing Lokmanya's image was the Central government's initiative. The government had approached the family for the design. The one forwarded by the family was accepted without any change.

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