A furniture businessman from Odisha's Cuttack was spotted flaunting a face mask made of gold amid the coronavirus pandemic. Owing to his obsession with gold since he was a small kid, Alok Mohanty followed the lead of a businessman in Pune who flaunted masks made of gold. The N95 mask has detailed gold filigree work and took 22 days to prepare. It costs around Rs 3.5 lakh. The mask was especially made using around 90-100 grams of gold.
Some people in Surat went so far to purchase masks studded with diamonds and jewels worth at least Rs 4 lakh from a city jeweler.
After this, Mohanty told the local jeweler about his preferred design and the latter agreed to make a gold mask for the businessman. In fact, his love for the yellow metal is so intense that other than ornaments like chains, bracelets and rings, his accessories such as watches and caps are also either made or lined with gold.
In an interview with India Today, Mohanty talked about his love for gold and stated, "I have been wearing gold (ornaments) since the last 30-40 years, I immediately asked my jeweler to design one for me."
This act was termed as "tamasha and camouflage at a time when people are dying due to COVID-19" by social activist Sandeep Das Mohapatra. Mohapatra further stated that instead of spending the money on a mask made out of gold, had the gentleman made any attempts to help the poor, it would have served the purpose of mankind.
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