After a man from Pune decided to flaunt his face mask made of gold amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, a businessman in Cuttack also treaded the same route as he went ahead and got a gold mask made for himself.
Owing to his obsession with gold since childhood, upon his own admission, Alok Mohanty took a cue from people in Pune, who flaunted masks made of gold. Some people in Surat also bought masks studded with diamonds and jewels worth Rs 4 lakh from a city jeweller.
Mohanty, thereafter, briefed a jeweller in his city about his preferred design and he agreed to make a gold mask for the businessman.
In fact, Mohanty’s allure for gold is so intense that other than ornaments such as chains, rings and bracelets, his accessories like watches and caps are also made of or lined with gold.
Mohanty said, “I have been wearing gold (ornaments) since the last 30-40 years. Wearing gold is my weakness. After seeing people wearing gold masks, I immediately asked my jeweller to design one for me.”
The jeweller has done gold filigree work on an N-95 mask to prepare the face mask for Mohanty.
“The gold netted mask, which took 22 days to prepare, costs approximately Rs 3.5 lakh. Around 90-100 grams of yellow metal was used to make the mask,” Mohanty added.
Alok Mohanty, who has a business of furniture items, is also known for doing social work and feeding stray animals.
However, social activist Sandeep Das Mohapatra said, “This camouflage and tamasha during a pandemic when people are dying due to Covid-19 is not fair. Instead, if that gentleman had spent that money helping the poor, it would have served the purpose of mankind.”
India has recorded over ten lakh novel coronavirus cases so far. At present, India ranks third in the list of countries worst affected by Covid-19.