Pune: While there have been multiple appeals by Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking citizens to wear a mask. The PM himself wears a simple 'gamcha' to protect himself from the coronavirus infection.
Advertisements promoting masks and on social media platforms are also a common sight these days. You must have seen advertisements of branded masks and also several social media and WhatsApp posts of cotton masks, N95 masks, surgical masks.
But, taking the preventive game a notch higher is the gold mask that protects you against the novel coronavirus.
Pimpri-Chinchwad's new 'gold man' Shankar Kurhade uses a mask made out of gold to protect himself from the virus. With gold rings in each finger, a thick bracelet in hand, thick gold chain around his neck and now a gold mask on his face, Kurhade is surely enjoying the attention he is receiving with his gold mask.
Not bothered by the comments, Kurhade says, "Charcha tar honarach,," indicating that people will talk about it.
The idea of getting a golden mask came to him after coming across a video clip on social media which had gone viral. Kurhade saw a man wearing a silver mask in the clip and was 'inspired' to get a 'gold mask' for himself. This gold mask weighs 55 grams and Kurhade has spent Rs 2.9 lakh on it.
On prior occasions, Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have seen three 'gold men' before Kurhade. Wrestler Ramesh Wanjale who after entering politics became fond of gold. He joined the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and became a Member of Legislative Assembly from Khadakwasla constituency. People went crazy when Wanjale visited his constituency and had a huge fan following in other parts of the city and state too. Unfortunately, Wanjale died on June 10, 2011 at the age of just 45 years.
After Wanjale's exit, another politician Datta Phuge of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) got himself a shirt woven completely of gold. Even the shirt buttons were made of gold. Phuge became world-famous for his 'costliest shirt' and it was also recorded in the Guinness Book of World Record in 2013. Phuge's golden shirt weighed 3.5 kgs and costed Rs 1.27 crore for it. He was murdered in 2016 over a business dispute.
The third gold man was Hiraman Moze, nephew of former MLA Rambhau Moze. Hiraman Moze used to wear 8 to 10 kilograms of gold ornaments on any given day. He recently died of cardiac arrest.