Karisma Kapoor recently shared a photo of herself with Nita Ambani, wife of India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, as part of her London diaries. Also present in the photo was her sister Kareena Kapoor Khan. While sharing the photo, Karisma wrote, “Wonderful afternoon.” She also used the hashtag #LondonDiaries. However, soon the focus of social media conversation turned to Nita Ambani’s handbag, believed to be costing Rs 2.6 crore.
A report by IANS said that the bag flaunted by Nita Ambani in the group photo with Kareena and Karisma was a 200-diamond-encrusted—Himalaya Birkin bag. The news agency quoted christies.com quoted as saying that the Himalaya Birkin Bag was considered to be the ‘Holy Grail in a Handbag’ collection.
What makes this bag unique is the fact that it has more than 240 diamonds on its 18-karat-gold hardware. Back in 2017, the white Himalaya crocodile diamond style bag fetched $379,261 at an auction with Christie’s, making it the most expensive bag ever.
The photo went viral on social media platforms evoking mixed reactions from users. However, an overwhelmingly large group of netizens concluded that spending so much money on a bag was a sheer waste of money. One user wrote on Twitter, “Disgusting. This bag could have cleaned up the hospitals where over 150 little children died in the most disgusting circumstances, but not more disgusted than this bag Nita Ambani’s crocodile skin handbag, studded with 240 diamonds, cost Rs 2.6 cr.” Political analyst Sumanth Raman wrote, “A Diamond studded handbag costing 2 crores? Can’t see the Gates or Zuckerberg spouses carry something like this. Somehow we in India have a compulsive need to flaunt wealth.”
No doubt, Nita Ambani has been involved in many philanthropic initiatives, but given the rate with which people are dying in India due to the water crisis, the money spent by India’s richest woman could have been used to harvest 12.75 billion litre rainwater annually. This could solve the water problem for nearly 80,000 people for one year. According to website rainwaterharvesting.org, Rs 4.5 lakh was required to harvest 170 million litres of water annually. Since the average usage of water by a person has been estimated to be 340 litres per day, Rs 2.6 crore could be used to potentially harvest enough rainwater for nearly 80,000 people to use all through the year.
A report by CNN recently made a grim forecast about India’s water crisis stating that about 100 million people across India were on the front line of a nationwide water crisis and total of 21 major cities are poised to run out of groundwater next year. It also said that if effective water management plans were not initiated, the country’s 40% population will not have access to drinking water by 2030.