The Indian city of Varanasi is getting through around 600,000 condoms a day, but this is no population control exercise. The weavers of the holy city, home to the world-famous Banarasi saris, have made the contraceptives a vital part of garment production.
The weaver rubs the condom on the loom’s shuttle, which is softened by the lubricant thus making the process of weaving faster.
The lubricant does not leave any stain on the silk thread which might soil the valuable saris.
There are around 150,000 to 200,000 hand and power looms in Varanasi alone and almost all are using the technique.
And every loom has a daily consumption of three or four condoms.
At first, weavers stocked up on condoms from the family planning department under a government scheme to provide them free of cost.
Some weavers even registered with fake identities to get their hands on the precious prophylactics.
Here is the full story. Thanks to Paul N for the pointer.