When the Rubbers Hit the Road
And in other news…
[From the Hindustan Times] Only a quarter of condoms made in India are used for sex, most of the others are used to make saris, toys and bathroom slippers, a newspaper reported on Saturday.
The condoms are valuable to manufacturers because of the lubricant on them. Sari weavers place the condoms on their thread spools and the lubricant on the prophylactics is rubbed off on the thread, making it move faster through their sewing machines, the newspaper quoted an Indian industry official as saying.
Sari makers also turn the condom's inside out, place them on their fingers and use the high-quality lubricant to polish gold and silver threads used in the traditional Indian women's outfits. India manufactures more than 1 billion condoms annually to check population growth and curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.
I was a little shocked so I did a quick Google of “India condoms” and found far more than I bargained for.
A BBC News story from 2004 even reported that one Indian city goes through 600,000 condoms a day just to make saris.
- Rural villagers have used them as disposable water containers
- India's military have covered gun and tank barrels with condoms as protection against dust
- Road-building contractors use them to mix with concrete and tar and use the mixture to construct roads, rendering road surfaces smooth and resistant to cracks
- Builders spread a bed of condoms beneath cement plastering on roofs, ingeniously preventing water seepage during the monsoon rains
[X-posted at Freiheit und Wissen]