Did you know that 15 silkworms are killed to produce 1 gram of silk? A silk sari with all its elegance and shimmer comes at a price of 50,000 silk worms. While you do hear animal rights groups protesting the use of leather products, we seldom hear a voice against the manner in which silk is produced.
One little known voice of compassion comes from Hyderabad, where Kusuma Rajaiah—after years of research—now produces silk without killing the worms. A senior technical officer with APCO (Andhra Pradesh Handloom Weaver’s Cooperative Society), Kusuma’s search for eco-friendly and humane silk dates back to the ’90s when Janaki Venkataraman, wife of former president R. Venkataraman, asked for a silk sari that did not involve the killing of worms on her visit to APCO. The same request cropped up in 2000, when Amala Akkineni, actress/dancer and animal activist, visited APCO.