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Where are my pants? - Dhobi Ghat - Open air laundry

Seen pictures before but standing on the overbridge with other foreigners / tourists taking their photos, looked down upon rows and rows of clothes all sorted in colours hanging out drying and wondered what was life was really like down there. (I will find out tomorrow.)

Some facts:

  • Male migrant males only work here.
  • They are the washing caste which is the 2nd lowest.
  • They generally stay for 10 months then home.
  • Work 10 hour days.
  • Earn 350 - 400 rupees / NZ$7.40 - $8.50 / US$5.40 – $6.10 rupees a day.
  • Clothes are spin dried then out in the sun to finish off.

Dhobi Ghat (Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat) is a well known open air laundromat (lavoir) in Mumbai, India. The washers, known as dhobis, work in the open to clean clothes and linens from Mumbai's hotels and hospitals.

There are rows of open-air concrete wash pens, each fitted with its own flogging stone. Called the world's largest outdoor laundry, Dhobi Ghat is a very popular attraction among foreign tourists.

The word Dhobi Ghat is used all over India to refer to any place where many washers are present.

It is located next to Mahalaxmi railway station on the Western Railway's Saat Rasta roundabout. It can be easily seen from flyover bridge of Mahalaxmi station.

The Dhobi Kalyan & Audhyogik Vikas Cooperative Society, the apex body that represents washermen, estimates the annual turnover of the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat at around Rs 100 crore (₹100 crore (1 billion Indian rupees). A crore or koti denotes ten million and is equal to 100 lakh in the Indian numbering system.)

For 18 to 20 hours each day, over 7,000 people flog, scrub, dye and bleach clothes on concrete wash pens, dry them on ropes, neatly press them and transport the garments to different parts of the city. Over one lakh (100,000) clothes are washed each day. Some of the wealthier dhobis have given up on manual cleaning and have now installed large mechanical washing and drying machines. The dhobis collect clothes from all corners of the city, from Colaba to Virar. Their biggest clients are neighbourhood laundries, garment dealers, wedding decorators and caterers, and mid-sized hotels and clubs.

Home to the dhobis and their families (around 200 families), the Dhobi Ghat has seen this occupation passed down from one generation to the next. Also known as the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, it can be viewed easily from the Mahalaxmi Railway station. The best time to visit Dhobi Ghat is early morning and early afternoon. While the dhobis are in action in the morning to take care of the washing load, the early afternoons are an ideal time to see the clothes dry. Thanks Mr Wikipedia









Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:


Into a taxi heading to the Thieves Market.


Posted by bruceontour 10:54 Archived in India Tagged open_air_laundry

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