Dhobi Ghats in Mumbai
A large part of these Dhobi Ghats is managed only by people rather than machineries and are considered to be as heirloom of Mumbai’s past. It’s a very fascinating spectacle when you have a look over this place consisting of open-air conclusive wash pens, each of them made with its own strapped stone. You will observe that generation after generation is involved in this occupation.
As many generations are involved in the same profession, their style of doing the work is almost same. The clothes that are to be washed are initially soaked in the lukewarm water containing caustic soda and then they are physically beaten up to remove the dirt and stains. After their washing, they are dried up and opened which is followed by ironing.
These Dhobi Ghats create a lot of curiosity in the foreigners and become a part of their photography which is quite amusing for some local people. The world’s largest outdoor laundry, Mahalakshmi Ghat is the place where outstanding service of laundry is provided by the Dhobis. It is situated on the left of Mahalakshmi railway station exit and it can be viewed from the highway bridge over the station.
The area near Mahalakshmi railway station is greeted by the alluring smell of detergent that separates its atmosphere from the urban fuss. Around 300 dhobis are involved in collection of dirty clothes from hotels, hospitals, households etc and washing them. They all have got pretty friendly nature.
These Dhobis get involved for the whole day in their profession with full dedication and get back to their owners by evening to deliver the washed clothes. With the changing trend, these Dhobi Ghats have also started making use of automatic machinery but they remain on the sidelines because the Dhobis in their wash pens are the real heroes. They are so famous that a movie named “Dhobi Ghat” was released in our Indian cinema two years back.
You cannot deny that these Dhobi Ghats have provided thousands of people a good employment but what if they could carry it with better hygienic conditions. They wish that a modular system should be developed for them that will definitely provide a hygienic way of laundry washing by utilizing lesser time. These modular machines should be available at low cost so that they could buy them and could make use of it without a second thought because these Dhobis belong to backward section of our society.
It will indirectly help the country because less wastage of water will be there. Apart from these things, no matter if the people want a change or not in their occupation Dhobi Ghats of Mumbai will always be a great matter of attraction for foreigners and national tourists as well.