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Dhobi Ghat

Posted by
Kristen & Scott (Hyderabad, India) on 7 March 2013 in Documentary & Street and Portfolio.

This massive open air laundry provides an unforgettable glimpse into the inside of the city. Dirty laundry from all over Mumbai is brought here and painstakingly hand washed by the dhobis (washermen) in the seemingly endless rows of concrete troughs. The profession, handed down from generation to generation, requires incredible strength and determination. The thousands of dhobis spend hours every day standing up to their knees in water filled with chemicals, manually scrubbing and beating the dirt out of each item of laundry. This earns them 100 rupees ($2.40) per day each.

The clothes are soaked in sudsy water, thrashed on the flogging stones, then tossed into huge vats of boiling starch and hung out to dry. Next they are ironed and piled into neat bundles. The most famous of these Dhobi Ghats is at Saat Rasta near Mahalaxmi Station where almost two hundred dhobis and their families work together in what has always been a hereditary occupation.

NIKON D90 1/250 second F/8.0 ISO 200 18 mm

1/250 second
ISO 200
18 mm