Dhobi Ghat seems to be a chaotic sight at first glance. A deeper examination, on the other hand, reveals the order hidden inside the chaos. A vast number of cleaned garments are hung out to dry in a way that requires the use of both time and space optimization techniques.
A system has been put in place to handle the washing, sorting, and ironing, which is a time-consuming procedure for the washermen (also known as dhobis). An identification number is printed on the back of each garment, allowing the correct item of laundry to be returned to its rightful owner.
This method is very effective, and it is one of the primary reasons for the ghat’s widespread appeal. Despite the presence of washing machines, 7,000 washermen work a total of 20 hours each day at the historic site. Dhobi Ghat, a Mumbai-based business, still generates Rs 100 crore each year.
History of Dhobi Ghat
Back in 1890, when it was still a British imperial colony, 50 washerwomen got together and formed the first commune. While certain changes have been made, Dhobi Ghat has remained true to its original appearance and purpose.
There are now around 700 dhobi families in the region, each of which regularly thrashes clothing on family-owned stones. While some dhobis have invested in modern mechanized washing and drying systems, most of the dhobis still wash their clothing on platforms and troughs constructed during India’s British colonial period to earn a livelihood.
The dhobi ghat in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) was very useful and successful in terms of streamlining the process. The British were inspired by and determined to construct another functioning dhobi ghat in India, so they set to work. Finally, in 1902, a second Dhobi Ghat was established in Kolkata, which began operations in 1903. (Then Calcutta).
More than 800 households are accommodated on two levels of the chawl system in this area. Despite the rapid development in India, these folks continue to wash their clothing in the same manner that they have done for centuries. They use flogging stones, brush caustic soda, and a lot of water to get their punishment.
It is possible to make between 300 and 500 rupees a day as an ordinary worker here, with a daily maximum of roughly 800 rupees. Every solitary stone is in the possession of a small number of families. On 731 stones, the lives of 4 to 5 thousand people are hanging in the balance. If these Dhobis allow technology to educate them, then one may see machines here that do the washing and drying for them on their initiative.
Best Time to Visit Dhobi Ghat
The best time to visit Dhobi Ghat Mumbai is between October and March. The weather is pleasant, and there is little chance of rain interfering with your plans.
Watch the dhobis whip the clothes in their cubicles if you go early enough. Dhobi Ghat’s hanging wires are jam-packed with clothes drying in the sun by lunchtime and early afternoon.
How to Reach Dhobi Ghat
The journey to Dhobi Ghat is straightforward; all that is required is that you take a Mumbai Local train to Mahalaxmi station on the Western line. From there, go to the Saat rasta, which will bring you to the Dhobi Ghat. You may either walk to the ghat or hire an auto-rickshaw to take you there for a few minutes.
Facts about Dhobi Ghat
- There are about 5000 dhobis that labor here 24 hours a day, washing and crisping filthy clothing.
- Dhobi Ghat includes more than 700 handwashing stations, where people may wash their clothes by themselves.
- Once, 496 dhobis cleaned clothing at the same time, earning Dhobi Ghat a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the site with the “highest number of persons hand-washing garments at the same time.”
- The washers get a steady stream of business from nearby hotels, hospitals, and interior designers. Clothes from garment makers are also sent to this laundry.
- This location has been used as a location for several Hindi and Marathi films, including Munnabhai MBBS, Shootout at Wadala, and Dhobi Ghat (also known as Mumbai Diaries).
Nehru Science Centre
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