Dhobi- A person whose occupation is washing clothes and a Ghat- a flight of steps leading down to a river.
Located in a commercial heart of New Delhi, the Devi prasad sadan dhobi ghat looks up to the high rises of Connaught place. Home to a community of 64 Dhobis it is tucked away on quite Hailey lane.
The Yamuna is far so the ghat relies on borewell water, chilamchis (cement tubs), hauds(tanks), naandis(pools) and hydras, electric machines that soak water. The clothes are treated first in the clilamchi with detergent, then washed in the haud where the dhobi stands knee deep in cold water, even in winter. The clothes are left standing in water for half an hour, then taken to the hydra, from where they make their journey to the clothes line. The ironing is usually done by the women in the family. Finally the clothes go home to their respective addresses, which are spread across Delhi. The washing duties are over by noon. The narrow drain that runs along that ghat stops flowing and the dhobis return home.
A dhobi earns on an average Rs 20,000- 25,000 a month.
This place was discovered by us while walking towards Agrasen is Baoli, the stepwell nearby. Highly organised and well maintained place in the heart of Delhi.