If you send your clothes out to be washed in Mumbai, India, chances are good that they’ll end up here at Dhobi Ghat. But you won’t find any machines here. Close to 200 dhobis (traditional Indian laundrymen) wash clothes by hand in row upon row of concrete wash pens called ghats.
The clothes are soaked in sudsy water, thrashed on 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 work is a hereditary occupation passed from father to son, and dhobi families live their whole lives here alongside the ghats.