Rebecca Conway

Photographer in Delhi | @TEDx speaker | @Sahar_Speaks mentor | @Reuters @AFP @irinnews alum
Dhobi Ghat
Location: Delhi, India
Nationality: British
Biography: Currently in New Delhi, India, Rebecca works between India and Pakistan, covering conflict, women and minorities. She has worked for the New York Times, The Guardian, AFP, AP, Reuters, Stern, The National and IRIN, among others. She is based in... read on
Public Story
Dhobi Ghat
Credits: rebecca conway
Updated: 05/18/16
Location: New Delhi, India
Against modernisation and falling demand for their services, tiny corners of some of New Delhi's neighbourhoods are still given over to the work of the dhobi wallahs; the workers whose job it is to collect, wash and redistribute laundry across the city. Some 30-40 washermen work at the ghat in the centre of one of India's most affluent neighbourhoods, earning an average of 7,000 rupees ($110) per month.

Beginning work before sunrise the soft thwack of wet fabric against stone echoes around the ghat as washermen sift through laundry. Other workers painstakingly iron and fold immaculate parcels of newly-clean clothing. Warming tea breaks and the offering of prayers at tiny shrines dotted between the drying machines and washing lines pepper a shift spend standing in knee-deep water. Workers leave mid-morning to begin delivering washed and ironed clothes to customers, loading bundles onto bikes and scooters as they fan out across one of the biggest capital cities on the planet.

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