Lack of safety haunts washermen

BANGALORE: The washermen at Kadugondanahalli are a worried lot. With no safety for the clothes on the clotheslines at the dhobi ghat, they are paying money to owners for the loss of clothes.

Published: 14th January 2012 02:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:14 PM   |  A+A-

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The open well (top) and the premises of the dobhi ghat at Kadugondanahalli| nagaraja gadekal

BANGALORE: The washermen at Kadugondanahalli are a worried lot. With no safety for the clothes on the clotheslines at the dhobi ghat, they are paying money to owners for the loss of clothes.

The washermen work for various laundries in and around Kadugondanahalli. More than 50 washermen families depend on this

dhobi ghat for their livelihood.

However, the lack of a compound wall or a fence has made it is easy for thieves to lay their hands on the clothes without any hassles.

“How can we keep an eye on the clothesline while we are washing clothes? I paid `30,000 as penalty to an owner for missing clothes. I had to borrow money from others to pay the penalty,” said P Aiyappa,

a washerman.

The shortage of water is another problem. With the water touching the bottom in the open well, the washermen have to depend on a borewell for water. “There are occasions where we have to buy water from private water suppliers. We stop washing clothes whenever the borewell is under repair,” said R Balaraj, Secretary, Harijan Dhobi Welfare Association.

Earlier, the Byatarayanapura City Municipal Council had constructed two water tanks at the dhobi ghat. With no water supply, these tanks have become useless. “We have been requesting the BBMP authorities to dig one more borewell to ensure sufficient water for washing clothes but there is none to help us,” said Balaraj.

A few washermen wash clothes at a private land since the dhobi ghat could not accommodate more washermen.

Meanwhile, R Chotu Qureshi, Congress leader, has requested MLA K J George to help the washermen. George said that a proposal for the development of dhobi ghat has been submitted to the authorities. “Efforts are on to develop the dhobi ghat on an acre of land. As soon as the proposal gets the government’s nod, the work on the dhobi ghat will be started. As of now, I will ensure water supply on alternate days. They can get 6,000 litres of water thrice in a week,” said George.

The washermen are happy with George’s iniative and also hope that the

authorities clear the proposal for the development dhobi ghat as early as possible.

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