BANGALORE: Here is good news for around 300 washermen working at Kempabudikere (Brindavan Nagar) dhobi ghat. If everything goes as per plan, this dhobi ghat will have a modern laundry shortly.
According to K Chandrasekhar, Corporator of Hanumanthnagar Ward, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had taken initiative to have a modern laundry sytem at this dhobi ghat.
“The BBMP had already installed two washing machines, two driers and two hydro extractors at a new building constructed for this purpose. The BBMP has to pay Rs 43,000 to the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company for power connection. I hope the modern laundry will be inaugurated shortly,’’ said Chandrasekhar.
The washermen at the dhobi ghat want the Slum Clearance Board to construct 120 houses as early as possible. “Earlier, there were sheds on the dhobi ghat premises. We had to demolish it when the Slum Clearance Board officials inspected the dhobi ghat to prepare a plan for the proposed houses. Even after one year, the construction work is yet to begin. The washermen who lost the sheds are finding it difficult to keep the bundles of clothes,’’ said M Nagaraj, General Secretary, Madivalara Machideva Sangha.
The washermen have said that they have no medical insurance facility. “A few of us are suffering from some health problems. We can’t afford to go to private hospitals for treatment. We request the government to extend the Arogyashree benefit for us,’’ said Nagaraj.
Meanwhile, Chandrasekhar said that he had taken initiative to clear the proposal for the construction of 120 houses for washermen. “The proposal was approved by the State as well as Central Government. Tenders will be floated shortly for this purpose,’’ said the corporator.
On extending health schemes to washermen, he said that he had already discussed with the authorities concerned to extend Rajiv Gandhi Health Scheme for washermen. “Each washerman or washerwoman have to pay ` 30 to avail benefits under Rajiv Gandhi Health Scheme,’’ he said.
The washermen have also demanded the BBMP authorities, especially health department officials, to send civic employees to keep dhobi ghat premises clean.
“We will be grateful to the BBMP authorities if they sanction a community hall for us. It will be convenient for us to organise functions,’’ said a washerman.