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World’s Largest Open Air Laundromat: 25,000 Washermen of Mumbai’s Iconic ‘Dhobi Ghat’ to move into Tall Towers

The state government may consider giving a new look to the Dhobi Ghat itself by improving and beautifying the surroundings of the locality, which is spread across a sprawling 23 acres of land

'Dhobi Ghat'
Dhobi Ghat in Mumbai. Wikimedia

Mumbai, November 25, 2016: The 25,000 washermen of Mumbai’s iconic ‘Dhobi Ghat’ — the scene of scores of Bollywood movies and the world’s largest open air laundromat — will move into tall towers, courtesy of a slum rehabilitation project which got underway on Friday.

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The washer folk living with their families in tiny slum dwellings surrounding the Dhobi Ghat, besides other ancillary industries, have given their consent to Omkar Realtors & Developers, said company Executive Director Kaushik More.

“The development project will not hamper the century-old heritage site comprising 731 washing pens and flogging stones, drying areas and the community areas of Dhobi Ghat, which is also a major tourist destination,” More said.

While 4,000 families have already moved out another 1,000 will shift within the next few months and Omkar plans to hand over their swank new 270 sq. feet flats with full amenities in towers surrounding the Dhobi Ghat, More added.

Later, the state government may consider giving a new look to the Dhobi Ghat itself by improving and beautifying the surroundings of the locality, which is spread across a sprawling 23 acres of land.

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The washermen — known as ‘dhobis’ — work in the open with non-stop running water supply, drainage, washing soaps, detergents, whiteners and other accessories to manually wash big and small clothes in bulk, mostly from corporate clients, hospitals and deluxe hotels.

They are as unique to Mumbai as the famous ‘dabbawallas’, who pick up and deliver lunch boxes on time to lakhs of Mumbaikars daily.

Constructed in 1890 to cater to the washing requirements of the British and Parsis living in Mumbai, Dhobi Ghat stands adjacent to the Mahalaxmi station in south Mumbai, comprising rows of open-air concrete wash pens and a heavy flogging stone.

In 2013, it added a new feather to its cap by bagging a Guinness World Record for the largest number of people washing clothes simultaneously, adding to its more than a century-old reputation.

It has over a dozen separate entry gates, where the hordes of washermen gain entry around 5 a.m. and they continue washing and drying clothes till 10 p.m., round-the-year.

Flocks of wide-eyed domestic and foreign tourists, walk around the Dhobi Ghat daily, or click pictures from the Mahalaxmi bridge. Many also click selfies with the dhobis heaving and puffing while washing the heavy laundry.

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Bollywood director Kiran Rao (wife of Aamir Khan) had directed her first film named “Dhobi Ghat” (2011). Former US President Bill Clinton also paid a visit to the area once.

Dhobi Ghat has been a constant favourite with Bollywood directors. Notable among them are scenes in “Munnabhai MBBS”, Amitabh Bachchan’s “Don” and many more. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons
Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?