Dhobi Ghat Special

Besides the washing machine, most Indian women depends heavily on the Dhobi (aka washer man) to wash the house linen. Heavy-duty laundry is always assigned to this curious breed of people (dhobi), who carry their load to the nearest dhobi ghat and manually launder the towels, bed sheets, trousers etc. Crisp ironed linen and clothes are handed back after a week and the next stack is lined up for collection. Indra is a concept washing machine to aid the dhobi with his washing and make life more easier for him.

Manual labor is cheaper in India than using electricity and machines. Thus the Indra is designed on this premise. A look at this video here will give you an idea on how the dhobis function.

Incase you are wondering, my dhobi comes in every Monday for collecting the clothes!

Designer: Elodie Delassus


  • Joseph Dumary says:

    Man, good idea!

  • SUe says:

    And with what money is the dobhi going to buy this awesome machine?

  • mak says:

    good for homes. will decrease human weight and electricity cost.
    bad for poor people who cant afford it. they will likely damage it in a day or two 🙂
    there are a lot of cheap mechanical washing machines available.

  • shivakumar says:

    i would say “its a good try”

  • Hi everyone,

    Grateful for your feedback!

    Indra is designed for an environment where the water ressource and the machine itelf is shared.
    Indra is designed for a rural target who works in dhobi ghats.

    The product aims in bridging the gap between the urban and the rural communities.

    Moving onto feasability concerns the machine is manufactured from locally available resources such as stainless steel and clay filters. Maintenance would not be an issue as it is designed to be easily accessible

    Thanking you for your revert once again.

  • Alan says:


    Above link shows “Spin Cycle” project by MIT students.
    I thought it smart for using a “drum can” which is easily-obtainable at developing country and for using a bicycle which is high accessibility to the driving parts(this means high and easy maintainability).

    just for your information
    and sorry for my English…

  • good machine.. ilike it…

  • i love. this is wonderful machine but first image not good 🙁

  • elleryxo says:


  • Keep on the smart & useful ideas.

  • shivakumar says:


    There are several other points ,which flashed my mind.
    1) i can see soap and brush on of the product photo, which means he has still use other facilities,than the washer may prefer to use hand for other operation aswell.
    2) if the device ( as shown ) used in supplymentry with existing setup, should they carry it to the ghat along with clothes,than that’s not fair.
    3) actually water has to be at higher level for circulating in to the system.
    4) always , atleast most of the time , washer men have space constraints… ( urban area- his key market or livelhood location.


  • Onkar says:


    Like to add some points..
    – People who can afford dhobi for washing cloths, can afford Good washing Machines also..
    – Dhobi take good care to make cloths clean..
    – Also, Dhobi is like part of family for some houses, so they prefer their cloths washed by “Dhobi”
    – Hand wash is prefferd than Machines.. as machines got too many limitations..
    – Good ‘Study’ Project!

  • design+ says:

    Biggest failure is…


    Son : Dad, I am soo hungry, I haven’t eaten anything for a week!
    Dad : Don’t worry son, at least we’ve got clean clothes on our back. Arn’t you happy that our town spent all the money on this wonderful washing machine?

    Would YOU (the one that believe in this) pay money out of your pocket to buy one of this to donate?


  • avedis says:

    Eco Friendly!

  • aura says:

    I wonder if the machine is already in production.
    As I work a lot with African countries , this machine would be very good to implement in the zones qhere ordinarili people wash clothes in the water they use also to drink.
    please let me know how I can buy and7or help to divulge the machine or manufacture the machine under license. Thank you in advance and first of all many congratulations for all the designs you have conceived.

  • Dear Design+,

    As I said before Indra is designed for an environment where the water ressource and the machine itelf is shared.

    Also, Indra is a product for the community.
    As government lead to improve the life quality of the indian cities. The buyer could be the city itself.


    ps: sarcasm doesn’t enhance your point 😉

  • Dear Aura,
    For now, Indra is not in production.
    Thanks a lot for your interest in the project.
    And you are right, the concept could be adapted for other countries.
    All the best for your work.

  • Mrs.Anny says:

    Nice laundry machine.great thoughts its very helpful for laundry men.

  • Emiley says:

    Indra washing machine is so useful for laundryman and it very helpful for the dhobi ghat people.

  • Diya says:

    The concept is so clear and easy to wash clothes for laundry man and its very useful for that.

  • Mr Walter says:

    The look and design of the Indra washing machine is based on the indian traditional washing machine process in the Dhobighat.

  • Kate says:

    The machine is very useful for the laundry man and it has a good features and it has power to clean the very dirty clothes.

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  • Chris says:

    Hi that design is awesome! Where can i buy one??

  • Kayla says:

    You should try to see if you can link up with Kickstarter or Indigogo to make this a reality. I bet you normal people would purchase this, in an effort to live more off grid. I know I used to wash all my daughters baby clothes by hand, and wished there was an alternative to backbreaking hard work. A foot pedal seems so much more convenient. I have seen many different smaller varieties, but would love to have something more full size. This is awesome.

  • Marjaana Hyppönen says:

    Is this product for sale somewhere?

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