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Carte-de-visite of a dhobi ironing (early 1870s)
A washerman in Tamil Nadu
Tamil washermen near Saidapet, Chennai, c. 1905

Dhobi (English: "washerman") is a caste group of India. Their traditional occupation was washing clothes. The word dhobi is derived from the Hindi word dhona, which means to wash.


Andhra Pradesh[edit]

In Andhra Pradesh, the Rajakas are OBCs.[1]


The Dhobi Community in Bihar is about 18% of total population. Dhobi have maximum concentration in Muzaffarpur and Vaishali Siwan, Purnia and East Champaran districts respectively. The Dhobi community in Bihar is in Scheduled Caste Status. Among the numerically larger castes of SC, Dhobi have registered the highest overall literacy rate.[2]


Hindu Dhobis in Karnataka are concentrated mainly in Davanagere, Chitradurga, Raichur and Shimoga districts.[citation needed]

Mumbaikar dhobis at work at Dhobi Ghat in the Mahalaxmi area


In Odisha the Dhobis are called as Dhoba. Odisha has a significant population of Dhobi people in its coastal belt, i.e. eastern Odisha (Cuttack, Puri, Balasore, Ganjam) and a smaller population in its central and western areas. They are Included in Scheduled caste list of Odisha.[3]

Uttar Pradesh[edit]

The Dhobi population in the state has been classified as SC and OBC.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Commission for Backward Classes" (PDF). ncbc.nic.in.
  2. ^ http://censusindia.gov.in/Tables_Published/SCST/dh_sc_bihar.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1766850/
  4. ^ "central list of OBCs Uttar Pradesh". National Commission for Backward Classes, India.

External links[edit]