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Prosperity and technology threaten the livelihood of washermen of Dhobi Ghat

It's kind of sad that this colorful landmark will probably go the way of the horse and buggy.

Sajjad Hussain / AFP - Getty Images

Washermen clean clothes by hand at Dhobi Ghat in the Indian city of Mumbai on Jan. 20.The tradition goes back centuries but the workers now fear for their livelihoods as India's economy expands, increasing people's disposable income and allowing them to buy appliances like washing machines for their homes.Dhobi Ghat, one of the world's biggest outdoor laundries, is also on prime land in south Mumbai, prompting fears among the washermen that the sprawling complex will be bought by developers to make way for luxury flats, depriving at least 10,000 people a living.

Sajjad Hussain / AFP - Getty Images

This picture shows a general view of Dhobi Ghat as washermen clean clothes by hand at Dhobi Ghat in Mumbai on Jan. 20.