The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) will soon be introducing breastfeeding rooms in Taj Mahal, India’s UNESCO heritage site. Speaking to Reuters, Vasant Kumar Swarnakar, a top official with the ASI, stated that he was inspired to bring about the initiative after he saw a mother struggling to feed her baby at the monument.
“The woman was crouched and hiding under a staircase, while her husband stood near her to provide cover. I could see it was difficult for her (to feed her child), which is basic motherhood right. So I thought we have to do something,” said Vasant.
The monument will implement the measures from July onwards. As per reports, the nursing room will have fans, lights, chairs and will be made keeping the comfort of the mother in mind. In addition to the Taj Mahal, officials from the Archeological Survey of India have decided that a few more monuments in Agra will also be fitted with a baby feeding room. With this, Taj Mahal will be the first monument in the country to have a baby feeding room.
Breastfeeding in public is still viewed as a stigma in several parts of India, making it difficult for mothers to feed their babies. Recognising this problem and in an effort to make breastfeeding easier for mothers, authorities in the state of Kerala introduced a nursing pod in at the Aluva metro rail station. Managing director of the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), APM Mohamed Hanish inaugurated the pod in February.
“KMRL is a women-friendly organisation with around 700 female employees working with us. We are happy to introduce one more friendly facility for them by introducing private breastfeeding spaces at our metro stations,” he said.
In addition to the pod at the Aluva metro station, officials from KMRL have plans to introduce more breastfeeding pods at other stations, too. MG Road, Lissie Junction and Edapally metro stations will have the nursing pods for mothers. The pods were the brainchild of a maternity wellness start-up called ‘I Love 9 Months.’