Last year, many of us were outraged when prestigious mall employees told a new mom to nurse her baby in a toilet.
Despite her repeated pleas to shopkeepers and security staff, she was denied a private space to breastfeed her child at South City Mall in Kolkata.
What made people angrier was the fact that rather than apologizing or updating their facilities, the Mall told her to:
“ [to] do her home chores at home and not at a mall”
She was told Mall was meant for shopping and not for breastfeeding.
But, when a similar incident happened in Taj Mahal, this man made sure that the new moms of India are not insulted and they get the fair share of respect and care that they deserve.
When Vasant Kumar Swarnkar, a top official at the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) in Agra city, spotted a mother hiding under a staircase and struggling to breastfeed her baby with her husband providing extra cover.
While recalling her struggle, Vasant shared:
“I could see it was so difficult for her (to feed her child) which is basic motherhood right. So I thought we have to do something.”
Hence, to support “millions of mothers who visit Taj Mahal with their babies”, Vasant has taken it on himself to have a baby feeding room set up by July at the Taj.
As shared by Reuters, the Taj Mahal attracts up to 8 million visitors annually. Swarnkar said he has ordered two other historical monuments in Agra to set up similar feeding rooms. The ASI said this was the first time it was providing such a facility at any of India’s 3,600 plus monuments.
Recalling the struggles of new moms, Swarnkar shared:
“My hope is that more and more monuments – not only in India but around the world – replicate this (plan) so that women can feed their babies comfortably.”
Though we celebrate Vasant and his humanitarian act, we can’t stop wondering when will our society stop seeing breastfeeding as an embarrassing act.
It is one of the most important activities for human race survival, then how can our society penalize moms for feeding their babies?