In a disheartening incident, a 23-year-old woman was denied to breastfeed her eight-month-old baby by college authorities during an examination.
When Nirmala Kumari, a new mother, was appearing for a supplementary exam for history at SS Jain Subodh PG Mahila Mahavidyalaya on Friday between 7 am to 10 am, her husband and their baby daughter were waiting outside the examination hall.
But, it was during that time the daughter started to cry out of hunger. Feeling helpless, this father requested the guard to let him inside the college so that he could get permission for his wife to breastfeed the child.
Recalling the unfortunate incident, the husband shared with HT:
“As soon as the guard let me inside premises, I saw a woman inside whom I guessed was a lecturer and asked her if I could get in touch with someone to get the permission. She said that this is not allowed in the college and asked me to leave.”
“Some other lecturer standing nearby told me that the woman who asked me to leave was a senior authority of the college and I will have to leave if she has said so.”
As the husband was left with no other option but to leave, the hungry daughter and her father had to wait outside the college premises until the examination was over.
The college principal Dr. Pramila Joshi, however, said that the college acted as per the rules and the vice principal acted very sympathetically with the child and her father.
“The rule says that the examinee cannot meet anyone after the exam is started. Moreover, no one from outside the exam hall can meet the examinee during the exam. We followed the rules and hence we are not at fault.”
But it brings back the question of when would our society stop seeing breastfeeding as a house chore. It is one of the most important activities for human race survival.
How can our society penalize women for such a critical act?
This sad incident makes us wonder why, even in the 21st century, most of our policies whether it is corporate or public, doesn’t support breastfeeding mothers.
As the whole world is celebrating breastfeeding awareness week (1st August – 7th August), we feel it’s high time that our country updates the archaic rules to make them motherhood supportive.
At I For Her, we stand with all new moms in this pursuit!