Western Railway (WR), on Wednesday, unveils ‘Baby Feeding Corner’ for nursing mothers who can now breastfeed at peace while on the move. The Palghar station in Mumbai Division now has the first baby feeding centre.

Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer of Western Railway, said “The baby feed centre at Palghar is to create awareness about breastfeeding and to facilitate nursing mothers to feed their new-born.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Western Railway installs the first ‘Baby Feeding Centre’
  • The first centre has been installed at Palghar station in Mumbai
  • Child Help Foundation, NGO helped to set up this centre
  • WR has always taken care of safety and security of its women commuters

The corner has been installed with the help of Child Help Foundation. Moreover, WR is also planning to install similar baby feeding centres at 14 other stations.

Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer of Western Railway, said “The baby feed centre at Palghar is to create awareness about breastfeeding and to facilitate nursing mothers to feed their new-born.”

Santosh Ranar, one of the contractors of the project said “We have an area of 25 Sq Ft for the cubicle at Palghar station. It will be built at a cost of two lakh.” He added saying, “There are plans to construct 14 similar centres at other stations.” The other 14 stations where the ‘Baby Feeding Corner’ is to be constructed will be between Mumbai and Dahawu stations.

Also Read: Five Reasons Why Breastfeeding Is Best For Baby

WR provides series of amenities for women commuters

WR in a statement said that it has always taken care of the safety and security of its women commuters whether its starting the world’s first ever ladies special train on May 5,1992 or providing better securities facilities.

In an attempt to increase women’s safety in trains, Western Railway has installed ‘Talk Back’ facility in first class and women’s compartment in 72 trains, which is about 70 percent of its total fleet.  This will allow women travellers to speak to the guard and motorman in case any emergency takes place.

Also, in an attempt to depict a society that is fast changing, Western Railways has changed the logo that was used to represent women coaches. The current logo which has a woman with a ghoonghat over her head is to be replaced with a woman in a formal suit. Not only is there be a change in the logo but the coaches also have posters of inspirational women, like the badminton star Saina Nehwal, cricketer Mithali Raj, and astronaut Kalpana Chawla, along with their achievements.

Public Breastfeeding

In some parts of the world including Australia, the US and Europe, women have explicit legal right to nurse in public and in the workplace. India has no legal statute that deals with breastfeeding.

The corner has been installed with the help of Child Help Foundation. Moreover, WR is also planning to install similar baby feeding centres at 14 other stations.

Breastfeeding common in lower economic sections

Prevalence and social acceptance vary from region to region. In rural India, it is completely acceptable. Breastfeeding in public is not a norm in higher sections of society, but is quite common in lower economic sections.

In metropolitan cities women find it uncomfortable to breastfeed in public. They always struggle to find a place to breastfeed their child.

One year ago there was a case regarding breastfeeding in Kolkata. According to TOI, a mother found it hard to breastfeed her child at South City Mall in Kolkata. Where a shop owners and security personnel denied her space feed her child.

Other railway stations that have breastfeeding facilities

On October 26, 2017 the first breastfeeding centre was launched by WR at Bandra. This was for the first time that in a suburban network a breastfeeding room was operational.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Mharaj Terminus, Matheran, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Kalyan, Dadar, Thane, Panvel, Lonavala and Lgatpuri also have this facility.

Read also: Three World Heritage Sites In Agra To Have Special Baby Feeding Rooms

Kumari Shivanjali is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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