Set up breastfeeding room at railway stations, Maneka Gandhi writes to Suresh Prabhu

Union Minister for Women and Child Welfare, Maneka Gandhi’s office was flooded with letters from angry women passengers expressing their grievances on the lack of amenities for mothers who need to breastfeed their babies

Australian senator makes history, breastfeeds her baby in Parliament
Larissa Waters breastfeeds her two-month-old baby Alia Joy in Parliament Image Courtesy: CNN

After Larissa Waters, an Australian senator made history by becoming the first woman to breast feed her baby in parliament during a session. Back home in India, Union Minister for Women and Child Welfare, Maneka Gandhi’s office was flooded with letters from angry women passengers.

Sources say that, the letters mention there are no breastfeeding facilities available at the railway station when their baby is hungry and he/she has to be nursed. They made their displeasure about the lack of facilities clear in the letters sent to the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

To put an end to their daily ordeal, women passengers have urged to the minister to setup nursing facilities as soon as possible.

Set up breastfeeding room at railway stations, Maneka Gandhi writes to Suresh Prabhu
Union Minister for Women and Child welfare, Maneka Gandhi

Sources in the ministry said, after receiving letters from the aggrieved women, Maneka Gandhi has shot a letter to Union Railway Minister.

In the letter addressed to Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Mrs Gandhi has stated that, “When women passengers wait on the stations for long hours, they cannot breastfeed their baby. They have no facilities to change their clothes as well. And his is due to lack of infrastructure at the railway stations.”

In the letter she has added that, she had spoken to the aviation minister personally, and he has assured her that there are designated areas at airports for nursing and breastfeeding babies.

Maneka Gandhi has further demanded that the railways should designate a special room for the women passengers on each and every station. CCTV cameras should be placed outside the doors for security.

The letter further states that, that a number of woman passengers travel at night. And they prefer to wait rather that travelling alone in the night. For passengers like this a room with all the safety measures is a must. And this room should be attached to the waiting room.

“If this becomes a reality, it will be beneficiary for women and their babies. Every baby has a right to get breast milk. A private and clean room at stations will facilitate breastfeeding at public places,” says Dr. Sarita Bhagawat, Lactation Consultant

The minister has also raised the point that, female police should be posted on each and every station at night, so that the ladies can seek their help in case of an emergency.