The Archaeological Survey of India has decided to include more heritage monuments in the list of places that will have breastfeeding rooms. By Ishani Singh

A UNESCO world heritage site and one among the seven wonder’s of the world, the magnificent Taj Mahal is all set to have a breastfeeding room. Vasant Kumar Swarnkar, an official at the Archaeological Survey of India stated that the inspiration to take this progressive decision came after he witnessed a mother struggling to feed her baby at the monument.

Speaking to the Thomas Reuters foundation, he said, “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 a basic motherhood right. So, I thought we have to do something.”

Breastfeeding in public places is still considered immoral and remains a stigmatic problem in many parts of the world, which makes it difficult for mother’s to conveniently attend to their babies. This step will serve to overcome this regressive mind-set to a great extent. According to reports, the measure will be implemented in the month of July. The nursing room is expected to be equipped with fans, lights and chairs in order to give priority to the user’s comfort.

In August 2015, a mother was told to leave the tourist attraction Corral del Carbón because she was breastfeeding her nine-month-old infant in public. The incident incited controversy from various mother’s rights groups. Another incident took place in Germany where a Berlin woman started a campaign for a law guaranteeing women’s right to breastfeed in public after she was expelled from a café for feeding her child. “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,” said Swarnkar.

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