HC seeks Centre’s, civic authorities’ response on lack of baby feeding rooms

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New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the state government and civic authorities on plea seeking construction of baby feeding and child care rooms at public places.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and C. Hari Shankar asked the Central government and other authorities to file an action taken report on the plea seeking guidelines for construction of baby feeding and child care centres at public places.

The bench, which was hearing a plea filed by a 9-month-old Avyaan through his mother Neha Rastogi and advocate Animesh Rastogi seeking court’s intervention in providing adequate facilities to lactating mothers and infants in the country, listed the matter for August 28 for further hearing.

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The bench asked the government agencies why baby feeding rooms, provided all over the world, have not been constructed in India.

“Women’s Right to Privacy is hampered due to lack of breastfeeding facilities at public places. Women are harassed and mocked by public at large,” the petitioner said.

“Breastfeeding in public has become a debatable issue when mothers find it difficult to manage nursing during travelling. Breast feeding in public is still a state of awkwardness among many young moms.”

The advocate also pointed at babies’ unpredictable nature which becomes hard for a mother to proactively prepare themselves for breast feeding.

Observing that mothers have lost hopes to live in a dignified manner in the country due to lack of basic facilities like feeding rooms, the plea said: “women have to disrobe themselves for feeding a child at public places and many times have to face sexual harassment by the public”.

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“Right to Privacy and Right to Life is infringed. State is duty bound to ensure that such rights are protected and enforced,” the plea said.

–IANS

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