Kerala: In A First, Kochi Metro Sets Up Breastfeeding Pods For Lactating Mothers
In what one might call a massive step towards making public spaces more women-friendly, the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has reportedly tied up with a health startup and a private hospital to set up breastfeeding pods for lactating mothers across four stations on its network.
KMRL sets up breastfeeding pods
This may arguably be the first time in India where a metro train system has provided new mothers with such a progressive step. The first breastfeeding pod was inaugurated at the Aluva train station by APM Mohammed Hanish, managing director, KMRL. Moreover, in the next month, three more pods at Edappally, MG Road and Lissie stations are going to be opened to the public.
The New Indian Express quoted Hanish as saying, “The attempt is to give mothers a private breastfeeding space in our Metro stations. We may extend the plan to more stations in future.” He further added that the purpose is to add more safe spaces for women in public and that this step has been taken after considering how difficult it becomes for lactating mothers to breastfeed in public.
The pods have reportedly been developed by a startup, “‘I love 9 months’ and are 4 ft x 4 ft compact rooms. The pods are made out of fibre-reinforced plastic and come with comfortable seating arrangements, a fan, lighting and a charging point as well. Reportedly each pod costs Rs 1.5 lakh which excludes the GST rates. The pods also contain information for new mothers who are breastfeeding. During the initial phase, the pods have been sponsored under the corporate social responsibility initiatives of CIMAR Hospitals. Reportedly, the startup has been in talks with the Indian Railways to set up similar breastfeeding pods across stations from Kanyakumari to Thrissur, reported The Indian Express.
Breastfeeding in public spaces are still a taboo in India as well as in many parts of the world. While certain places like the mall or airports sport a breastfeeding pod, there are many other which compel women to breastfeed in public, attracting the unsolicited stares of strangers. The Logical Indian applauds the KMRL for such an initiative which will allow a safe space for new mothers, thereby ultimately making their journey experiences way more comfortable.