States, UTs sitting on fiat to set up feeding rooms: Centre to HC
The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that it has requested all the states and Union territories to set up separate feeding rooms for ensuring privacy for mothers and their babies in public places but none of them have responded yet
New Delhi: The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that it has requested all the states and Union territories to set up separate feeding rooms for ensuring privacy for mothers and their babies in public places but none of them have responded yet.
The Centre’s response was filed before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao, which is scheduled to hear on Wednesday the plea filed on behalf of a newborn regarding setting up of basic facilities like feeding and changing rooms at public places for women and children.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development said it has been corresponding with and writing to the chief secretaries of the states and Union territories regarding the issue involved in the petition and letters were written to them on August 27, 2018 but no reply has been received from any of the states.
The affidavit said that the ministry is continuously pursuing the petitioner’s case with the chief secretaries of the states. It added that in 2017, it had sent letters to various Union ministries -- Railways, Civil Aviation and Road Transport and Highways -- requesting them to set up feeding rooms for babies.
The court was hearing a PIL filed on behalf of a mother and her newborn seeking facilities for breastfeeding in public places away from “censuring and dishonourable looks”. The plea, filed through advocate Animesh Rastogi, contends that not providing such facilities amounts to “hampering" women’s right to privacy.
The high court had earlier sought the stand of the Centre, Delhi government and civic authorities here on plea for providing facilities to mothers to breastfeed in public places, observing that they were being provided all over the world.
It had said the matter needed to be examined by all the land owning agencies and civic bodies and issued notice to the municipal bodies and Delhi Development Authority (DDA), apart from the Centre and the Delhi government.
It had noted there were no facilities to breastfeed even in airports here.