Kolkata: The staff at South City Mall in Kolkata denied a young mother to breastfeed anywhere inside the mall except for the washroom. She was told to breastfeed her child in the toilet of the mall, which she was disgusted with. Eventually, after pleading in front of guards and store managers, she found an apparel store which was comparatively empty, and the staff of the store allowed her to use the trial room.
The young woman was identified as Abhilasha Das Adhikari when she posted her feedback on the South City Mall’s Facebook page. Her post read “There is no place to breastfeed, on top of it your staff asked to breastfeed in the toilet.. disgusting place..”
To this feedback, the reply from South City Mall’s page was insensitive and rude. They said that the woman must have done all her household chores at home and that the mall was a place for shopping and not for nursing. The unkind reply from the Mall’s executive broke the woman’s heart and she garnered support from Facebook users in Kolkata and also other cities. People from all over started protesting online and gave a bad feedback at the Mall’s page. The Mall took down the option of reviewing them from their facebook page.
This incident went viral and the woman, in conversation with TOI, mentioned that feeding her child in the washroom was extremely uncomfortable and despite pleading to various storekeepers and the multiplex staff, no one came to help her. Then she spotted an apparel store with no customers and she approached them. They let her use the trial room.
The Management of the Mall blamed it all on the young executive that managed the Facebook Page. They said that the comment on Abhilasha’s feedback was made without the management’s consent. They apologized to the patrons in their latest post and also promised for better facilities and services.
People are sharing their similar experiences on social media which once again reiterates the fact that we don’t have breastfeeding facilities for mothers in public places and how they face difficulties due to this.
Breastfeeding is a natural biological need for a child from her mother and the least that the society can do is provide them with a safe and hygienic environment for the same. Playing a blame game here in order to shift the blame to someone else is not going to help. The need is to facilitate better. Since young mothers and women are a huge target market for shopping malls, providing them with these amenities like a nursing room, kids changing rooms etc. is a must.
People are slamming the mall for their insensitive behavior even after their apology.