Mumbai: The Central Railway plans to set up 13 state-of-the-art nursing pods at seven major railway stations of Mumbai division, including the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Dadar, Thane, and Kalyan, to create a safe and comfortable zone for breastfeeding women during their journeys.
These nursing pods will be set up under Indian Railway's Non -Fare Revenue policy and its services will be available free of cost for commuters. Under the scheme, one nursing pod will be set up at the CSMT, three each at Dadar and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, two each at Thane and Lonavala, and one each at Kalyan and Panvel, according to a senior railway official.
Each pod will consist of comfortable, cushioned seating, a diaper-changing station, a fan, a light, and a dustbin to dispose of soiled diapers, the official said. The sides of the pod will contain advertisements of licensee for complete contract period and will be made visibly attractive, he said.
The maintenance and the security of the pod will be the responsibility of the licensee.
Material that would be a part of the nursing pod would be replenished according to usage. Wear and tear or defects in electrical equipment such as fans and lights would be resolved quickly, the railway official said.
Nearly 35 lakh people on average use the services of the Central Railway everyday and around 20 per cent of them are women.
"Travelling in suburban local trains with a baby is undoubtedly an enormously difficult task. The lack of amenities for expecting and breastfeeding mothers makes it worse," said Ms Sujata Shah a frequent commuter. As such, the nursing pods will be a huge relief for several nursing mothers, she said.
“Many women start working even as they take care of their babies. Thus, this scheme will be big help for those women for not only feeding their babies but also for changing diapers,” said Ms Mridula Jha, a frequent commuter from Thane.
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