Uproar in India after woman told she can't breastfeed at a mall

World Thursday 29/November/2018 12:43 PM
By: Times News Service
Uproar in India after woman told she can't breastfeed at a mall

Muscat: A woman in India who was told by staff at a prominent shopping mall in India that she could not breastfeed her child in public has received support from a number of people online.
Abhilasha Arup Das Adhikari, who lives in the Indian city of Kolkata, was breastfeeding her child at the South City Mall, when staff rudely told her to breastfeed her baby in the toilets. She then went on to slam the mall on Facebook, only to receive an even more obnoxious reply.
“There is no place to breastfeed,” she said, reviewing the mall online. “On the top that that your staff asked me to feed in the toilet...disgusting place. Such a big useless mall.”
South City Mall responded apathetically: “Funny you find this to be an issue because breastfeeding is not allowed on the floor for a number of reasons. In case of any emergency, we can make arrangements to help someone, but certainly, this big place that we have is meant for shopping, so with all due respect, madam, please make sure you do your home chores at home and not in the mall, or at least plan it beforehand.
The response added, “It’s not like your baby needs to be breastfed at any moment so you need arrangements to be made for you at any public place to breastfeed your child anywhere you wish to? We cannot compromise the privacy of other people in public places, can we?”
That response was later deleted by the mall after an enormous online outcry. Shocked at the shoddy treatment and insensitive response of the mall, many people threw their support behind Abhilasha. “What kind of reply is this?” questioned Rebecca Prakash. “When we are normalising breast feeding in public, we see such a disgraceful reply. Moms, please share this until it reaches the correct department, this happened with one of my friends.”
"Oh Calcutta!" said a sardonic Raja Mitra, "A great case study for how lack of coordination between the various divisions managing an enterprise or a property can lead to customer dissatisfaction and a PR disaster, how not to handle official social media pages and responses, how various personnel doing specific jobs, including social media handlers and workers, need to be trained and oriented.
"Here's the background. A woman, in a Kolkata mall, was made to run from pillar to post when she wanted to breastfeed her baby. Finally, after managing to do it inside a trial room, when she complained on the mall's official Facebook page, this is the response she got."
"Shame on South City Mall," added Priyanka Chakraborty. "It's a basic need and right also for a mother and baby. How is it possible for a mother to feed her baby in the toilet? You people are just disgusting."
Chandrima Sanyal added, "On my next visit, I will breastfeed my child in the mall. Let me see who stops me."
South City Mall have since apologised for their lack of tact in the matter: "Dear patrons, we had made an unconditional apology for the remark/comment made by our agency in accordance to the feedback/comment written by our valuable visitor in relate to her inconvenience for feeding the baby.
"We have provision for baby changing/feeding room, kids toilet etc. on every floor. Unfortunately, as the mall is not fully operational and partly under renovation, all services are not active but one baby changing room on the first level along with a kids’ toilet is available. We clarify that South City tries to take care of the smallest requirement a patron would need at the Mall at any time.
"It is our agent who without knowing the facts made such a comment in response to the feedback of our patron and we have taken the duly required action against the same yesterday itself. We still apologise for the inconvenience caused to the concerned patron despite all the amenities available at the Mall."