Do your ‘home chores’ elsewhere: Mall shames woman for breastfeeding

KOLKATA: A shopping centre in Kolkata denied a young mother the permission to breastfeed her baby.

The incident happened on Sunday when Abhilasha Arup DasAdhikari was out shopping with her family and it was time to feed her seven-month-old daughter.

Narrating her ordeal, DasAdhikari revealed how a staff at the mall suggested she go to the toilets and feed her baby, which she described as a “disgusting” idea.

“I entered the washroom but it was very smelly so I could not feed my baby there. She was hungry and crying and out of desperation, I tried to use a corridor bunch but it was very uncomfortable. I then approached a few shopkeepers, but they refused. I then approached the multiplex, they too did not help. The baby was wailing but the mall staff did not move. I then encountered an apparel shop that did not have any customers in it. I approached them and they gave me a cramped trail to breastfeed in,” the 29-year-old mother was quoted The Times of India as saying.

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After her experience, DasAdhikari gave the mall a critical review on its Facebook page, writing: “There is no place to breastfeed..on the top of it.your staff asked me to feed in the toilet… disgusting place. Such a biiiiig useless mall [sic].”

The mall’s response, which was widely shared on social media have since been deleted but a screenshot has been shared widely that begins: “Funny how you found this to be an issue because breastfeeding is not allowed on the floor for a number of reasons. In case of emergency we can make arrangements to help someone but cartainly 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 your home and not in the mall or at least plan it beforehand [sic].”

The management of South City Mall has since published an apologetic statement on its Facebook page and has sacked the official who responded.

“We still apologies for inconvenience caused to the concern patron despite all the amenities available at Mall,” they wrote. “We never intend to hurt anyone’s sentiment and/or disrespect.”