Kolkata mall says no to breastfeeding, retracts after social media uproar

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New Dehli | Published: November 29, 2018 4:25:29 PM

The mall authority's arrogant response started spreading on social media like wildfire and drew instant criticism. The South City Mall eventually issued an apology on its Facebook page.

breastfeedThe Kolkata mall incident has brought light to the need of having infant room or mother-child rooms in malls.

A posh mall in West Bengal’s capital city of Kolkata came under fire for asking a visitor to breastfeed her baby in the toilet. The matter escalated into a major controversy after the 29-year-old visitor narrated her harrowing experience in a Facebook post. “There is no place to breastfeed on the top of it your staff asked me to feed in the toilet…disgusting place. Such a big useless mall,” the lady wrote.

In bizarre reply, the South City Mall justified the action of not allowing the mother to breastfeed her baby citing “a number of reasons”.

“Funny you found this to be an issue because breastfeeding is not allowed on the floor for number of reasons. In case of any 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 before hand. It’s not like your baby needs to be breastfed at any moment so you need arrangements to be made for your at any public area to breastfeed your child anywhere you wish to? We cannot compromise the privacy of other people in public places can we?” the South City Mall replied to the lady’s Facebook post.

The mall authority’s arrogant response started spreading on social media like wildfire and drew instant criticism. The South City Mall eventually issued an apology on its Facebook page. “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. Please find attached the response made by the South City Management yesterday night at around 11:30 pm upon noticing the revert made by our Agent handling the Face Book page.

“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 1 Baby Changing room on 1st level along with Kids Toilet is available. We clarify that South City tries to take care of the smallest requirement a Patron would need at Mall at any time.”

Shifting the blame on an agent, the mall further said that it was he who made the statement without knowing the facts. “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 inconvenience caused to the concern patron despite all the amenities available at Mall. We never intend to hurt anyone’s sentiment and/or disrespect.”

The incident has brought light to the need of having infant room or mother-child rooms in malls. Moreover, it points to the need for being more sensitive in dealing with such issues.

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