Ask Amma

Seen in Taloda …Hirkani Kaksha (Breastfeeding Room)

In Field Notes on 25 June 2022 at 10:51 pm

A friend sent me a poster seen in a bus stop in Taloda. Indicating the location of the”Hirkani Kaksha” or “Breastfeeding Room” was a colorful poster with a picture of none other than yours truly. At first I was worried that it was some kind of advertisement. When I learned that this was a room at a bus stop to allow mothers a private place for breastfeeding I worried that breastfeeding was being pushed out of the public space. I have always defended the right of babies to breastfeed wherever they are allowed to be. As long as breastfeeding in public is still welcome, however, I can see the value of also having the option to get out of the crowd, esp if baby is easily distracted. And I am particularly pleased with the choice of the photo, showing a mother who is calmly looking ahead while baby – toddler, in fact – nurses.

I am assuming if they have made this poster it is on display in more than just the one place, but I am tickled to see it in Taloda as this is a place we have actually been to.

A note about the name – Hirkani comes from a 17th century Marathi tale about a young mother, Hirkani who lived in the mountain ranges of Western Ghats. Legend has it that when she was accidentally locked behind the fort gates of the Kings palace, Hirkani scaled down a 1000-foot vertical cliff to breastfeed her baby. When the King heard of her courage, he was so impressed that he honored her by naming the village where she lived Hirkani Village. This village still exists today.  (from Hirkani’s Daughters.)

Poster indicating the Hirkani Kaksha – Breastfeeding Room – available in the bus stop at Taloda

As regular readers of this column know, Ask Amma does not advertise. If anything I think of what I do as anti-advertising, in the sense that I promote ways not to have to buy things. My reward comes not from commissions on sales but on the good that grows in the world when people buy less.

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