Unlike the restrooms available for women commuters at most railway stations in the city, Bandra railway station will be the first to set up a separate room for the care of expecting or lactating mothers.
In a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project of the Union Bank of India for the Western Railway, a specific revamp of toilet space is planned on platform number 1.
The existing toilet block will be renovated to have more washrooms for both men and women and a separate room to cater to mothers and infants.
“The toilet block would include a specific ladies care room for breast-feeding. It would be made available to them for free and women would be allowed to spend as much time as they require inside the room. Mothers could also use the room for changing their baby’s clothes and other requirements,” a Union Bank of India official said.
With the introduction of the unit, the railways is also expected to make available essential items, such as baby food, milk and hot water, among other items.
At present, waiting rooms for women at certain A1 railway stations like CST and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus have spaces allocated for mothers. Officials said this is the first time ever a baby nursing room is being developed for specific care of mothers and children. “In a brainstorming session between a committee set up of the bank and railway officials, we thought provision of a specific room for mothers in the station could prove to be a great benefit. …this would be one of a kind initiative we believe,” the bank official added.
“The baby nursing room could be a resting room for mothers as no actual space exist for their concerns on railway stations. We thought this could be a great addition among the other facilities provided in the toilet,” a senior WR official said.
The toilets will be redesigned with its boards and doors having wooden carvings to grant it a heritage feel. In its other works, lamp posts, boards and benches will be redesigned in wood to add to the heritage feel.
Female commuters have approved the thought of having a separate ladies care room. “It is a must for female commuters. The room will benefit mothers who can get some privacy with their children at crowded railway stations,” Neena Ghate, a commuter, said.
The toilet is expected to be built by June 15 at a cost of Rs 1 crore. The Agasti foundation for railways has been asked to carry out the project.