CHENNAI: In yet another first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at helping women, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday announced that separate enclosures would be set up in all government bus terminals and depots across the State to help lactating mothers feed their babies in total privacy. The scheme will be launched on August 1 to coincide with the World Breastfeeding Week.
“When lactating mothers need to travel to other places on account of their work, they have to wait at bus terminals and the journey time might take a couple of hours. The separate enclosures would be useful for these mothers who can breastfeed their babies in privacy,” the Chief Minister said in a statement here.
Observing that doctors across the world had agreed that mother’s milk alone should be given to babies during the first six months, Jayalalithaa pointed out that since 1990 the week beginning August 1 is being observed as World Breastfeeding Week. With a view to help those babies whose mothers have insufficient milk secretion, a mother’s milk bank was started as a pilot project in the Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children in Egmore. ‘Breastfeeding and work - let’s make it work’ is the theme of the Breast feeding Week this year i.e., the obstacles faced by lactating mothers in feeding their babies should be removed and hence the setting up of separate enclosures,” the Chief Minister said.
Emphasizing that the growth of a nation depended on the development of women, Jayalalithaa said successive governments headed by her had initiated many innovative schemes for the welfare of women, Some of the measures include cradle baby scheme, girl children protection scheme, women’s literacy scheme, distribution of sanitary napkins, setting up of sanitary complexes for women, 13-point charter for checking crimes against women, round-the-clock maternal care scheme, provision of gold for thaali, marriage assistance schemes for poor girls, setting up of schools for girl students near their place of living, etc.
“It is my strong belief that if responsibility is given to women, they can not only change their own fate but also that of others,” Jayalalithaa said and pointed out that she had implemented numerous schemes for the development of women. The schemes include setting up of all women police stations, women special task force, self help groups, exclusive industrial complexes for women entrepreneurs, hostels for working women, six months maternity leave for women, allocation of one third of posts in local bodies for women, distribution of milch cows and goats, fans, mixies and grinders free of cost, etc.