The Taj Mahal, built as a monument to a woman who died in childbirth, is set to get a baby feeding room in a first for India where conservative attitudes toward public breastfeeding mean nursing mothers are often shamed and told to cover up.
Vasant Kumar Swarnkar, a top official at the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) in Agra city - home to the Taj Mahal - said the baby feeding room would be set up by July to help the "millions of mothers who visit with their babies".
A regular visitor to the 17th century monument to eternal love, Swarnkar said he got the idea last week when he spotted a mother hiding under a staircase and struggling to breastfeed her baby despite her husband providing extra cover.
"I could see it was so difficult for her (to feed her child) which is a basic motherhood right. So I thought we have to do something," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Public breastfeeding still carries a social stigma in India where mothers are expected to be covered head-to-toe.
Last year, mothers in the eastern city of Kolkata protested outside a mall where employees told a woman to nurse her baby in a toilet and mocked her complaint.
The Taj Mahal attracts up to 8 million visitors annually. Swarnkar said he has ordered two other historical monuments in Agra to set up similar feeding rooms.
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The ASI said this was the first time it was providing such a facility at any of India's 3,600 plus monuments.
"My hope is that more and more monuments - not only in India but around the world - replicate this (plan) so that women can feed their babies comfortably," said Swarnkar.
In 2017, the director of London's Victoria and Albert museum apologised to a mother, who was asked to cover up while breastfeeding her baby. Two years earlier, another was expelled from Spain's Corral del Carbon monument for nursing her baby.