Telangana: The Devarakonda village in Nalgonda district of Telangana got its first breastfeeding room on Tuesday, August 11th, at its inter-district bus stand.

This is a sign of progress in a place where development is lacking in many areas. The majority of the population in this constituency is from tribal communities.

A resident of the village, Anish Kumar, came up with an idea to create a closed space for women who need to breastfeed a year ago. Speaking to Newsmeter, the 21-year old said, "I was traveling home from Chennai when I saw few women feeling uncomfortable about feeding their newborns in public. Then it struck me that mothers need their privacy which led to the creation of this room."

Anish has a degree in civil engineering from Welltech University, Chennai. He co-founded his NGO, Anish Organisation, with his mother a few months ago. "Women end up being shamed by their neighbours when they try to feed their babies, especially in an area like ours. This can lead to newborns not receiving the nourishment they need," he said.

Just like a similar kiosk at an airport, Anish decided to illustrate the purpose of the room on its walls in Telugu and in pictures. He said, "Illustrations at bus stations help senior citizens guide their way, since they are not that adept to reading. I did something similar with this breastfeeding room." His station is decorated with the image of a woman breastfeeding her baby.

The room is a makeshift structure constructed with plywood and offers a seating area as well.

Anish has also helped the needy suffering from the economic fallout of the pandemic. He asked students of two nearby schools to bring a fistful of rice from their homes. Together he managed to collect 2.5 quintals of rice that he distributed to those in need.

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