The Delhi and Lucknow divisions of the Northern Railway provided foldable berths for travellers commuting with newborns as part of a test program on Mother’s Day this year.
On the Lucknow Mail’s two lower main berths, ‘baby berths’ have been installed for a trial run. This service will be expanded to other trains based on the response and feedback received from passengers.
Parents can use these berths to handle infants who are too young to be left alone on a single ordinary berth. A stopper is installed in the berth to prevent babies from falling out during transit.
Facilitating ease of travel for mothers travelling with their babies.— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) May 10, 2022
Indian Railways introduced baby berth on experimental basis in Lucknow Mail 12229/30, Coach No. 194129/B4, berth No. 12 & 60.
The fitted baby berth is foldable & secured with a stopper. pic.twitter.com/THZvL4MJhk
Satish Kumar, the divisional railway manager of the Lucknow Northern Railway, tweeted about the berths, along with a video explaining how to use the berth’s straps, close it, and use it again.
On trial basis Delhi Division has started baby berth in selected trains for facilitating mothers to comfortably sleep along with their babies. IR under the leadership of Hon MoR @AshwiniVaishnaw Sir & Hon MoSR @DarshanaJardosh ma'am is taking Service to another level pic.twitter.com/zQ8pD3V3bd— Sanjay Kumar IRTS (@Sanjay_IRTS) May 10, 2022
Although the thought behind this initiative is pure, the execution and design are poor in taste.
Many of them claim that no mother was consulted prior to its making. Here are some of their reactions.
apart from the impracticality of this rubbery straightjacket contraption & that huge gap which screams mishaps, no mother (or dad) will be comfortable placing their kid towards the outside while she/he sleeps snuck next to the safety of the carriage wall @RailMinIndia https://t.co/I7hFTRx9qq— Richa Lakhera (@RICHA_LAKHERA) May 12, 2022
Dear Indian Railways, i don’t think this was designed using the baby in mind.— abhaychawla13 (@abhaychawla13) May 12, 2022
Will your lady officers or the wives of male officers put a baby to sleep next to a steep drop?
who is coming up with these ideas? https://t.co/qgVNBSLZaW
Which mother will keep the baby like this? Baby’s are put always to the side of wall….. https://t.co/pQmm8fhFHz— Santosh Verma (@vsankumar) May 12, 2022
Good thought process, terrible designing and execution. https://t.co/poF5xb1dsb— S (@ThatStarGazer) May 11, 2022
I don’t think the design committee had a woman.A simple design would have been to increase the breadth of the main seat to let the child & mother sleep on the same seat. & allocate these special seats who travel with infants. #IndianRailways https://t.co/XDN2uUDph9— Randomtalks (@mindfooly) May 11, 2022
Anybody with a child or a baby will tell you that this is a bad design..babies are always towards the wall for safety and not outside like this for them to fall and injure themselves…#IndianRailways https://t.co/DBR2nHLHvP— Chida Murthy (@chidamn) May 11, 2022
Great idea but what if someone drops something from upper or middle berth.. https://t.co/aGfPuCgqCF— Satyam Kumar bhardwaj (@Satyam04380385) May 12, 2022
There is clearly a slew of what-ifs with this innovation, and because this is a test programme, the department should keep track of the feedback.