India's Women and Child Development minister Renuka Chowdhury has called for the setting up of a crèche parliament complex in New Delhi, the national capital. And the facility is to be available not for MPs alone, but all the women who work there.
If only a crèche is set up, it would come as a great relief to young mothers who now leave behind their children at home, the minister has noted in her appeal to Speaker Somnath Chatterjee of the Lok Sabha, the lower House of the Parliament.
'The proposal is under consideration for sometime now. But it is being delayed because of security considerations,' said an official.
Renuka has also called for steps to sensitise male parliamentarians towards the needs of their female colleagues.
Women members who were expecting or have small kids should be given priority in raising questions and participating in debates, the minister told Times of India Tuesday.
'I carried my three-month-old baby with me and I remember that at times I missed out on my turn to raise questions or participate in debates because it used to be feeding time for my daughter,' Renuka pointed out, recollecting her own experience when she came to Parliament for the first time.
Addressing a conference of state ministers for women and child welfare, Chowdhury announced her ministry's plan to open an online application system for various schemes and said the government would soon sanction anganwadi (child care) centres on demand.
She said that states had been given three months to implement crucial schemes like appointment of protection officers for domestic violence and setting up of state child rights commissions.