When an Indian woman wants to breastfeed her baby in public, it is easier than in most other countries because of the long, wide dupatta (scarf) that most women wear over their chest.
They drape it over their baby and breast, and onlookers are none the wiser. But the taboo remains which is why a magazine is trying to smash it by featuring a groundbreaking cover photo of a model breastfeeding a baby, possibly the first time any such picture has appeared in India.
The women’s magazine, . It shows a model, , is published in Kerala, south IndiaGilu Joseph, staring directly into the camera with a baby at her breast. The headline reads: "Mums, tell Kerala - don't stare, we want to breastfeed".
The cover of the March 2018 edition of India's women’s magazine Grihalakshmi sought to break the taboo.
The magazine’s deputy editor, Moncy Joseph (no relative of the model), said he wanted to raise awareness about the need for mothers to breastfeed in public without feeling uncomfortable and without being stared at."Some women do breastfeed in public but it’s always uncomfortable because people stare and men leer. We want women to do it freely, without inhibitions. It should be a positive experience for them. That’s why we have taken this issue to the forefront," he said.