The district administration of Udupi in Karnataka has introduced a women’s rest room, catering to all the needs of women staff and women visitors – from safe drinking water to sanitary napkin vending machine, from baby changing station to toilet facility, all within the Deputy Commissioner’s Office.
“It’s a one of its kind facility in a government office,” Deputy Commissioner, Ms. Hephsiba R. Korlapati said of this pioneer initiative. The facility is not just for women employees, but also for women who visit DC’s office for grievance redressal or other work, she added.
The space provides access to crèche, a baby changing station, safe drinking water, a common room to relax and have lunch, and also serves as a waiting room. It would also offer the much-needed respite particularly to pregnant and lactating mothers.
In addition, the toilet facility is equipped with an incinerator, sanitary napkin vending machine, changing room, both Indian and Western toilets, making it a sanitised and safe space for women of Udupi district.
It was during elections and while attending to emergency work like flood relief, that Ms. Korlapati had personally observed that women staff ended up working for long hours, often having to travel far to reach workplaces. The concept of a rest room facility specifically for women took shape from that experience.
Plans are in the pipeline to set up such facilities in other buildings in due course.
Earlier, the dynamic DC who is currently the Managing Director, Smart City Company (Special Purpose Vehicle), Bengaluru had introduced various women centric initiatives such as honouring pregnant women, providing toilets for girl children, etc. as a part of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin.