A new toilet policy is a welcome relief for female diners and their children in Bangalore. Photo: iStock

Whether they eat or not, women and children can now use restrooms in Bangalore restaurants free of charge.

Bangalore’s restaurateurs have voluntarily decided to follow the example of their counterparts in south Delhi by opening their toilets to women and children. It is a welcome decision in a country where there is a shortage of public toilets.

Chandrashekar Hebbar, president of the BBMP Hotels’ Association, was quoted as saying, “Since we’ve always had toilets available, and we respect women and value their dignity, we decided to follow Delhi’s model and allow anyone in need to use our facility. We are instructing all hotels in the city to do so from Wednesday onwards.”

Though many hoteliers have happily accepted this move, some restaurant owners are a little apprehensive. Bangalore Mirror quoted Subhankar Dhar, who runs a restaurant called Espalande Potstickers, as saying that they’ve rarely refused such requests. “If it becomes a rule, we will, of course, have to oblige.”

He added: “But one must understand that it adds to the overhead cost of a restaurant because we would need to hire additional staff to keep the washrooms clean. So from a business perspective, it makes little sense. But like I said, if we have to do it, we will.”

Considering the acute scarcity of clean, usable public toilets, the move will be a big relief for the city’s women and children.