Published: 29th September 2022
Bihar: Controversy sparks after IAS officer snaps back at student for asking about sanitary napkins
"Tomorrow you will say the government can give jeans pants too...you expect the government to give you family planning methods, and condoms," she said
While the world is running towards making basic amenities available for women, the school students of Bihar had to bear the snarky comments of IAS officer Harjot Kaur Bamhrah, who also heads Bihar’s Women and Child Development Corporation.
The comments and responses of the IAS officer rose to a heated argument between her and the students during a workshop on Sashakt Beti, Samriddh Bihar event which had the tag line “Towards enhancing the value of girls", as stated in a report by News18.
What actually happened?
A video circulated on social media displayed the argument between the two. It is seen in the video that a girl student asked, “The government provides us almost everything like school uniform, etc. Can the government give sanitary pads to us at Rs 20-30?" The audience, which mostly consisted of Class IX and X school girls, clapped.
Replying to this, Bamhrah said, “Those clapping, tell me is there any end to such demands? Tomorrow you will say the government can give jeans and pants too. And after that why not some beautiful shoes? Eventually, when it comes to family planning you will expect the government to give you family planning methods, and condoms, too. Why there is need to take everything for free?"
If you think this is all, then there is more to it. When one of the students reminded the officer that the country's government is formed with the help of votes, Bamhrah retorted saying, “This is heights of stupidity. Don’t vote, then. Bann jao Pakistan (become like Pakistan). Do you vote for money and services?". Immediately, students said, “Why would I go to Pakistan? I am an Indian."
Realising that her comments can welcome criticism from people, the officer said, “What is the need to take anything from the government? This thinking is wrong. Do it yourself."
Is it all?
No. When a student raised the issue of the dilapidated condition of the girls’ toilet in her school and how boys also enter the washroom, Bhamra questioned, “Do you all have separate toilets at home? How is it going to work if you keep asking for several things at different places?"
Further, the audience interrupted asking why government schemes exist then. The officer replied, “Thinking needs to be changed."
Giving a lecture to the girls sharing the stage with her, Bhamra said, “You need to decide where you want to see yourself in the future. The government cannot do this for you. Do you want to sit where you are at present, or on the side I am sitting on?", as stated in a report by News18.