At a Patna event on ‘enhancing value of girls’, a shocking and derogatory remarks of an IAS officer replying to students requesting free sanitary pads and separation of women’s toilets have ended up in a controversy.
According to reports, during a workshop on ‘Sashakt Beti, Samriddh Bihar’, Harjot Kaur Bhamra, who is the managing director of Bihar Women Development Corporation, was asked if the state government can make sanitary pads available to them at Rs 20-30.
The audience, which mostly consisted of Class 9 and 10 school girls, clapped.
To this, Bamhrah replied, “Those clapping, tell me is there any end to such demands? Tomorrow you will say the government can give jeans 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?”
The officer did try to spin a lesson from her remarks. “Why do you need to take anything from the government? This way of thinking is wrong. Do it yourself,” she told the audience.
But the series of question-answer shockers ran long.
When a student said the girls’ toilet in her school remains broken and that boys often enter, the officer replied, “Tell me, do you have separate toilets at home? If you keep asking for a lot things at different places, how will it work?”
It did not end here.
When another student apprised the officer about the dilapidated condition of girls’ toilet in her school and how boys also enter in the washroom, Bhamra said, “Do you all have separate toilets at home? How is it going to work if you keep asking for several things at different places?”
Meanwhile, an audience member interfered and asked Bhamra why government schemes exist then. To this, she said, “Thinking needs to be changed.”