The demand for affordable sanitary napkins and free condoms don't really connect. Yet, a woman IAS officer from Bihar thinks that those asking the government to make sanitary napkins affordable today, will demand complimentary beautiful shoes tomorrow and free condoms, day after.
In a video gone viral and inviting the ire of netizens, IAS officer and chairperson cum MD of Women and Child Development Corporation Harjot Kaur Bhamra can be seen lecturing the girl students on becoming independent but in a way to absolve the government of its responsibilities.
"My name is Riya Kumari and I have come from Nehru Nagar, Patna, says the girl before asking, "A lot of things are subsidised or considered being given free by the government. Can it also make sanitary napkins available for Rs 20-30?" To which the IAS officer replies, "Is there an end to your demands? Can you give us sanitary napkins for Rs 20-30? Tomorrow, you'll say can we give you jeans and pants. Day after, why can't you give us beautiful shoes? Then eventually when it comes to family planning, then even condoms will have to be given for free. Where is the need for you to take everything for free from the government? Make yourself so independent that you don't depend on anyone."
She adds, "Government has a lot of plans and schemes but this thinking, can't the government give us Rs 20-Rs 30."
The IAS officer apologises
After the video drew flak from all quarters and National Commission for Women took cognizance of the incident, the officer apologised. "I express regret if my words hurt any girl's sentiments. I didn't intend to humiliate anyone." Meanwhile, the NCW has sought a written explanation from the IAS officer on her remarks and said that the reply must be furnished within seven days. The officer was addressing the girl students during a UNICEF initiative 'Save the Children and Plan International.'