New Delhi: The National Commission for Women (NCW), on Thursday, said it has taken cognizance of the “shameful remarks” made by an IAS officer during a workshop held for teenagers in Patna, Bihar. IAS officer, Harjot Kaur Bhamra who heads the state’s Women and Child Development Corporation, snapped at a school girl who asked for affordable sanitary napkins saying whether she wants condoms too.
Bhamra has been asked to give a written explanation of her exchange with the school girls by the Commission within seven days.
A video from the event which has since become viral, shows Bhamra ranting about how people always demand “freebies from the government” after a student asked, “Can the government give sanitary pads at Rs 20-30?”
बच्ची के सवाल पर IAS का जवाब- आज पैड मांग रही हो, कल कंडोम मांगोगी!
— Mohammad Altaf Ali (@MdAltafAli15)
Bhamra responded by saying the girl would soon expect the government to provide free clothes, shoes and even condoms.
This exchange occurred during a state-level workshop on ‘Sashakt Beti, Samriddh Bihar’ (Empowered Daughters, Prosperous Bihar) organised by Women and Child Development Corporation, on Tuesday in partnership with Unicef and other organisations. The project tagline read, ‘Towards enhancing the value of girls’.
The student also spoke about the broken toilets in the school and that often boys would enter the girls’ toilets, to which the officer replied, “Tell me, do you have separate toilets at home? If you keep asking for a lot of things at different places, how will it work?”
Bhamra who was becoming increasingly annoyed by the student’s requests said, “Why do you need to take everything from the government?” she said. “This way of thinking needs to change. Do it yourself.”
When the student said that votes of the citizens help elect a government, Bhamra responded in anger, “This is the height of stupidity. Don’t vote, then. Become Pakistan. Do you vote for money and services?”
According to an ANI report, condemning the incident, NCW said that such an “insensitive attitude” from a person at a responsible position is condemnable and “extremely shameful”.
As per an official statement by the Commission, its Chairperson Rekha Sharma has written to the IAS Harjot Kaur Bhamra, seeking a written explanation for her inappropriate and highly objectionable remarks.
According to Danik Bhaskar, after the video was shared widely on social media, many called Bhamra unfit for being a public servant.