Blatant ignorance of people in power is unacceptable – Women from all walks react to the Bihar officer’s comment on subsidised sanitary napkins

A recent incident in Bihar where an IAS officer abruptly shut a teenage kid with an unprecedented example contradicts everything an administrative officer stands for. Harjot Kaur, Managing Director of Bihar Women and Child Development Corporation, is receiving a lot of flak on social media after she called out a teenage girl who demanded affordable sanitary napkins at a workshop organised in the eastern state of Bihar and stunned her by asking ‘if she would want free condoms too.’

Yes, you read that right! That was the response from a woman who is trusted with the responsibility to ensure the welfare and growth of children and women in the state. The Quotes reached out to four girls from different walks of society and requested them to pen down their reactions to shocking comments from 1992 batch IAS officer Harjot Kaur Bamhrah.

Shivi Gupta, Head of Content, The Quotes-:

With great power comes great responsibility! The famous saying perfectly grabs the expectations and accountability of an administrative officer. But the recent incident in Bihar is a disgrace and contradicts the bureaucratic ethos. Instead of demotivating the girl with an inappropriate example, Harjot mam should have encouraged or tried to understand the situation of the girl.

Achala Tiwari, a mass-communication graduate-:

Menstrual process is natural but the taxes on menstrual products are of luxury goods or something that is not a necessity. I think that products that can do good even without subsidies should continue without them but necessary products should be subsidized. I really dont understand what the officer was thinking when she made such an unacceptable comparison. It tough to digest such comment coming from such an experienced IAS officer.

Kirti Tripathi, faculty at Aakash Institute-:

Seeing a woman in that position who is ignorant about women’s health is distressing. She compared giving out jeans and such to sanitary pads as if both are required to be healthy. The lady asking the question to our hon’ble guest was much sounder, standing her ground in the face of such stupidity. Kudos to her

Shrunkhala M Kangane, graduate in Agriculture-:

The damage has already been done. She should have thought twice before reacting and giving unecessary statement to the girl. In today’s world, where women empowerment is flagged to the peak, the statement and reaction of the lady officer, especially on such sensitive topic, is not justified. Knowing that hygiene has to be top-most priority for any policy maker, the situation should have been handled much better,” concluded .

After lashing out at Dainik Jagram for reporting the story, the officer expressed her regret over the incident and said it had been mis-conceptualised. “I express regret if some girl or participant’s sentiments were hurt with some of my words, but the intent was not to humiliate someone or hurt someone’s sentiment but to encourage them for progress in future,” she said as quoted by The Hindu.

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