The exchange between the IAS officer and a girl student drew Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi’s condemnation, calling for action against the bureaucrat.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi blasted a bureaucrat for ridiculing a school girl for her query regarding the provision of sanitary napkins at a subsidized rate. A video clip from a workshop titled “Sashakt Beti, Samridh Bihar” (Empowered Daughters, Prosperous Bihar) went viral on Wednesday after a senior official in Bihar’s women development department came up with an absurd reply when the girl asked if the government can provide sanitary napkins at a subsidized rate of ₹20-30.
“Is there an end to such demands? Tomorrow you’ll say the government can give jeans too. And why not some beautiful shoes after that?” IAS officer Harjot Kaur Bamhrah replied. “And when it will come to family planning, the government has to provide free condoms too, isn’t it?”
The student was quick to remind the kind of promises political parties make in the run-up to elections. To this, the officer said, “This is the height of stupidity. Don’t vote, then. Become Pakistan. Do you vote for money and services?”
The officer later tried to impart a lesson. saying “why should you take anything from the government? This way of thinking is incorrect. Do it yourself.”
The exchange drew Chaturvedi’s condemnation, calling for action against the bureaucrat.
“Shame on this official. Hope Bihar government takes action against this bureaucrat,” she said in a tweet.
“Last but not the least even if the ask in the audience was for access to subsidised condom it wouldn’t be a wrong considering the central BJP government keeps floating the population control narrative to express their ‘concerns’. So Madam Bureaucrat, sit down please,” the Rajya Sabha member added.
Congress MP Manish Tewari also wondered whether it is “permanence of service”, “deficiency in training”, or “lucrative positions” that “breeds such arrogance in this tribe of All India Service officers.”
“After all they pass just one exam in their entire life,” he said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, taking cognizance of the “shameful remarks”, the National Commission for Women (NCW) said it has sought a written explanation from Bamhrah within seven days.