NCW seeks clarification from the IAS officer who answered a question on sanitary pads, sparking a controversy

A day after an IAS officer in Bihar responded to a student’s question on a sanitary pad, the National Commission for Women took cognizance of the matter. It sought a written explanation from the bureaucrat within seven days.

On Wednesday, Bihar’s Women Development Corporation (WDC) Managing Director Harjot Kaur Bamhra asked a student why the government had not given her sanitary pads. Bamhra replied to the girl, “They (students) will demand jeans, good shoes and finally, contraceptives for family planning.” When the girl argued that the government was obliged to give her some facilities because politicians ask for votes, the IAS officer quipped: “Mat do you vote? The government is yours. Ban Jao Pakistan (Don’t vote, there is your government. Be Pakistan). Do you vote for money or facilities?”

During the workshop, a student asked: “When the government is doing so many things for us, including giving us uniforms and scholarships, why can’t it provide sanitary pads, which will cost only Rs 20-30?”

As the audience applauded the question by clapping, Bamhra replied: “The clappers should know that there is no end to such demands. The question is if the government should give sanitary pads. Tomorrow there will be a demand for jeans…tomorrow there will be a demand for shoes. Finally, there may be a demand for free contraceptives for family planning.”

The IAS officer said that one should not demand everything from the government. “The government is giving a lot… it is wrong to expect everything from the government,” he said.

Since then, she has told Bihar Social Welfare Minister Madan Sahni: “Our department works for the welfare of girls and women. He shouldn’t have discouraged the girls. The workshop aimed to encourage them. Our department secretary will talk to the MD on Thursday.


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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