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Bihar IAS Officer Worried Girls Asking For Sanitary Napkins Will Ask For Condoms Next. Sorry Ma’am, Aapko Takleef Hui!

September 29, 2022 | by Kinjal Panchal

It is sad that people in our country think sanitary pads are a luxury. A girl has to ask in hushed tones for a sanitary pad when she needs one. Women buying pads from the medical store are given a packet wrapped in black polythene or a newspaper. Treating menstruation as a taboo is exactly why people are not willing to openly talk about it. And when a girl tries to initiate a conversation around pads and periods, she is tried and shut down as what happened recently in Bihar. In a shocking case, a Bihar officer, Harjot Kaur Bhamra, who is ironically a part of the women’s development department, got angry at a girl asking why cannot the government provide sanitary napkins at cheaper rates.

 

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Ironically, yet again, this incident took place during the Sashakt Beti, Samriddh Bihar workshop where IAS Harjot Kaur Bhamra was one of the panellists. She snapped at a girl who asked her if sanitary pads could also be provided at subsidised rates so that they do not have to depend on others for pads as they are a basic need. Our very revered madam, Harjot Kaur Bhamra, was so miffed at this girl that she responded harshly by saying that tomorrow, you will start asking for a pair of jeans from the government, and a pair of shoes, after that.

Bhamra also went on to say to the girl that soon, she will expect the government to provide family planning options like condoms for free as well. The girl who had asked this question immediately went on to shoot back and say that when the government needs votes, then they only come to the citizens, so the least they can do is provide for them as well. But then Harjot Bhamra responded to say that they shouldn’t vote for them and become like Pakistan.

Further ahead, when Bhamra realised what stupidity she spewed, she tried to turn this whole thing into a moral lecture. She said that girls should not aim to get free things from the government. Instead, they should become so financially independent that they wouldn’t have to depend on the government for something that costs as cheap as Rs 20-Rs 30.

A lot of people on Twitter have slammed Bhamra for her cheap thought process.

IAS officer Harjot Kaur Bhaamra’s response when comparing the need for pads to condoms was just like that student who fills in the answer sheet just for the sake of it without any context. Madam, condoms and sex are voluntary and a luxury that people divulge. Periods are not. What point were you trying to prove by using pads and condoms in the same sentence?

Also, that girl asked the question about providing pads at subsidised rates because pads are expensive AF! Girls and women need to change pads twice or thrice a day which empties the pack by half in the first two days of the menstrual cycle. Hence, given the number of pads women need, the girl asked a very valid question about providing pads at a cheap cost! Condoms, on the other hand, are cheaply available and government hospitals give them away for free. So, Harjot ji, please bataiye, how are the two even comparable?

It is beyond my understanding that a woman could say something as stupid as this. Had it been a man, I would still understand that he, sadly, still doesn’t know the gravity of women’s menstrual hygiene. A woman like Harjot Kaur Bhamra, who holds a high post, failed to people’s problems at a grassroots level. Instead of being empathetic, she had the audacity to snap at the girl who was just asking if sanitary pads could be subsidised. A very decent request to ask, might I add.

Coming to the comment when Bhamra said that tomorrow, girls will start demanding denim pants and shoes from the government, I would like to tell Harjot Ji that denim pants are a luxury, while the sanitary pad is not. We do not voluntarily choose to bleed for five to seven days a month. Our bodies do that naturally. I am sure she must be aware that menstruation is a natural process, yes? Or does she have a stupid lecture on how it is all in our heads and that menstruation is a myth as well?

Also read: Twitter Slams Journalist For Asking For Sanitary Pads From A Tea Seller. Are We Ever Getting Over Period Phobia?

Pads cost an arm and a leg, and I am yet haven’t met a woman who isn’t willing to lend one when another woman needs one. The girls and women in rural areas, who cannot afford to use sanitary pads, have been using cloth pads and pads made of other materials which are harmful to their health. So, Harjot Kaur Bhamra would rather have women dying or contracting diseases because of unhygienic menstrual practices because they cannot afford a pad. But she would not be willing to arrange to provide pads at cheaper rates? She deserves slow claps for the crap logic, please!

Also read: In Bihar, Women Struggle With Access To Pads And Social Taboos During Menstruation

I do not see people like Harjot Kaur Bhamra getting so miffed and angry when politicians indulge in corruption, money laundering and then go absconding. That apparently does not feel like a waste of money for her. But subsiding pads for girls and women is a huge task for the government! *sigh*

Telangana Schoolchildren Create Eco-Friendly Sanitary Napkins Called ‘Stree Raksha Pads’ To Tackle Menstrual Waste. This Is Remarkable!

Kinjal Panchal

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