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Bihar IAS officer regrets ‘condoms’ remark, says didn’t intend to humiliate anyone

On Tuesday, the senior IAS officer snubbed a girl student when she asked why the government did not provide them sanitary pads. “They (students) will demand jeans, good shoes and finally contraceptives for family planning” was the officer's response to the girl.

Harjot Kaur Bamhrah (left) speaking at event on the occasion of International Women's Day. (Source: Women Development Corporation, Bihar)

Hours after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar promised to take action against Bihar’s Women Development Corporation Managing Director Harjot Kaur Bamhrah Thursday for her objectionable remark to a girl student, the latter expressed regret over the incident.

“I express regret if my words hurt any girl’s sentiments. I didn’t intend to humiliate anyone or hurt anyone’s sentiments,” Bamhrah said in her letter in Hindi.

On Tuesday, the senior IAS officer snubbed a girl student when she asked why the government did not provide them sanitary pads. “They (students) will demand jeans, good shoes and finally contraceptives for family planning” was Bamhrah’s response to the girl.

When the girl argued that the government was duty-bound to give them certain facilities as politicians seek votes, the IAS officer quipped: “Mat do tum vote, sarkar tumhari hai. Ban jao Pakistan (do not vote, its your government. Become Pakistan). Do you vote in lieu of money or amenities?”

While expressing her regret, Bamhrah pointed out in the letter:  “The patriarchal society teaches girls to stay dependent on others for their needs. By highlighting the differences in the worlds of men and women, young girls are also taught to feel helpless. Girls are also made to believe that they are unsafe in the outer world. Often girls are influenced to such an extent by this kind of upbringing that they don’t walk on their road to success despite multiple solutions around.”


Earlier in the day, the Bihar CM said that action will be taken against Bamhrah. “I have immediately called a meeting. We are helping to empower women. I’m monitoring each and everything. Action will be taken,” Kumar said.


Bamhrah was responding to questions from girl students during a workshop — Sashakt Beti, Samriddh Bihar — organised jointly by the Unicef and state government in Patna on Tuesday. The WDC comes under the Social Welfare Department of the state government and is the nodal agency for implementing welfare schemes for women.

Criticising Bamhrah’s behaviour, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has sought explanation from the IAS officer over her “inappropriate” remark to the student.

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While mentioning that the reply must be submitted within 7 days, the NCW said it had observed that such “insensitive attitude” from a person at a responsible position was condemnable and extremely shameful.

First published on: 29-09-2022 at 05:57:04 pm
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