A video from the “Sashakt Beti, Samriddh Bihar” event with student queries and the officer’s annoyed and testy responses went viral on social media.
At an event for Class 9 and 10 students here on Wednesday, senior IAS officer and MD of the Bihar Women’s and Children’s Development Corporation Harjot Kaur Bamhrah sparked controversy with her aggressive reactions to questions from female students. At the “Sashakt Beti, Samriddh Bihar” event, which was organized by the corporation and UNICEF, a video featuring student queries and the officer’s testy and annoyed responses went viral on social media. In response to a student’s remark that the government already provides school uniforms, scholarships, bicycles, and many other amenities to kids, Bamhrah reacted angrily, adding that while people were applauding the question, unending requests were being made of the government. Bamhrah is heard urging the girl, “Tomorrow you will ask whether the government can offer jeans too.” and some lovely shoes. You can eventually anticipate receiving condoms from the government when it comes to family planning. Why must you take everything for nothing? Ironically, this statement was given during a session in Patna on Tuesday called “Sashakt Beti, Samriddh Bihar” (Strong Daughters, Prosperous Bihar). The Bihar Women and Child Development Corporation and UNICEF collaborated to plan the event. Since then, Bamhrah has denied demeaning the girls with her comments and has also accused others of slander. She demanded action against a nearby Hindi publication in a letter to the Press Council of India on Wednesday. “The story was purposefully false and created to damage my reputation.” I have worked as an administrative officer for the past 30 years, and I am a woman. In the letter, which The Print has access to, she said, “I have been at the forefront when it comes to the rights of female children.” There have been strong reactions to the video showing the IAS official calling the girl’s request “dumb,” telling her to “become Pakistan (sic),” and to be “emancipated enough to be able to buy stuff for yourself.” The Print was informed by Madan Sahni, the minister of social welfare for Bihar, that “it was insensitive and inappropriate of an official to make such statements.” Ironically, the activity was arranged to raise awareness among girls in grades 9 and 10 from underprivileged schools. We have acknowledged the occurrence. He did not, however, say what steps would be taken to punish Bamhrah. Women’s organizations in the state have also voiced their disapproval of the occurrence. “We shall convene a meeting to discuss the lady IAS officer’s behaviour, which we strongly condemn. It was brutal in addition to being inconsiderate. Although the girl had a legitimate inquiry, the female IAS officer made fun of her. Nivedita Jha, president of the Bihar Mahila Samaj, expressed her outrage at the insensitivity of the person in charge of such a delicate position, which deals with women and girls in distress.