An IAS officer Harjot Kaur Bhamrah publicly mocked schoolgirl Riya Kumari in Patna when she asked for affordable sanitary napkins at a workshop held in Bihar.
Now, Indian sanitary napkin manufacturer PAN Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. has become aware of the incident and claimed that it would provide a year’s supply of sanitary napkins to Riya.
Riya Kumari, 20, raised the issue of expensive sanitary napkins during a workshop on “Sashakt Beti, Samriddh Bihar: towards enhancing the value of girls”. Kumari had asked, “When the government provides us with school uniforms, scholarships and so many things, why can’t it provide Whisper for 20 or 30 rupees?”
Who is Riya Kumari
Riya kumari lives with her brother and mother in Patna, Nehru Nagar. Her brother works as a porter. Riya said that my question was not wrong about sanitary pads. These are not big things, I can buy them, but many girls live in slums and cannot afford these expenses.
So, I asked the question not only for myself but for all the girls. We didn’t go there to fight. Riya said that she (Harjot Kaur) felt bad about her words. So we couldn’t ask any other questions.
Hariom Tyagi, CEO of the Delhi-based feminine hygiene company called Wet and Dry Personal Care, said they are “rewarding” the young woman, who is an undergraduate student, for her “boldness in raising the issue in a public forum” easy access” menstrual hygiene methods for poor girls and women living in slums”.
He further said that the company has decided to bear the costs of the girl’s education until graduation for the time being. “If in the future you want any further help or support and we feel this is an area where we can contribute to improving your quality of life, we will,” Tyagi added.
At a state-level workshop organized in collaboration with UNICEF, the IAS officer reprimanded schoolgirls who requested that the government, which provides free bicycles and school uniforms, should also consider providing free sanitary pads.
On Thursday, Bhamra apologized for his statement, saying she “didn’t mean to humiliate anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings.” The IAS officer of the 1992 batch added that the workshop was organized to raise awareness among “adolescent girls about the government provisions for them.”