The 20-year-old woman who was mocked by a senior bureaucrat with a caustic "ask for condoms next" when she petitioned a senior bureaucrat for free sanitary napkins in schools has been offered a year's worth of free supplies by a manufacturer.
IAS officer Harjot Kaur Bhamra, whose comments were widely criticised, has expressed regret over the controversy that flared after video footage from the event held three days ago went viral.
"My question (on sanitary pads) wasn't wrong. They aren't a big thing; I can buy, but many live in slums and can't afford them. So, I asked not just for myself, but for all girls. We went there to keep our concern and not to fight," Riya Kumari, the woman who questioned the officer, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Sanitary pad manufacturing company PAN Healthcare said more girls should demand open discussions about period bleeding and applauded the woman's courage to spotlight the subject on a public platform.
"Menstrual hygiene has been considered a taboo subject discussed in hushed voices for generations. This must change. We need many more girls to come forward and boldly demand open discussions about period bleeding. We salute Riya's courage to speak up on this subject on a public platform with confidence," said Chirag Pan, CEO of PAN Healthcare told ANI.
"A year's supply of Everteen's neem and safflower sanitary pads is just a small token of our appreciation for her conviction to put an end to the bloody hypocrisy around menstruation that pervades society at large. We will also bear the cost of her education fees through her graduation," the CEO added.
At a state-level workshop organised in collaboration with UNICEF, the IAS officer had rebuked schoolgirls who requested that the government, which gives out free bicycles and school uniforms, should also consider providing free sanitary napkins.
"There is no limit to such freebies. The government is already giving a lot. Today you want a packet of napkins for free. Tomorrow you may want jeans and shoes and, later, when the stage comes for family planning, you may demand free condoms as well," Ms Bhamra said.
(With ANI inputs)