A 19-year-old girl who had questioned Bihar Women Development Corporation’s managing director about sanitary pads on Thursday said that the issue was serious for school students, The Indian Express reported.

“I asked questions on sanitary pads as I and several of my friends never got any money to buy sanitary pads,” Riya Kumari said. “What I wanted to suggest was to put a sanitary pad box at every school so that girls do not have to face embarrassment.”

On Tuesday, Kumari had asked Indian Administrative Service officer Harjot Kaur Bamhrah at a public event about the possibility of the government providing sanitary napkins to girls.

“When the government has been doing so many things for us, including giving us uniforms and scholarships, why can’t it give sanitary pads, which would cost only Rs 20-Rs 30?” she had asked.

Bamhrah, however, had responded by saying that there is no end to such demands and that she might even ask for free clothes or contraception from the government next.

“Tomorrow you will say the government can give jeans pants too,” she added. “And after that why not some beautiful shoes? Eventually, when it comes to family planning you will expect the government to give you family planning methods, and condoms, too. Why is there a need to take everything for free?”

At this point, Kumari had interjected and pointed out that the government was duty-bound to provide citizens with certain facilities as it seeks their votes.

However, Bamhrah had then said: “Don’t vote, it is your government. Become Pakistan. Do you vote in lieu of money or amenities?”

On Thursday, Kumari said that her question was not wrong and that she only wanted to raise her concerns.

“When some people clapped at my sanitary pad question, the CMD [Corporation Managing Director] did not like it,” she said, according to The Indian Express. “I had flagged serious concerns of school-going girls.”

Bamhrah’s response was widely criticised on social media and by officials in the state government. Taking cognisance of the matter, the National Commission for Women had also sought an explanation from her.

Initially, Bamhrah had responded to the criticism claiming that there was a deliberate attempt to malign her. However, on Thursday, she issued a statement, expressing regret over her comments.

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

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that he was apprised of the matter through media reports.

“We are helping women for empowerment in the state,” Kumar said, according to The Hindu. “I’m monitoring each and everything and if someone will be found guilty, action will be taken.”