ASK DEEDEE by ADITI & SARINA
We as women have been in a situation where we needed to ask an awkward question about our “female parts” or have that suspicious rash checked or even get a routine check up done, but we were terrified of going to a gynaecologist thanks to the judgemental looks and questions we get from most in this country. This is not a trivial issue by any means!
Of all the cervical cancer deaths in the world, India is responsible for 25% of those deaths. Twenty-five percent!! For one of the most preventable cancers in the world, where all a woman needs to get is an annual pap smear (cervical exam), two women became angry and saddened by these preventable deaths and decided to work on a solution for the sisterhood.
Ask DeeDee is an anonymous sexual wellness platform for women created by Aditi Bhatnagar (a software engineer with experience in building healthcare, security and e-commerce startup) & Sarina Richard (a Harvard Business School alumnus with 10 years of healthcare experience) to make sure that all our questions get answered without the fear of judgement.
The website (& upcoming app) was created post various surveys. For example after interviewing 200 women across major cities in India, they came to understand that women do not get pap smears for 3 main reasons:
They don't know they need one due to a lack of sex-education,
They don't know how to ask for one or where to go, and
They don't get one because they are shamed and embarrassed due to the massive social stigma against premarital sex. We've heard time and time again about the horrible experiences women face when at gynaecological appointments.
“NO WOMAN should be shamed or embarrassed or have to lie to receive preventable sexual healthcare. We have decided to fix these three problems by creating Ask DeeDee: a platform where women in India can easily and anonymously access information and resources for sexual wellness. Currently on the platform, women can anonymously engage with our expert DeeDee to diagnose common symptoms relating to period and common infections.” - says Sarina, co-founder of AskDeeDee
The upcoming range of services include :
Anonymous text and private video chat with 'non-judgy' gynaecologists in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai,
Discreet delivery of feminine products and at-home tests, and
An anonymous and secure crypto-based system for gynaecological visits (bookings, lab tests, payments and results).
The reason behind using “DeeDee” in the name is as interesting as it is appropriate - “From our interviews, we learned that most women in India learn about their periods, sex and sexual health from their elder sisters or elder female cousins. Since Didi in Hindi means 'elder sister', we decided to personify Didi as DeeDee.”
As female entrepreneurs all these two wonderfully wise women hope is to make life easier and safer for other women.
IN SUPPORT OF THE SISTERHOOD, BY TEAM BEBADASS