As part of the run up to DO Day 2019 on October 18th, we’ll feature a series of articles written by a selection of our DO Day organizers from around the globe. The first part of the series is written by Gitanjali Banerjee, Founder of Fertility Dost in New Delhi.
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Fertility Dost, India’s trusted community for managing fertility and hormone health issues for women and couples started its flagship three years ago. It is the only organization in the country thriving to bring awareness and facilitate help with socially tabooed subjects like PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), infertility, period pain, and other related issues. Fertility Dost is committed towards creating awareness amongst the society, especially women where they start prioritizing their health and feel more comfortable in being vocal about their problems. The organization has several feathers in its cap such as awards by IIT- Delhi, Cultural Vistas, Public Affairs Department USA, Zone Start-ups India, DST, and FITT. Fertility Dost attracts such awards for its efforts in creating a thriving women’s community with peer-to-peer support that helps elevate women and boost awareness about health.
This idea was conceived after my personal journey of struggle with infertility for ten long years. My journey made me realize that something needs to change. Topics like infertility and PCOS are common issues faced by women and couples and a big challenge because many women don’t feel comfortable talking about it and often neglect seeking support or guidance. Fertility Dost’s vision is to focus on generating awareness and bring change to the mindset and attitude of the society with the right information and guidance.
I attended the DO Day workshop last year which left me much inspired and motivated. I have been following The DO School on social media since then. I’m delighted to be an organizer this year, amongst 70 plus international organizers and would like to use this chance to bring about a positive change.
We are doing DO Day because we strongly believe in “If She Wins, We Win”. Being a woman, I could instantly relate to this theme. For #DODay19, Fertility Dost aims to empower women and health entrepreneurs by bringing them together and making an impact of 1+1=11. We are doing this as women and fertility healthcare is a socially tabooed subject in India and therefore requires more openness and awareness.
Our theme for this event is “How to make healthcare accessible”. As we are proactively working in the domain of healthcare, I thought of using this theme to bring the industry closer together. We will be hosting a workshop, supported by The DO School and Nexus, that brings women’s health and wellness entrepreneurs together at one table to network. Using design thinking principles, they will establish some concrete next steps. Our vision is to touch the lives of over 50,000 women through this workshop, for which we are planning to have a Health Mela (health fete) by the end of this year.
Our aim with this workshop is to:
Our main challenge in organizing this event was to find an appropriate venue in an expensive city like Delhi. Luckily, Nexus came to our rescue. As we took part in one of their early incubator programs, they were quite happy to support the cause. The event will now take place in the American Centre (supported by the U.S. Embassy). Nexus is collaboration between the American Embassy, New Delhi and the IC² Institute of The University of Texas at Austin; it showcases the best of American and Indian Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology Commercialization.
Our next step is to attract a suitable audience to the event. Initially we were skeptical about the response we would get for our workshop but as soon as started to spread the information to our numerous groups associated with healthcare and entrepreneurship, the result was overwhelming! We received 25 responses within 24 hours, which has reached 30 now.
Our team is enthusiastically preparing for DO Day and is excited to welcome all the participants. I am quite hopeful that the event will have a great impact! We look forward to a successful DO Day full of learning and meaningful networks
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