According to reports by the WHO, it is predicted that around 20% of the Indian population will be suffering from mental illness by 2020. In 2011 alone there were 0.301 psychiatrists, 0.166 nurses, and 0.047 psychologists per 100,000 mental-disorder patients in India.
Bani Singh & Drishti Gupta, the co-founders of social startup Now&Me.com, noticed that everybody had their own set of problems and was looking for someone to lean on.
The duo told TimesNext,
“We felt the need for creating something that helps connect people with others who’ve been through the same experiences as them; to get a sense of reassurance that it is not the end of the world, that they are not alone and that it’ll be okay.”
The Lady Shri Ram graduates strongly shared an opinion to make an impact on the world and thus started their online platform Now&Me with an aim to create a more empathic and less stressed-out society.
Now&Me – shadowing the Mental Health taboo
Now&Me is a safe online platform that helps people by allowing them to share their feelings & vent, even anonymously, while getting constant community support & a helping hand. The platform stands as a symbol of self-expression & an archive of thoughts that motivates people to open up.
Currently, Now&Me, launched in October 2018, has over 4,000 personal and heartfelt experiences that have been shared on its website. The platform has a smooth UI and has been specially created in such a way that people from all areas of life can have a comfortable experience with it.
Talking about their social enterprise, Bani & Drishti said,
“When an individual decides to share a story, they can do so within any of the 250+ categories. The users are then given a feature that allows them to post it anonymously, thereby safeguarding their identity. The user needs to register on the website with just a username and an email id. After they have posted their story, it appears on the community’s Stories page (after being moderated) from where it is easily accessible to other users. These other users can now comment on these stories again anonymously if they wish to, expressing their concerns or sharing advice.”
Even today, the entrepreneurial -duo has faced challenges in shadowing the taboo the Indian society has with the subject of mental health. Despite having a broader perspective on mental health presently, primarily amongst youngsters, it is still considered something one should either ignore or hush away in broad daylight.
Collaborations & Vision for company
Besides establishing significant traffic on its website, the company has even collaborated & organized several workshops on mental health within the Delhi NCR region. They have held a workshop on ‘Stress relief’ at IIT-Delhi in collaboration with ‘We The Young’ & partnered with United Nations Foundation and DU Beat. Along with that, they have also organized events on ‘Social Media & Digital Stress’ and ‘Create Don’t Hate.’
Several influencers including Shraddha Gurung, Mehak Dhawan, Aishwarya Sharma, Sarah Hussain, Neha Sharma, Radhika Bose, Nidhi Mohan Kamal, TransQueen – Nitasha Biswas, Shafali Chadha (That Woke Ladki), Tuheena Raj (Wordsofworth) & Vishakha Sharma have been associated with Bani & Drishti’s startup.
The company has also created exclusive & innovative offline no-judgment zones, talking circles, network therapy, and safe spaces to encourage catharsis.
Presently, Now&Me’s website ranks among the top 12k in the country and has been witnessing exceptional growth every week. The company does not record any revenue as of now and functions as a 100% free platform. The duo aims at reaching out to the maximum people in need of a shoulder to lean on and help people by compiling different means of recourse available, such as online and offline therapy, 24/7 helplines, tele-counseling services, and workshops.