For the longest time, women’s health and concerns have been followed by a hush and a whisper. But not anymore. Non-profit Girl Effect has teamed up with WhatsApp for a bot-based chatbox, ‘Bol Behen’ to help adolescent girls and young women tackle health-related concerns and issues.
‘Bol Behen’, which translates to ‘Speak, sister’ in Hindi, is a WhatsApp chatbot that will answer any queries and concerns on women’s health – from relationships and sexuality to reproductive health. This AI-powered tool aims at bridging the gap between the health-related queries that often crop up in the minds of adolescent girls that they may not be entirely comfortable sharing and verified answers that are not based on myth or bias. The name ‘Bol Behen’ creates an air of comfort so that the user may feel secure in asking their query. The idea is for the chatbot to act like an elder digital sister who will answer queries and comfort the person asking without an air of shame, embarrassment or fear. Additionally, the bot is equipped to chat in Hinglish, a combination of English and Hindi, for the ease of the target user.
Who Is It For And How To Access It?
Bol Behen aims to target and reach young girls who live in regions where they may have access to lower-end smartphones and slower internet connectivity. It’s a great educational and awareness tool that expects to reach millions of young girls and women across the country and assist them in their queries. Since Bol Behen is a chatbot, the best way to access it is by texting or through an invite link. For the former, drop a “Hi” on the number +91-730449661on WhatsApp. For the latter, you can visit the invite link here.
The Bol Behen initiative was first launched on Facebook messenger in 2020 in India and since then has helped reach several young girls. With WhatsApp, there’s a hope that that number will continue to grow.