Swabhimaan (self respect) was founded by Venkatraman Iyer and his wife Vijaya Iyer in 2001 as a means of supporting poor single mothers. His activities gradually expanded to include everything listed in the “What we Do” section through partnerships with like-minded people and organizations.
Venkat acts as the head trustee of Swabhimaan. He is a non-ideological social worker who is interested in practical solutions that lead to immediately alleviating some of the hardships faced by people in the neighborhood
Although it can be depressing to be in the midst of all the poverty and despair in the slums, Venkat like to be in the midde of it all. He gets a lot of his energy from witnessing people overcome unbelievable odds to make successful lives for themselves and their families.
You will find Venkat on most weekdays at or near the Swabhimaan clinic inside Rajendranagara. On Sunday mornings he is usually at the Sunshine school administering the microfinance program (as pictured). Venkat can be reached on the email and phone numbers listed on the footer.
Venkat is supported by two full time staff members. Suleiman rides around town on his motorcycle and acts as Swabhimaan’s feet on the ground. He has a pulse on the goings on in the neighborhoods and is usually the first person who is approached for help by the residents.
Ganesh is a testament to the human spirit. Born with a disability which severely limits his movement, he was orphaned homeless as a child. From there, he is has learnt and risen to run a thriving small manufacturing unit in the neighborhood which makes everything from metal fixtures to packing boxes – all while employing people with disabilities like him.
In addition, Swabhimaan employs two part-time doctors who act as the resident physicians at Swabhimaan clinics.