What is Swabalamban (Self-reliant Development) Programme?


  • Swabalamban is grounded on an ideal: Accept the rural poor as a ‘doer’ rather than a ‘receiver’ of “development”.
  • Swabalamban believes: For alleviating poverty, one needs to understand the poor, not just poverty. The nature and the roots of poverty as it affects the human personin mind and body are important. Swabalamban acknowledges the need and the capacity, the constraints and the aspirations of the community it engages with, and whose ownership and participation are key to its success.
  • Swabalamban puts a premium on the lost self-respect and self-confidence of the rural poor and disadvantaged communities and accepts their regeneration as the principal route to reversing the condition.
  • Poverty becomes acute when the poor loose dignity, self-confidence, and poverty breeds poverty. Swabalamban emphasizes the need for reforming social customs, values and personal habits to allow the poor to regain self-respect.
  • Swabalamban believes in door-to-door approach to conversing and working on poverty alleviation, and values the doorsteps of poor households more than the meetings and discussions held elsewhere. Swablamaban workers live with the households as a family, learn from them, share experiences, design, and implement development activities together but always as a witness rather than a doer.