What is Swabalamban (Self-reliant Development) Programme?

  • Swabalamban is grounded in an ideal: to accept the rural poor as a ‘doer’ rather than a ‘receiver’ of ‘development’.
  • Swabalamban believes that for alleviating poverty, one need to understand the poor, not just poverty. The nature and the roots of poverty as they affect the mind and body of individual human beings are important. Swabalamban acknowledges the needs and the capacities, as well as the constraints and the aspirations, of the communities it engage with, and whose ownership and participation are key to its success.
  • Poverty becomes acute when the poor lose their dignity and self-confidence. Poverty breeds poverty. Swabalamban emphasizes the need for reforming social customs, values, and personal habits to allow the poor to regain self-respect.
  • 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 their condition.
  • Swabalamban believes in a door-to-door approach to poverty alleviation, and values conversations on the doorsteps of poor households more than meetings and discussions held elsewhere. Swabalamban workers live with poor households as family, learn from them, share their experiences, and design and implement development activities together, but always as a witness rather than as the imposer of solutions from outside.