Help Venkatraman Bring IT Meals To Slums In Bangalore

Getting food to a hungry stomach – instead of the dustbin

Bound by the million dollar mansions of Koramangala on one side, and the upscale city center on the other, is Bangalore’s largest slum. This runs through the neighborhoods of Rajendra Nagar, LR Nagar, Neelsandra, Vivek Nagar and then on to Adugodi.  Over one lakh people co-exist with animals, disease, and much misery, trying to plough through the day. 

Of all the challenges, the most urgent is hunger. Lacs of grown-ups and children go to bed hungry. But a different story unfolds within a few kilometers of this scene. The many corporate houses where the upwardly mobile of our city work have food in their cafeterias that their neighbours in the slums can only dream of

Venkatraman Iyer, a 60 year old Bangalore resident is trying to bridge this supply and demand. For the past 3 year or so, he has been collecting this leftover food after lunch from corporate houses and distributing it the same day in the slums.


" We’ve arranged a TATA ace with driver, vessels and containers, and a small shop which functions as distribution hub. The vehicle arrives bringing the excess food from lunches provided by three software companies to their employees."


With just 2 corporates on board, we are able to feed 500 people each day. In other words, we distribute close to 10,000 meals a month at a cost of Rs. 40,000. A whopping 4 rupees per meal. Let’s say that again. 4 rupees - That’s all it takes to make sure that a child does not go hungry "

Venkatraman and the NGO he started Swabhimaan has been working to empower the largest slum in Bangalore since 2000. He tests and extend scholarships to over a 100 children each year, runs two community clinics where consultation and medicine comes at an all-inclusive price of Rs. 10, distribute free groceries each month and extends zero interest microfinance loans to women entrepreneurs.

From health and education to employment and food, he supports almost every need of the slum dwellers. He has become one among them – he knows their families, their needs and is a spokesperson for them. If you take a walk in this slum, some person or the other on every street will have a story to tell about how Venkatraman helped him or her.


" It has reached a point, where I believe that this is my extended family. Their pains and miseries are mine. I now cannot think of living away from the community "

Among all the other activities I do, this is closest to my heart as I am making people go to bed without being hungry. The daily food drive meets such an urgent need, we frequently find ourselves pulling cash and resources from other programs to keep it running. Although the food is free, there is a monthly cost of 50-60 thousand to pay the volunteers who help serve the food, the washing and storing of the vessels, the diesel for the vehicle and the maintenance of the vehicle itself

We are hoping this drive on Milaap can help us secure the program and expand it.

Account number: 8080811010432
Account name: Venkatraman Iyer 
Times of India covers the food drive
Times of India covers the food drive
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10th July 2018
Dear Supporters

Thank you for your overwhelming support for our campaign towards feeding the needy, by procuring high quality, excess food from various multi national companies and canteens.

Thanks to all the funds raised by you all, we were able to add another canteen to our list. This canteen called Foodfab is located in Bommanahalli and serves to nearly 4-5 different organizations. They collect the remaining food from them, and bring that back. They are now able to provide us with 300 extra meals by 530pm every evening, which we have started to distribute in a new locality/slum in Subhashnagar, in Manipal county.

This additional 300 has taken our final count to about 900-1000meals per day. We hope to continue increasing our kind donors who provide us with excess food, and help us serve more communities.

We would now close our campaign. We have raised sufficient funds to have us going for another year and a half. We are in process of buying a new autorickshaw that can last us for a few years.

We have tried to personally thank each and everyone of you, but Incase we missed anyone, please accept our apologies.

Incase you would like to contribute your time or effort towards this cause, or other initiatives from Swabimaan, please feel free to reach out to Venkat at

We really appreciate your timely support for this cause.

13th June 2018
Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your tremendous love and support. It gives us immense pleasure in informing you all that our project is going well now.

We are currently feeding about 600 people every day and also have volunteers helping us make this project a success and reach out to as many people as possible. We are raising the goal amount to 10 lacs now to meet our operational costs.

We are using a vehicle to transport food but it is starting to give up now and we will be needing to purchase a new vehicle for the same which will cost us about Rs. 4-5 lacs.

Apart from this, we also have our monthly expenses summing up to about Rs. 50,000 per month which includes paying for the hired vehicle, the diesel, the cost of storing vessels in a godown, salaries of the people who are helping us throughout; basically the logistical needs to be able to transport food.

If we are able to raise the goal amount, we are likely to be able to reach our operational expenses for the entire year. Thereby, I'd be grateful to you all if you could keep supporting us so we can make this world a better place to live in.

We shall keep you posted on all the further developments. Thank you again!

19th December 2017
Dear Supporters,

Thanks for your steady support towards our campaign which ensures that we have a continuous distribution of unconsumed food from MNC canteens, to the needy in the nearby neighborhoods. The amount, as always, is being used for the transportation of food from canteens of different MNCs, to the food distribution hub, also towards the salary of the workers such as the driver, men and women who help in cleaning and storing vessels, serving food - the total cost of all of which is close to Rs 30,000 a month. The food distribution to nearly 500 people, every day, 5 days a week, happens every month.

This is an ongoing program, and our needs are similar, month after month. We have now expanded to provide meals even during the day time as well, to additional 150 people.

We have now extended our collections by reaching out to event planners and wedding parties. At least once a week, we are able to collect food from such occasions. For example, we have received food from Decathlon, Christ college, and several wedding parties in the last few months.

We really appreciate your support. Please do contact us if your organization is willing to provide us with their surplus food, or you would like to volunteer with us in any of our programs. Thanks.

The Swabhimaan Team
raised of Rs.1,000,000 goal

648 Supporters

Beneficiary: Venkatraman Iyer info_outline

Supporters (648)

Venkatesh donated Rs.1,001
7 days ago

Great initiative.

Venkat donated US $25
17 days ago

good initiative

Sabharish donated US $79.36
21 days ago
bikash donated Rs.101
23 days ago

Keep it Up

Anonymous donated Rs.500
30 days ago
On donated Rs.2,500
about 1 month ago

It's my 10th part of my salary