Swabhava is a charitable trust, registered in Bangalore, Karnataka on 18th September 1999. The core area of our work is to provide access to support services for people who are identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, hijra (LGBT) or other similar gender and sexual(ity) minorities. SAHAYA, a counselling service–primarily through telephone, but now also offline at the Swabhava offices– was our first project and began operations on 9th June 2000.
Over the years, Swabhava has provided LGBT people access to a wide range of services including health, legal, social support, and so on. Several support groups for LGBT people use our office for meetings and workshops.
As one of Bangalore’s few NGOs working with and exploring intersections between sexuality, gender, health and mental health, ethics, masculinity(ies) concerns and many more, Swabhava has offered counselling to hundreds of individuals as well as trained hundreds of counsellors, doctors, lawyers, outreach workers, HIV-work NGOs, mainstream development NGOs and so on.
We also help organise the Bangalore Queer Film Festival (beginning 2009) every February. We co-organised the very first LGBT film festival in Bangalore in October of 2003. We also help co-ordinate certain Pride events during Pride month every year in November.
Alongside this, we provide training support on diversity inclusion policies within corporates. We are also involved in action-based research projects covering essential areas such as health and mental health among LGBT people as well as advocacy and awareness of LGBT issues.