Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled

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Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, founded in 1997, is a non-profit organization working towards facilitating opportunities to enable persons with disabilities and the underserved to keep pace with the rest of the society by providing quality education, accommodation, nutritious food, vocational training and placement based rehabilitation. It is based in Bangalore, India with centers across India and abroad. The organization is affiliated to the World Blind Union and received Special UN Consultative Status in 2015..

Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled
Samarthanam Trust for Disabled.png
Founded 1997
Type Not for Profit - Registered Trust


Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled was established in the year 1997 by Mahantesh G Kivadasannavar[1][2][3] along with his schoolmate and childhood friend, Late. Nagesh SP. The founders, being visually impaired and having witnessed various challenges, have together conceptualized Samarthanam, an organization which would cater to people with disabilities, including visually impaired and underprivileged. Education was conceived to be the basic right of every individual, irrespective of status and disability. And hence they initiated on the development of various programmes at primary, secondary and higher education levels and also various other initiatives solely dedicated for visually impaired and underserved. As the organization’s objective and drive started gathering support, Samarthanam’s areas of service also widened. The organization moved onto establishing Livelihood Resource Centres, Rehabilitation Centres, Social Enterprises and a Sports Association for the visually impaired. Samarthanam expanded and fortified to be recognized as an umbrella organization, offering services to hundreds of people with disabilities, underserved and women in distress. Samarthanam promotes building of an inclusive society which provides equal opportunities, without discrimination, for the development of the visually impaired, disabled and economically underserved.


  • World Blind Union[4]
  • World Blind Cricket Council[5]
  • State Government of Karnataka, GOI
  • Boston University
  • University of Chicago
  • CII
  • Empanelment with Department of empowerment of Persons with disabilities
  • Ministry of Social Justice, GOI
  • United Way
  • CAF
  • Give India
  • Give2Asia

Education & Nutrition[edit]

Samarthanam runs integrated primary and secondary schools and supports visually impaired students pursuing higher education. In the Class 10 Board exams held in 2012, the school had a pass percentage of 94.11%, with the school topper scoring 84.8%.[6] Samarthanam uses technology to nullify disability.[7] A barrier-free, accessible residential school is under construction. A sum of Rs. 1 crore was allocated by the Karnataka Chief Minister in the state budget towards construction of the school.[8]

As part of 'Vidyaprasad', Samarthanam provides mid-day meals to children in government schools.[9]

'Shrishti', Samarthanam's BPO training units in Hubli-Dharwad and Peenya, provide soft skills and call center training to people with disabilities.[10][11][12]


Samarthanam athletes took home seven medals at the 17th National Sports Meet for the Blind (2010) held at Chandigarh. Samarthanam's medal tally included three golds and Subramani broke the national record in shot put.[13]

Samarthanam promotes chess for the blind. The FIDE rating National Open Chess Tournament for the Blind 2012 was organized by Samarthanam, in association with All India Chess Federation for the Blind.[14]

The previous governing body handed over the responsibility of organizing cricket for the blind in India to Samarthanam.[15] Samarthanam funded the Indian team's tour of England[16] where the Indian team defeated England in a four-match one-day series.[17] The Indian team, in collaboration with Samarthanam, also travelled to Pakistan to play the Indo-Pak series.[18] Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) is Samarthanam's sports initiative. The T–20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind is to be held in Bangalore in December 2012.[19] Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Nepal will be taking part, and Saurav Ganguly is the Brand Ambassador for the event.[5]


  • Residential Rehabilitation and Counseling Center for Women in Distress
  • Rural BPO/Call Center Unit

Samarthanam's Rural BPO - 'Kirana' - went live in 2011. The BPO was launched in association with the state-run Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Services (KBITS).[20] The center provides employment opportunities to people with disabilities and rural youth.[21]

Other Areas of Work[edit]

  • Culture

'Sunadha' is Samarthanam's troupe comprising visually impaired dancers. 'Sunadha' has performed across India, the U.S. and U.K.[22][23]

  • Environment

'Parisara', Samarthanam's environmental initiative, provides end-to-end waste management solutions for corporate organizations and residential complexes. Samarthanam Parisara won the People's Green Award at the TCS World 10K Bangalore 2012, winning the grand prize of Rs. 75,000.[24]


  • Samarthanam was awarded the Governor’s award for Excellence from the government of Karnataka, in 2002[25]
  • Founder Managing Trustee Mr. Mahantesh received the National Award for Child Welfare 2009 from the President of India[26]
  • Mr. Mahantesh was conferred with the Aryabhatta International Award, in 2009[27]
  • Mr. Mahantesh was honoured with the NDTV Spirit of Sport Award for 2011, in the Against the Odds - Lifetime Achievement category[28][29][30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Samarthanam Celebrates its 14th Anniversary | This Week Bangalore
  2. ^ Opening doors for the blind - Hindustan Times
  3. ^ Citizen Matters, Bangalore: ‘Samarthanam is a part of me’
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Ganguly To Be Blind T20 World Cup Brand Ambassador - Cricket World
  6. ^ Samarthanam Students excel in SSLC Exams | This Week Bangalore
  7. ^ The Hindu : States / Karnataka : Technology played a major role in their success
  8. ^ Mangalorean.Com- Serving Mangaloreans Around The World!
  9. ^ Confident Group
  10. ^ The Hindu : NATIONAL / KARNATAKA : 21 youths with disabilities complete call centre training
  11. ^ The Hindu : NATIONAL / KARNATAKA : They're ready to take on life now
  12. ^ Build on your Abilities for making Better Tomorrow | This Week Bangalore
  13. ^
  14. ^ Fide rating Chess championship for the blind concluded today | This Week Bangalore
  15. ^ Portrait of an endangered sport - Business of Life -
  16. ^ Geetanjali Krishna: A blind eye to hidden talent
  17. ^ The Hindu : Andhra Pradesh / Hyderabad News : Having sights on the wicket
  18. ^ Indian Blind Cricket To Tour Pakistan in November, Orissa News
  19. ^ A World Cup with a difference - Hindustan Times
  20. ^ The Hindu : Cities / Bangalore : Samarthanam starts rural BPO
  21. ^ State rural BPOs get pro policy push
  22. ^ Visually Impaired Dance Troupe from India Visit Carroll Center | The Carroll Center for the Blind
  23. ^ Mangalorean.Com- Serving Mangaloreans Around The World!
  24. ^ Green Awards for PNLIT, Samarthanam, MSI - 12 July 2012
  25. ^ Mahantesh — eyeway
  26. ^ GK Mahantesh Conferred With National Award
  27. ^ Mahantesh G Kivadasanavar conferred 'Aryabhata Intl. Award'
  28. ^ Marks for Sports: Award Winners
  29. ^ Marks for Sports: All the latest videos
  30. ^ Mangalorean.Com- Serving Mangaloreans Around The World!