Meet Our Members:

VRCT, India

Dr Bollineni Keerthi has dedicated her life to helping women and children suffering from violence and torture in India. Today she leads IRCT’s member centre the Vasavya Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. “Women design strategies which are practical. They are also empathetic and committed to rehabilitation,” says Dr Keerthi. “Why? Many have inside knowledge of the problem.”

PVCHR, India

Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi has been working with the poorest of the poor in India for three decades, and knows very well the link between social deprivation and torture. “Poverty, caste system, patriarchy are the main reasons behind torture and organised violence in this country,” says the founder and CEO of the People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), IRCT’s members in Varanasi, India’s spiritual capital.

Over the years, Dr Lenin estimates his organisation and its network have helped some 300,000 survivors of violence and freed 40,000 bonded labourers. “What’s our learning? If you provide humanitarian support, with the participation of the survivor … you create the hope, honour, and human dignity. These are the three Hs for the survivors.”

“We give skills to women survivors of domestic abuse to build confidence to live with dignity and respect.”

Dr Bollineni Keerthi, Pesident, Vasavya Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture (VRCT), India





“Poverty, caste system, patriarchy are the main reasons behind torture and organised violence in this country. There is a direct link between poverty and torture.”

Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi , Founder and CEO, PVCHR, India

Special Project:

Seeds of Healing: Better Livelihoods for India’s Survivors

Ghurahu, a day labourer from Varanasi and a member of India’s most marginalised caste, was unlawfully arrested and beaten unconscious by police, Ghurahu was left too traumatised to return to work as a day labourer earning just €1.4 a day.

“The torture left me with problems,” says Ghurahu. “If I do not earn then my family will starve.”

Healing began with talking therapy at IRCT member PVCHR, who also filed a complaint against the police through the National Human Rights Commission. But Ghurahu’s life was also improved by some very practical assistance: Seeds to plant his own kitchen garden.

More information

From Torture Journal

Testimonial Therapy: Impact on social participation and emotional wellbeing among Indian survivors of torture and organized violence

Torture in the Kashmir Valley and Custodial Deaths in India

Experiences of survivors of commercial sexual exploitation availing rehabilitation at R&P homes in India