Meet Our Members:
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.”
Meet Our Members:
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.”
Seeds of Healing: Better Livelihoods for India’s Survivors
Did you know that half of all torture survivors treated around the world also live in poverty?
As the director of IRCT’s member in Varanasi, northern India, puts it: “If you want to eliminate torture you are going to eliminate poverty. If you are going to eliminate poverty you need to eliminate torture.”
Ghurahu, a day labourer from Varanasi and member of India’s most marginalised caste, knows all too well the link between poverty and torture. Unlawfully arrested and beaten unconscious by police, Ghurahu’s healing began with talking therapy at IRCT member the PVCHR. But his life was also improved by some very practical assistance: Seeds to plant his own kitchen garden.
Now, instead of taking rotten scraps from the market, Ghurahu has enough fruit and vegetables to feed his family.