About Visthar

A secular civil society organization committed to social justice and peace.

Founded in 1989, Visthar is a secular Civil Society Organization committed to social justice and peace. We recognize that the physical and mental well-being of individuals and communities are affected by multiple social inequalities. We thus respond to issues of gender discrimination, social exclusion, and poverty.

Our feminist training and resource center is located in a serene six-acre campus, an eco-sanctuary outside Bengaluru city. Our community initiatives branch out from a similar campus in Koppal district of North Karnataka.

Our journey began as a national resource center building the capacities of community organizers, social movements, and public institutions. We have trained thousands of students, teachers, activists, and professionals on gender and social inclusion.

As a resource center, we were involved in community action since the beginning. Recognizing that the violence Devadasi women experience is at the intersection of gender, caste, and class injustices, we expanded our community work to North Karnataka in 2005.

Visthar’s community-based action has grown in the last 15 years. It now reaches 200+ villages and 100+ government schools. We work with grassroots communities, schools, and local governments to address gender, caste and class injustices.


Democratic, just and sustainable communities with gender and social equity.


To respond to issues of poverty, environmental destruction, gender discrimination and social exclusion, by promoting Transformative Learning, Community Based Initiatives, and Eco-enterprises in collaboration with educational institutions, civil society, and faith-based organizations and social movements.


We must sleep with open eyes,
We must dream with our hands,
We must dream the dreams
Of a river seeking its course,
Of the sun dreaming its worlds.
We must dream backward,
Towards the source.
We must find the lost world,
Dream inwardly and also outwardly.
– Octavio Paz



  • Sustained an international education programme with a focus on social justice and peace for 20 years, in partnership with two American liberal arts colleges.
  • Trained thousands in gender, social justice and related topics and has several publications to its credit, including training manuals on Gender Equality and Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs and Child Labour.

Community Based Initiatives

  • Bandhavi – A residential empowerment programme for girls at risk
  • Samagra Shikshana Shale – An integrated primary school for children from marginalised and migrant communities.
  • Child Rights Education and Advocacy (CREA) – An advocacy programme to establish child labour free zones and promote child rights in north Karnataka.
  • Rural Women’s Collective (RWC) – Focusing on violence against women and women’s political participation.
  • Visthar Ranga Shale (VRS) – A theatre school affiliated to Kannada University, Hampi.
  • Children’s Movement for Climate Justice (CMCJ) – Awareness and action on Climate Change and destructive development.
  • Resilience – A COVID response project in Koppal Distt., Karnataka.

Eco Sanctuary

  • A site for environmental education and ecological farming in Bengaluru.
  • Srujana recycled – A paper unit that serves as an eco-model for sustainability.
  • Manoranjitham Nursery – offers organic and native herbal, air-purifying & decor plants in designer terracotta planters.

Want to get involved?

The legal definition of a charitable organization varies between countries and in some instances regions of the country.

Set up as a space for alternative ideas, Visthar buzzes with action 25 years down the line

Towards the end of the 19th century, with the advent of the New Liberalism and the innovative work of Charles