Social devaluation and marginalization diminishes people, makes people seem small, and even makes people invisible to the rest of society, particularly if they are locked away in mental hospitals. Valued social roles, even small ones, have the capacity to help people be bigger, stand taller, feel stronger, and shine.

This video shows how five women incarcerated in a mental hospital are able to shine as they affirm their participation as volunteers, helping in a movement to keep people safe within the walls. It illustrates the dramatic impact of social roles for people who are starved for them.

Anjali Mental Health Rights Organization, working toward the freedom of the most marginalized, created this video, and we thank them for reminding us of the potential for people even in the most formidable circumstances.

The lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic has not been any different for some 3,000 residents of government mental health establishments. They are perennially in a state of lockdown owing to institutionalized stigma, discrimination, apathy, and lack of political and public will. Support from Anjali provides a respite from the grim uncertainty surrounding this lockdown as they are stampeded by a system, community, and world oblivious to them. With Anjali’s support, they have taken on the role of being responsible, knowledgeable care resources for their fellow residents.