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Breaking Chains

Santoshi’s Journey to Resilience

*This video covers the topics of suicide and domestic violence.

In Nepal, people with psychosocial disabilities are often misunderstood and face discrimination and social exclusion, making it difficult to reach out for support. In his film “Breaking Chains: Santoshi’s Journey to Resilience,” DJP Fellow Sanjaya Raj Neupane follows the story of Santoshi BK, a woman grappling with a psychosocial disability following her husband’s death by suicide. Left alone, Santoshi faces the challenges of single motherhood and economic hardship, leading to depression, hallucinations, and her own thoughts of ending her life. “I used to scream and cry,” she says, “see hallucinations of snakes around me.” While mental health services in Nepal are scarce, particularly in rural areas, Santoshi finds strength in a self-help group facilitated by KOSHISH, a grassroots organization dedicated to supporting Nepalis with psychosocial disabilities. “Being in a group … increases self-esteem. The mind is satisfied,” she says. “When something happens and we find ourselves feeling sad, we help each other move forward.”

Editing assistance and English voiceovers by Aparna Sekhar

Read our instructions on how to watch the video on Able Player.

Photo of Sanjaya Raj Neupane.

Filmmaker: Sanjaya Raj Neupane

Sanjaya Raj Neupane is a passionate disability-rights advocate dedicated to mentoring individuals with psychosocial disabilities. In his role as the advocacy coordinator at KOSHISH, an organization amplifying the voices of persons with psychosocial disabilities, he plays a crucial part in advancing their rights, promoting inclusive livelihoods, and seamlessly integrating mental health into Nepal's healthcare system.

Neupane is based in Nepalgunj and plays a significant role within KOSHISH representing people with psychosocial disabilities as a federal member of the National Federation of the Disabled – Nepal (NFD-N). Beyond his official duties, he serves as a mentor and coach for those whose voices often remain unheard due to psychosocial disabilities. His contributions encompass creating accessible content, including Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) resources, engaging video scripts, informative training manuals, and inspiring narratives.

Through a powerful blend of empathy and advocacy, Neupane acts as a catalyst, diligently reshaping societal norms related to psychosocial disabilities and nurturing a more inclusive Nepal.

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