Fight or Flight – Somy Ali!

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Somy Ali, fight or flight

She’s just 46, yet her life has been less than ordinary replete with sharp-toothed serpentine twists ‘n’ turns and razor-edged challenges that at times seared painfully into her very being leaving her scarred and traumatized. …From being bullied in school to being a rape survivor at the age of 14; from debuting as a film star at the age of 16 in a new country to giving it all up by the time she turned 23; indeed, her life has been a huge challenge from a very young age.  But with immense courage and grit, she faced her own demons and turned her life around to start her NGO No More Tears.

Meet the incredible Somy Ali, actor turned social activist, who has relentlessly worked for victims of rape, human trafficking, and domestic violence for the last 15 years. In fact, a documentary series called ‘Fight or Flight’ on Discovery Plus-USA has even been made specifically on her work.

We caught up with Somy Ali to find out more about her life, her NGO and the documentary made on her work, and why she gave up acting for social work.  Somy starts off by saying, “Acting wasn’t my dream or calling. I didn’t come to Mumbai to become an actress. I became an actress by accident. Back in the early ‘90s when I entered the Hindi film industry, I had no interest in acting nor did I have any proper guidance from anyone on anything – from makeup to clothing. I was like a kid left in the woods to fend for herself or thrown in the pool not knowing how to swim. I was completely lost and alone which led to many mistakes, but no regrets. I deem them to be a part of my journey and a pivotal time where I learned many things about people which brought me to where I am today.”

After her seven-year stint as an actor in Mumbai, Somy went back to Miami to complete her studies and after that, she started her NGO No More Tears. “After finishing my education, for the past 15 years, I have been running my NGO, No More Tears (NMT) with a mission to rescue and empower victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. This includes rescuing young girls thrown into the horrible life of prostitution as well as the LGBTQ community who are kicked out of their homes because of their sexual orientation. The pimps look for these vulnerabilities in the youth and grab them from the streets. NMT works along with the police and the FBI to rescue them and provide them with an abundance of opportunities to live safe abuse-free life. It gave me immense joy as a human being.”

 ‘Fight and Flight’ streaming on Discovery+ USA has been made on your work, what is it about?  Somy says, “It’s a documentary series about my NGO’s day-to-day work in-depth and its mission. The cameras followed me for three months straight rescuing and transforming victims into survivors. With Discovery+, I now have an international platform that puts the spotlight on what victims of domestic violence and human trafficking experience. Sharing my journey has been extremely cathartic, and this is perhaps the most liberated I have ever felt. My purpose in life is to save as many lives as possible and I hope through this docu-series, more victims will understand that they are not alone.

Somy further says, “I am a rape survivor. And in spite of those things have taken place when I was 14, I still have trauma and nightmares about my plight even in my 40s. This kind of suffering never dissipates; one simply has to learn to live with it. While there is no barometer for who suffered less or more, each rape survivor deals with his or her distress in their own way. This has been my experience of working with thousands of rape survivors through my NGO.”

Kudos to this incredibly amazing woman!

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