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Somy Ali on starting NGO: Saving lives meant saving me from my unfortunate trauma

As she tirelessly helps save and rehabilitate victims of domestic abuse and rape, Somy says that her NGO has helped her grow as a human being.

Mumbai, 07 March 2024 (UTN). Growing up in a tough environment, and then facing innumerable challenges and setbacks in her Bollywood career and personal life, actress Somy Ali credits her NGO, No More Tears, as her saviour. As she tirelessly helps save and rehabilitate victims of domestic abuse and rape, Somy says that her NGO has helped her grow as a human being. My attitude in life has been that when someone says you are worthless and are nothing without me, which someone, who was supposed to love and care for me, did say to me repeatedly; I use that rage to do good rather than wallow in self pity.
Trust me, I did wallow and it didn’t help one bit. However, with my NGO, I realised that saving lives was saving me from my unfortunate trauma and experiences. This is why I deem what I do to be extremely selfish as it makes me happy and brings me joy. There is no altruism in social work and I am not a saint in any way because one has to have that specific trait in them to be able to see and witness the worst of humanity every single day. My job is to fix damaged people and broken children. It’s draining, yet immensely gratifying and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world,” she says.
Working with victims of domestic abuse and rape can be psychologically devastating, but she makes sure to keep her mental health in check, says Somy. “I would have to be a robot if I said that it doesn’t impact me psychologically because the things I see would disturb any person trained or not mentally. However, we have therapists for the work I do and the effect it has on my psyche. I talk to a psychologist twice a week online about anything and everything which has really helped me cope with the work I do daily. I use the rage and fire in me as fuel to continue doing what I have been for 17 years now. That’s the only way to get by or else anyone would break down and quit,” she says. Talking about the most significant milestones or turning points that she has encountered while leading No More Tears, she says.
“The first one was in 2011 when the very first victim obtained her Ph.D through NMT’s help. There are so many other rewards that come from our work, but it’s always the first born that a mother cherishes a great deal. Hence, for me, it is the first victim we transformed into a survivor which matters greatly to us as an NGO. Rescuing children who are about to be trafficked or were trafficked and seeing them doing well is an emotion that is very difficult to put into words. I remember when we rescued our 100th victim and one of the local channels did a news story on our NGO and the victim because she had by that time become a lawyer through NMT’s help. It’s all simply priceless and definitely a road less travelled. But I am at my happiest when I am going down that path knowing it will lead me to a gratifying destination.”
Mumbai-Reporter, (Hitesh Jain).

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