Somy Ali’s life so far is not an ordinary story. From being the 16-year-old girl falling in love with Salman Khan to actually coming to India all the way from the US to get married to him, she also ended up working in a few Bollywood films. Now Somy has left those days behind. The Pakistan born former actor is presently running her NGO, No More Tears (NMT) in Miami, US, and leading a life dedicated to those in need. But, the one thing that has not changed is her love for India.
“I have more ties to India compared to Pakistan. I came to America when I was 11 and moved to India when I was 16. I lived in India for almost nine years. My heart belongs more towards India than to Pakistan. I don’t mean that in a malicious manner to my fellow Pakistanis. I grew up in Mumbai, where I lived most of my youth. So my heart definitely belongs to India,” she says.
Somy’s NGO “assists and empowers survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence”. NMT’s work has been a major contributor in helping many get back to a better life. “Pakistan is dangerous for me because of what I do. I have received a lot of death threats via emails from Pakistani men stating, ‘If you ever visit Pakistan, you will suffer’. It’s a norm for men to hurt women, and I’m taking away that power and control from them. I have been held with a gunpoint on my head as I was taking away a trafficker’s power because I was rescuing a victim that they had held in captivity,” she shares.
Not letting these threats demotivate her, Somy wants to continue with her work. She understands that social work is not easy. One needs to be brave and strong, take a lot of precautions to make things happen. “I’m always watching my back. Recently, we came across a young gay man who told us that his parents were going to have him murdered. Now, he is under our guidance and going to school. He is from New Delhi. We work for the gay community all over the world,” she reveals.
Due to such constant threats that are there given her line of work, Somy is not just careful but also did want to have a family of her own. She didn’t want to put anyone else in danger. This is why she does not want children of her own, but does wish to make a home for underprivileged kids who need care and support.
“I am subjected to a gunpoint for the work I do. So, I don’t wish to endanger the life of my children. I can’t be a mother, so I chose to sacrifice. I’m not Mother Teresa. I’m healing everyone because I’m selfish. I get a kind of satisfaction. My mother was a victim of domestic violence, and I was sexually abused as a child. I wish to make a home for children in India. Its name will be Let’s Save More Lives. I’m planning to visit India in 2022,” she says.
She also opens up about facing visa issues that often stops her from visiting India or bringing her NGO to the country. “Every time I apply for an India visa, it’s rejected as my country of origin is Pakistan. The irony is that I haven’t been to Pakistan since I left India. Presently, I don’t know anybody except my father there. I have an American passport. My Pakistani passport has expired. My heart is in India not in Pakistan. Why do you reject it?” she rues.