MUMBAI :The feeling of victory is absolutely surreal, says actress Somy Ali, who now runs a US based NGO called No More Tears. Right since it’s inception, Somy has been tirelessly working to help save and facilitated victims of domestic violence and rape, and recently they had quite a break through.
Somy, along with her NGO, brought back home nine Indian girls, who were sold to human traffickers in the US. She did so with the help of an anonymous donor, and she couldn’t be more grateful.
“We had a wonderful donor, who is originally from Mumbai, India, and he paid the airfare for nine young girls brought to the U.S. via a marriage website who were then sold to human traffickers by the people they married. The ages of these girls varied from 19-23 years old and the conditions we found them in were horrible. All of them had been raped and beaten repeatedly if they would not comply with the traffickers. They were deprived of food and even basic needs such as sanitary napkins. It was literally like listening to a horror movie's story over and over again. I think South Asian parents do not understand the dangers involved within these online marriage sites and assume that their daughters will be safe while their husbands are working hand in hand with the traffickers. They literally take a commission from the traffickers and this has become quite a norm. Thus, I urge and beg these parents to please be vigilant when it comes to looking for grooms on these sites. They are not at all trustworthy and it has become quite a money-making scam for human traffickers,” she says.
She adds, “It truly is hard to put into words when I watched these girls call their parents who are based in various parts of India. It's impossible not to get teary eyed for anyone witnessing their reunion even if it is via a phone call initially and then telling their families that No More Tears has booked their tickets to get them back to India safely.”
Somy says that the fulfilment she gets from helping these victims is priceless. “The key factor is to love what one does and not look at it as a job. For me, this is my 16th year running my NGO and at this point it's like second nature for me to rescue and work on healing the rescued from victims into survivors. But I must say that if it weren't for this donor from India who happens to reside in Miami and is gracious enough to remain anonymous, it would have been a tough task financially for NMT to pay for nine victims' plane tickets. This is why I always stress on the fact of how important our donors are and without their support No More Tears would cease to exist. As for time management, the satisfaction of doing this work daily in itself is so intense that time management is the last thing that ever crosses my mind,” she says.
Talking about the work they do, she says, “It's definitely keeping me on my toes at all times. Unfortunately, our mission is such where domestic violence, hate crimes, child abuse, and human trafficking are extremely prevalent. Therefore, there is no time to rest and it's nonstop work. However, it's work that is worth every minute of my time given that human trafficking is the largest growing criminal enterprise in the world. It is even taken over drug trafficking because drugs are used once while people are sold over and over again for sex or labour trafficking. It's quite disgusting how wildly universal the prevalence of this crime has become which includes anything and everything for sale online including human organs.”