Somy Ali on her Human Being T-shirt and Salman Khan’s Being Human Foundation: I believe imitation is the best form of flattery
Somy Ali’s journey from the US to Mumbai to meet the love of her life Salman Khan is a known story. We also know that apart from dating Khan, Ali also worked in a few Hindi films before she headed back to her Miami home.
“After I broke up with my ex in 1999 December, there was no reason for me to stay back in India. Additionally, I wanted to finish my education as I had dropped out of ninth grade to move to Mumbai. So heading back home to Miami was the logical thing to do,” says the actor turned activist and humanitarian, who now runs No More Tears, an NGO that assists and empower survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence.
Ali also runs a clothing line, and funds from this business are used by the NGO. “So-Me Designs is a t-shirt line within the umbrella of No More Tears and the shirts are sold to save the lives of abused women, children and men,” shares Ali.
There are misconceptions around her starting another brand called Human Being after a T-shirt with these two words written on it that was designed by her became popular. Also, many could not believe the coincidence when Khan started Being Human Foundation that works for the betterment of the under-privileged.
Ali explains, “There was no “brand” as Human Being. However, my first t-shirt that I designed was called Human Being. The print on the T-shirt has several religious symbols in between the two words Human (at the top) and Being (at the bottom). The point behind my design was that it does not matter what religion we belong to as we all are one, thus Human Being. Salman flipped the shirt from Human Being and called his NGO Being Human. I believe that imitation is the best form of flattery.”
Talking more about No More Tears and the kind of work being done, Ali says that the NGO rescues victims of human trafficking, domestic violence and children of sexual and physical abuse.
“We provide them with a safe space, apartments, legal assistance, therapy, medical assistance, education and jobs. Since NMT’s inception in 14 years, we have rescued and saved over 30,000 women, children and men. No one at NMT takes a salary and all funds we receive go directly towards the victims’ services programs. We are funded through foundations, state grants and private donors,” she adds.
Ask her about her plans to return to acting and Ali denies having any. “I never had any interest in acting and I still don’t. I do want to write and direct a web series based on my experiences in the three countries I have spent my time in as there are many interesting tales to share,” she says.