The Loomba Foundation Celebrated The 20th Anniversary on International Widows Day-23rd June 2017, Raised £350,000 at Annual Gala Dinner in London

The Loomba Foundation hosted events in London and India to celebrate its 20th Anniversary on the International Widows Day on the 23rd June 2017. Accredited by the United Nations, as a global NGO, the Loomba Foundation has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the plight of widows during the last two decades (1997 to 2017). The charity is seen as an authority on the issue and has intensely and extensively campaigned for the International Widows Day to be recognised by the United Nations.

The Loomba Foundation launched 23rd June as the International Widows Day in 2005. After a tireless campaign, the United Nations 65th General Assembly adopted International Widows Day as an officially recognised global day of action to take place every year on the date, when on 23 June 1954, Lord Loomba’s mother Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba had become a widow.

JOANNA LUMLEY AND CHERIE BLAIR LAUNCH A BLIMP

On the day before this year’s International Widows Day, the charity organised an event at the Old Palace Yard, opposite to the House of Lords, where the famous actress Miss Joanna Lumley, a Patron of the Loomba Foundation launched a blimp, together with the President of the charity, Mrs. Cherie Blair CBE QC. The event was attended by Lord and Lady Loomba along with many patrons and supporters of the charity.

ANNUAL GALA DINNER AT THE DORCHESTER RAISED £350,000 INCLUDING DONATIONS, PLEDGES, AUCTION AND SPONSORSHIPS

On the following evening, the Lord and Lady Loomba together with their family hosted the Loomba Foundation’s Annual Gala Dinner at the Dorchester in London. Presided over by the Foundation’s President, Mrs. Cherie Blair, the event was attended by Chief Guest, His Excellency Shri Y.K. Sinha, High Commissioner for India, Guest of Honour, Shri G.P. Hinduja, Co-Chairman of Hinduja Group and Special Guests, First Lady of Rwanda, Mrs Jeannette Kagame, Chairman of Rotary International Foundation Shri Kalyan Banerjee and the British Minister of State for Commonwealth, Rt. Hon. Lord Ahmad.

Attended by over 300 high profile guests, including Parliamentarians, Trustees, Patrons and Supporters, the event was an opportunity to raise vital funds for the work of the Loomba Foundation as well as highlight the Foundation’s work the charity has done to educate children of poor widows and empower their mothers in India and around the world.

The High Commissioner of India HE Shri Y.K. Sinha spoke about the important work that the charity and the Indian government is doing to help impoverished widows across the country.

In addition, the First Lady of Rwanda, Mrs Jeannette Kagame passionately spoke about the impact widowhood has had in her country, and the work that the world needs to do to better their lives:

“Today more than ever, it is essential that our commitment towidows does not falter, and that, instead, it helps them remove the barriers that still prevent women from playing a leading role in economic development,” the First Lady said.

She added, “We are all uncomfortably aware that injustice has too often become a familiar experience for grieving widows across the world.”

Veena Lady Loomba, Lord Loomba CBE, HE Y. K. Sinha, Mrs. Sinha and Mrs. Cherie Blair CBE QC

Lord Popat, Sandhya Lady Popat, Lady Ahmad and Rt. Hon. Lord Ahmad

Guests at the Blimp Launch

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Singing a Song

Guests Dancing to Bollywood Music

PAN INDIA PROJECT LAUNCHED TO HELP 30,000 WIDOWS AND EDUCATE 2,000 CHILDREN OF POOR WIDOWS IN INDIA

At the Dorchester Gala Dinner, the Loomba Foundation signed an agreement with the Rotary India Literacy Mission to provide skills training to 30,000 impoverished widows – 1000 widows in each of the 30 states in India and educate 2000 children of poor widows. 

The agreement was signed by our President, Mrs. Cherie Blair CBE QC and Rotarian Shri Kalyan Banerjee, Chairman of Rotary International Foundation. The project will run over next five years and cost approximately £2.00 million.

Training will be provided in Beauty & Wellness, Healthcare & Care Giving, Security Industry, Telecom, Tourism & Hospitality, Handicraft, Textile & Apparel, Agriculture and Food Processing and Automotive Industry.

Cherie Blair CBE QC and Rotarian Kalyan Banerjee holding the signed agreement

We sincerely thank Mr. Graham Tobbell, Mrs. Susan Tobbell and Brightsun Travels Ltd., who have pledged to donate £20,000 each to support the Pan India Project, every year over next five years.

Cherie Blair presenting a Memento to Mr. & Mrs. Tobbell

Cherie Blair presenting Memento to Deepak Nangla of Brightsun

THE LOOMBA FOUNDATION DISTRIBUTED 500 SEWING MACHINES TO EMPOWER WIDOWS IN MATHURA ON INTERNATIONAL WIDOWS DAY

To mark International Widows Day, the Loomba Foundation distributed 500 foot-operated sewing machines to the beneficiaries in Mathura, India on 23rd June 2017. The event was attended by beneficiaries and many high profile guests from Mathura and Vrindavan. 

Last year, the Loomba Foundation had partnered with Lions Clubs International Foundation, to support our projects of distributing sewing machines in Mathura, Vrindavan and the surrounding areas in Uttar Pradesh. The project was based on the contribution of 25% by the Loomba Foundation, 25% by the local Lions Clubs, with the total amount to be matched by the Lions Clubs International Foundation.

The Mathura Project was started and managed by Pawan Kumar and Hemant Kumar from our Delhi office in February earlier this year, and within a period of five months, they completed the training of 500 widows in cutting and tailoring with the help of three local organisations - Kalyanam Karoti Dham, Utthaan India Foundation and Shri Radha Krishan Sewa Samiti. 

Guests and Beneficiaries at the Mathura event

10,000 WIDOWS MARKED INTERNATIONAL WIDOWS DAY IN HYDERABAD BY ATTENDING AN EVENT HELD BY NGO

The Loomba Foundation was invited by Bala Vikasa, an NGO that works on the integrated development of poor rural communities, who organised an event in Hyderabad to mark International Widows Day 2017. They invited 10,000 widows from the state of Telangana to raise their voice to the nation. 

Atul Palta represented the Loomba Foundation at the event and read a message sent by Lord Loomba. The ceremony was attended by Irrigation Minister Mr. T Harish Rao and Speaker of Telangana Assembly Mr. Madhusudhana Chary amongst many other senior members of the state government. Addressing the gathering, the Minister Rao said the issues faced by widows are of grave concern and that he would raise them in the next Assembly session. “If we get together, we can definitely bring in a change,” he said.

Atul Palta speaking in Hyderabad

For any further information, please contact Safdar Shah Tel: 020 8102 0351,

Email: safdar@theloombafoundation.org, visit: www.theloombafoundation.org The Loomba Foundation, Loomba House, 622 Western Avenue, London W3 0TF      UK Charity Registration No: 1064988