Along with our efforts to change culture and attitude, The Loomba Foundation seeks to empower individual widows to become economically self-sufficient, setting them up with equipment, support, skills training, and advice. For nearly two decades, we have helped over 15,000 impoverished widows in nine Indian states.

For instance, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the holy city of Varanasi in India is the most visited pilgrimage destination in India, where many widows come to spend the rest of their lives after being ostracised by their families and society. The 2011 Population Census of India estimates that Varanasi has more than 90,000 widows. The Loomba Foundation’s latest empowerment programme aims to provide vocational training in tailoring to 5000 widows in Varanasi over the course of two months. At the end of the training, we will provide each beneficiary with a foot-operated Singer sewing machine, which will allow them to start their own business or work in a factory to earn money, and thus become self-reliant. This socio-economic project will not only help 5,000 widows, but will also support 50,000 children and their family members. A similar project has been launched in another holy Indian city, Vrindavan, beginning with 650 widows.

Elsewhere, in association with the Government of Haryana, The Loomba Foundation has launched a new project to empower 1000 widows and women prisoners in all 19 district prisons in Haryana. Our objective is to help prison inmates use their time constructively during their incarceration and learn some skills that will help them after they are released.

We have provided similar vocational training programmes in Punjab, Mumbai, Bihar, New Delhi, Karnataka, Telangana, Puducherry, and Gujarat.

Rashida’s story
Stories of Empowerment