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A Legacy behind
The Loomba Foundation

The seeds of the Loomba Foundation’s global campaign to eradicate discrimination against widows can be traced to more than half a century ago in Dhilwan, a small rural town in the State of Punjab in India, when a wealthy local businessman, Jagiri Lal Loomba, succumbed to the still widespread scourge of tuberculosis.

Origin of

The Loomba Foundation

The seeds of the Loomba Foundation’s global campaign to eradicate discrimination against widows can be traced to more than half a century ago in Dhilwan, a small rural town in the State of Punjab in India, when a wealthy local businessman, Jagiri Lal Loomba, succumbed to the still widespread scourge of tuberculosis.

The date was 23 June 1954

The importance of these achievements in transforming the lives of thousands cannot be overstated. It is still however a  drop in the ocean worldwide, and more needs to be done to bring relief to the many millions of widows and their families still suffering poverty and discrimination.  We have made a great start, and now we have the chance to bring about large-scale culture change. So while we celebrate the past, let us keep our eyes focused firmly on the future to eradicate this injustice from the world. 

Shri Jagiri Lal Loomba

Foundation

In 1997, five years after Raj Loomba’s mother passed away, Raj and his wife Veena established the Srimati Pushpa Wait Loomba Trust-as The Loomba Foundation Was initially known in the UK-to care for widows and their children, and to change the culture that discriminates against them The initial focus was on Raj’s native India, where some 46 million women – almost 10% of the female population of marital age – are widows.

Shirmati Pushpa Wati Loomba was a strong women, determined to ensure her children’s prospects were not harmed by this tragedy. Her husband had ensured that the family was provided for. to give her children the best chance in life, Pushpa Wati resolved to devote the whole of their resources to ensuring that all the children, including the girls, received the best education possible, right through to university.

Widows

Empowerment

The curse of widowhood often plunges the whole family into destitution and despair, with consequences that blight communities and last for many decades. Raj Loomba saw that if he could find a way of funding the education of the children of poor widows, it would not only transform the conditions of that family but also provide for a better future for all its members.

If in many villages, towns and cities and in numerous countries it is impossible for widows to find employment – whether because of discrimination or lack of skills – the inevitable consequence is that they must support themselves by other means, and all too often this leads to child labour, prostitution and other forms of exploitation. The Loomba Foundation’s empowerment programme  invests in skills training, equipment and microfinance to help widows set up in business and become independent.

Fundrasing

The curse of widowhood often plunges the whole family into destitution and despair, with consequences that blight communities and last for many decades. Raj Loomba saw that if he could find a way of funding the education of the children of poor widows, it would not only transform the conditions of that family but also provide for a better future for all its members.

Loomba Foundation launched its first scholarships programme to fund the education of 100 children of poor widows, The Foundation announced its target, that with in a decade it would fund at least 100 children of poor widows-seected purely on the basis of need-in each of India’s (then) 29 States.This meant the Foundation hoped to educate 2,900 children by 2009.

Mr. Chris Parsons is an ambassador of the Loomba Foundation, who cycled the entire length of India from Kanyakumari in the South to Jammu in the North to raise funds for the Loomba Foundation.

He started cycling on Monday 3rd February 2020 and reached on 13th March 2020, after cycling 4100km in 41 days through Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir.

The Loomba Foundation will use all funds raised by Mr. Chris Parsons to provide skills training to impoverished widows in India.

With the committed support and generosity of its partners and donors, the Loomba Foundation remains committed to its founding mission: to transform the lives of impoverished widows and their dependent children. It will continue to deliver direct aid to empower widows to be independent and support their children’s schooling to give them hope of a better future.

On 22 January 2016 the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, who represents Varanasi in the Lok Sabha, launched the Foundation’s programme to train and support 5,000 poor widows in the city, which was fully delivered in just over two years.