23 June 2016 – Ludhiana, India
The Loomba Foundation marked International Widows Day at an event which was held in Ludhiana on 23 June, 2016. The Foundation, which works to empower disadvantaged widows around the world, commemorated widows, by inviting them to talk about their struggles and how the skills training provided by the Loomba Foundation impacted their lives.
The past year had been significant for Loomba Foundation’s work in India, especially since the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi launched The Loomba Foundation’s project in Varanasi, by distributing sewing machines to empower over 5,000 widows.
5 August 2016 - Delhi
The Loomba Foundation launched a partnership project with the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) and Lions Clubs International British Isles and Ireland to provide dignified livelihoods to 2,600 impoverished widows in and around India’s holy city of Vrindavan. The Loomba Foundation will provide a two-month certificate-based skills training in tailoring and a foot-operated sewing machine on successful completion of this course.
This project was launched by the Honourable Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, British High Commissioner to India, at his residence in New Delhi. He said “The British Commission in India congratulates the Loomba Foundation, the Lions Club International Foundation and the Lions Clubs International – British Isles and Ireland for their tireless efforts in support of this worthy cause.”
13 October 2016 - London
The Loomba Foundation held its annual gala dinner at the Dorchester Hotel in London on 13 October 2016. Over 300 people gathered to celebrate the Foundation’s work which has been carried out over the last year and to support their continued efforts. The evening was a mix of celebrations: Diwali, the 147th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and International Day of Non-Violence was the theme for the night.
The Guest of Honour was Mr. G. P. Hinduja, Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Foundation, who spoke powerfully about the work of The Loomba Foundation and the importance of this night: raising awareness and much needed funds. He also pledged his support for the Loomba Foundation. The event was a get together of people who cared about the cause and who wanted to help the Loomba Foundation continue its support to widows in India and around the world. This was enabled through a live and silent auction. There were lively contests for some of the offerings on the night, the most popular being a dinner with the famous cricketer M.S. Dhoni, offered personally by Mr. G.P. Hinduja. The proceeds from the evening are used to empower widows in India through the Foundation’s sewing machine projects.
5 November 2016 - Delhi
The Loomba Foundation organized a charity concert at Siri Fort in New Delhi on Saturday, 5 November, 2016, which was attended by over 1,000 audience. Sh. Ram Bilas Sharma, Education Minister of Haryana was the Chief Guest.
Supported by FICCI, the concert aimed to raise funds for empowering 1,000 widows and female inmates of all 19 district prisons in Haryana. Well-known Punjabi singer and songwriter, Gurdas Maan was the star performer for the evening.
Some of the other top dignitaries, who attended the event among the 1,000 audience included Punjab’s Finance Minister Shri Parminder Singh Dhindsa; Andhra Pradesh Member of Parliament Kesineni Srinivas Nani; former veteran Bollywood singer-actor Salma Agha; renowned scribe Sir Mark Tully; FICCI Secretary General Didar Singh; BSE’s MD & CEO Ashishkumar Chauhan; The Loomba Foundation’s Trustee and Convener of the One Globe Forum, Shri Harjiv Singh; Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee President Shri Manjit Singh GK; Mr. and Mrs. Kuldeep Bishnoi; SunGroup India’s founder and Padmashri recipient Shri Vikramjit Singh Sahney; Bollywood actor, director and producer Akbar Khan; and other senior politicians, diplomats, dignitaries and business leaders.
23 December, 2016 – Ambala, India
Shri Anil Vij, Hon’ble Minister of Health, Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Haryana launched The Loomba Foundation’s project in Ambala to empower 1,000 widows and women prisoners in all 19 district prisons of Haryana.
Mr. Rajat Kapoor, Founder of The Indian Diaspora Club organized the launch at Central Prison in Ambala, with the support of Haryana Prisons and the Government of Haryana. It was attended by several dignitaries including Shri Yash Pal Singal, IPS, Director General of Prisons, Haryana; Mr. Vikas Gupta, Joint Managing Director of Earth Infrastructure Ltd.; Mr. Rajeev Sharma, IAS (Retd.), Convenor of Swarn Jayanti Celebrations Authority (SJCA), Haryana; Mr. Deepak Gupta, District and Session Judge, Ambala; Mr. S.P.S Chauhan, Superintendent of Central Jail, Ambala; and, Mr. Rajat Kapoor, Founder of Indian Diaspora Club among others.
Lord Loomba said: “The Loomba Foundation intends to do this project with the sole purpose of helping the prison inmates use their time constructively during their stay in prison and to make them learn some skills which will eventually help them on their release from prison. The inmates will not only be trained to have vocational skills, but various aspects of personal development and the value of education would be equally emphasized. Our mission is to make prisons a place of reformation and give the incarcerated beings a chance to become an asset to the society upon their release.”
During the year 2017-18, the Loomba Foundation will continue to organise events to mark International Widows Day on 23 June in the UK and India. In addition, it will also organize fundraising events to celebrate its 20th anniversary in the UK and India.
The Loomba Foundation is hoping to complete the current empowerment projects in Varanasi and Vrindavan during the year.
The Loomba Foundation is planning to become partners with Rotary India Literacy Mission to provide skills training to 30,000 impoverished widows – 1,000 widows in each of the 30 states – and educate 2,000 children of poor widows in India. Through this partnership we will impart training in Beauty & Wellness, Healthcare & Care Giving, Security Industry, Telecom, Tourism & Hospitality, Handicraft, Textile & Apparel, Agriculture and Food Processing and the Automotive Industry.