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Activity Report 2021-22

The chronic nature of coronavirus outbreak and lack of success in treatment and cure has created an environment that is crucial for mental wellbeing. The outbreak has sparked with an overwhelming amount of information on news which WHO termed as “infodemic”. Although with vaccination of a huge population in India, the number of daily reported cases have come down drastically, but situation is still not very good.

Covid-19 pandemic has caused large scale distress with the wave sending many into a fragile health care system with acute shortage of essentials such as hospital beds, oxygen and medicines. Covid 19 has killed many thousands of people and destroyed economy all over the world. While we are all united in this fight against COVID, it is crucial that we all do our best to help out as many people we can.

The Loomba Foundation’s Education Programme:

Students of Shri Jagiri Lal Loomba Memorial Govt. Senior Secondary School received scholarship cheques from the Loomba Foundation on the occasion of International Widows Day 2021

The Loomba Foundation continued to educate children of 20 poor widows in Shri Jagiri Lal Loomba Memorial Govt. Senior Secondary School, Dhilwan, Punjab. To date, we have educated over 10,000 children of poor widows in all 30 states in India.

Widows Empowerment Projects:

Project Dignity in partnership with Rotary India Literacy Mission

The Loomba Foundation is currently running a project to provide skills training to over 4000 widows, divorcees or single parent mothers in five states in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, West Bengal, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. I am pleased to inform you that the project in Bihar has now been completed for empowering 570 widows. Furthermore, the projects in the States of West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi are still continuing.
This project is being run in partnership with the Rotary India Literacy Mission (RILM). 1696 (January 2022 Report) beneficiaries have already been trained in different vocations, like -Tailoring, Beautician, Pickle-Papad Making, Candle Making, GDA, Data Entry Operator, Hospitality & Customer Care domains.

Beneficiaries showing proficiency certificates awarded to them after completing successful training under joint RILM empowerment project.
To date, the Loomba Foundation has empowered over 12,000 impoverished widows in 16 States in India, who received training in tailoring for two months and a foot-operated sewing machine on completion of the training, free of cost.
Project Jeeva of the Loomba Foundation to Empower Widows in Sohna Block, Gurugram in association with Navjyoti India Foundation and District Legal Services Authority.
A Zoom Meeting to interact with all the beneficiaries under Project Jeeva, was organized on 2nd June 2021, Wednesday at 11:30 am. The Topic of the session was – Training on Talent and Qualities. Main objective of the session was to build self confidence in these widows so that they can fight with the current situation and come out of the comfort zone to become self-reliant and earn their livelihood. Some of the widows shared their experiences on how this project is helping them.
Mrs. Seema Jaiswal, a motivational speaker from Navjyoti India Foundation gave a very good presentation to these widows with the help of some videos and motivational stories. She was able to convey the message to all these widows to build confidence inside them and do something significant, which gives them reward and recognition. Officials from Navjyoti India Foundation and District Legal Services Authority attended this zoom session. 

In addition to above two virtual meetings, under the project Jeeva more weekly workshops were organized in association with Navjyoti India Foundation on 15th July, 22nd July, 29th July and 5th August 2021.

International Widows Day 2021 events in India.

23rd June, 2021 Dhilwan, Punjab:  The Loomba Foundation held an event at Shri Jagiri Lal Loomba Memorial Govt. Senior Secondary School, Dhilwan in Punjab on Wednesday, 23rd June, 2021, to mark the UN recognized International Widows Day 2021.
On this occasion, Mr. Atul Palta, Director Skills Training and Empowerment of the Loomba Foundation distributed scholarship cheques to the children of poor widows to support their education in this school. The cheques were also distributed to the meritorious students for their outstanding performance in studies during last academic session. School students gave dance performance – “Gidda” – A Punjabi folk dance. Tree plantation drive was initiated in the school campus to save environment and to mark this occasion.
In another event in Delhi, a webinar was organised by Navjyoti India Foundation in association with the Loomba Foundation and District Legal Services Authority to motivate widows in becoming self-reliant to mark International Widows Day. Many widows participated in this webinar from different villages of Sohna block in District Gurgaon.
Ms. Chandni Bedi, Director of the Navjyoti Foundation briefed widows about the Jeeva Project that it is a joint initiative of the Loomba Foundation, Navjyoti India Foundation and District Legal Services Authority. Mr. Atul Palta, Mr. Pawan Kumar and Mr. Hemant Kumar from the Loomba Foundation participated in the webinar. Mr. Atul Palta, Director of the Loomba Foundation briefed widows about the birth and background of the International Widows Day and why it is celebrated every year. Ms. Seema Jaiswal gave a session to widows on the subject – “Who Am I?”. Ms. Rekha Soni gave a brief on various Government schemes available for women. On this occasion ration kit and hygiene kit was distributed to widows who came to attend this workshop.

International Widows Day 2021 event in the UK

Lord Loomba CBE hosted a webinar to mark UN International Widows Day on 23rd June 2021 to raise awareness of the impact of COVID-19 on widows worldwide and to call for international support for widows’ empowerment both financially and socially.

Lord Loomba was joined on the panel by former First Lady, Mrs Cherie Blair QC CBE, President of the Loomba Foundation; Shoury Reddy, Executive Director Bala Vikasa; Carolyn Moor, President, Founder and Development Director of Modern Widows Club; Rosaline Orva, Founder/Director of Rona Foundation; Charles Ocici, Executive Director, Enterprise Uganda; Rose Sarwatt, Executive Director, Tanzania Widows Association, Dr Eleanor Nwadinobi, President, Widows Development Organization ; Lily Thapa, Founder for Human Rights , Dr Peter Rajsingh and Mr Harjiv Singh, Mrs. Shamin Lalji, Trustees of the Loomba Foundation.

The Loomba Foundation marked the 10th anniversary of International Widows Day 2021, in his opening address, Lord Karan Bilimoria said, “Women currently make up 50% of the UK population, but only 17% of business owners. One of the big barriers is low self-confidence. If that is for women, generally, just imagine, for widows around the world, that the low confidence that they experienced because of what they are subjected to, which is completely unacceptable.” And the date of the 23rd is significant as it was on this day Lord Loomba’s mother became a widow in 1954. 
Reading out the UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message, in one of the excerpts, Lord Loomba said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has both increased the number of widows globally and exacerbated many of the challenges they face, including access to bank accounts and pensions. As governments provide economic and social support in response to the pandemic, they must consider the world’s 250 million widows.  Even before the pandemic hit, nearly one in ten widows lived in extreme poverty.”


Lord Loomba further explained, “What is becoming clear is that the pandemic is also having an effect on mental health. And among the most vulnerable groups affected by this are widows. Widows are one of the most overlooked and marginalised groups in the world. They are often left dealing with the prospect of handling finances, children’s upbringing and management or on their own, which makes them especially vulnerable in times of crisis. 
“No single group is more adversely affected by the pandemic, than widows, we need similar enlightened leadership to help them. This is why today we call on the British government to establish a Covid-19 widows support group to look at the special circumstances of women who have lost their husbands to the pandemic and are left without adequate means to fend for their families and to provide them with the financial support and practical help they need to overcome their bereavement grief.”

Cherie Blair, President, The Loomba Foundation who has been a big supporter of The Loomba Foundation and has been instrumental in getting the UN recognition for IWD together with Lord Loomba. She said, “I have seen how awareness of the plight of widows and its wider impact has grown among governments and international organizations and for over 1000s of lives have been transformed by The Loomba Foundation’s programmes over the past two decades.

“In 2010, the hard work bore fruit thanks to help of the UN representatives from many countries, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted International Widows Day as an official annual day of action.  And on the 23rd of June 2011, I attended the first International Widows Day conference under the UN in New York, chaired by the wife of the then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.” 
Speaking at the conference, Abhi Naha, Chief Commercial Officer, Cambridge Wireless said we are going to work together with The Loomba Foundation to help widows around the world.  Naha’s mother has been a widow for the last 15 years, and he supported the Loomba Foundation by organising the webinar free of charge, which was entirely managed by his colleague, Rachel Kerr. 

Harjiv Singh, Trustee, The Loomba Foundation moderated the conference by welcoming success stories and data from various countries where the foundation has transformed lives. Some of the speakers were widows and that led them to campaign for more women like themselves. 

 Impact around the world 


Shoury Reddy, Executive Director Bala Vikasa shared that 10,000 widows gathered at a big stadium in Hyderabad, from two different states where priests from Hinduism, Islam and Christianity where legislators urged people to stop attaching the discrimination of widows to religion. 

 Mentioning a classic example, he also added, “We challenged the society when Indira Gandhi, our Prime Minister, was a widow. She was a widow for 18 years. And she was really the country and she was breaking a coconut at multi-billion dollar worth project integration. When Indira Gandhi being a widow can break the coconut at a big function, why not a widow at the village?”


Reddy spoke about how the governments are giving like 2000 rupees per month, which is big money for the widows and lobbyists are trying to bring forth the SC-ST Atrocities Act in the light of which, no one should dare to stigmatise a widow. 

United States

Carolyn Moor, President, Founder and Development Director of Modern Widows Club, who is also a widow, said that IWD means that we are listening to widows, and more importantly, we’re believing them. Moor mentioned that widows now have access to reading material in their native language and MWC is trying to ask President Biden and VP Harris, 11 important widows, and widowers recognitions. 


Speaking about the Covid-19 crisis, Rosaline Orva, Founder/Director of Rona Foundation(who is a widow herself) told the audiences that the elderly widows who had already survived a pandemic, HIV and AIDS are now dying because of Covid-19 without knowing when the vaccine will reach them. She said, “So I’m coming with a heavy heart.” 


“What can be done globally, global partners that are here is to use their social capital to endorse and support grassroots organization in Rwanda, in Tanzania. In that way, those under-resourced under-recognized grassroots organisations can sustain the much-needed work,” Orva said. 



Uganda an institution that has received the generous support of The Loomba Foundation. Charles Ocici, Executive Director, Enterprise Uganda said, “We provide business entrepreneurship and mindset training for widows, for women for young people, but also through The Loomba foundation we began to focus deeply on delivering entrepreneurship solution to widows.” 



Rose Sarwatt, Executive Director, Tanzania Widows Association, TAWIA shared that it was through The Loomba Foundation that she came to know about IWD and ended up helping over a million women, starting with 3000 widows. Today, the government has given widows loans and affordable health insurance packages. It has also implemented free education from primary to secondary education to children of widows. 


Dr Eleanor Nwadinobi, President, Widows Development Organization mentioned that child marriages are on the rise during Covid-19, as an effect of which, the number of child widows is also rising. Quoting a source, the doctor said, “There are 4 million more girls at risk of child marriage. And in fact, your NFP estimates that the disruptions to child marriage prevention programs due to the pandemic could potentially result in an additional 13 million more child marriages by 2030.” 


Lily Thapa, Founder for Human Rights said that about 9000 people have died of Covid and 4000-5000 women are widows whose husbands were breadwinners. Thapa, who is also a widow, mentioned that Nepal does not have access to healthcare and rehabilitation infrastructure. 

Need for a Global Fund for Covid widows 

What can governments do to support and help widows financially and to support Covid widows through their bereavement and their grief or when they become widows? Lord Loomba said, “The answer is very simple. I think the pandemic has been worldwide, and it’s a big problem, and no one country can solve it. Therefore, I believe that the G20 countries should get together. And as the G7 has decided to supply a billion doses and, and help girls for education, they should set up a Global Fund for Covid widows. Additionally, I think the national governments should also play their part by setting up National Commission for Widows like they have a National Commission for Women.”


Reports suggest that there are over 3mn people who have died due to Covid and more men have died than women, therefore the number of Covid widows is well over a million. It is imperative to remember that according to a research study by The Loomba Foundation in 2015, it was noted that there were approximately 258 mn widows that already existed in the world, which is also a part of the World Widow Report at the UN. 


In her vote of thanks, Shamin Lalji, Trustee, The Loomba Foundation, UK said, “I have been a trustee of The Loomba Foundation for over 20 years, and have been supporting the work of the foundation to battle the impact of unfair discrimination faced by widows. The foundation has been educating children of poor widows and empowering the widows to work and to become financially independent.”


The conference also marked the screening of a special song created on IWD titled  “Justice for widows” by the famous Bollywood singer and musician Bappi Lahiri, the lyrics of which have been penned by Seema Jaya Sharma. 


26th June, 2021 – Global NGO Expo organized by Athma, Hyderabad – 500004, India.

The Loomba Foundation took part in Global NGO Expo on 26th Jan, 2021.  Global NGO Expo is a platform for NGOs, Non-Profits, Charities and Foundations to collaborate and connect with the Entrepreneurs, Donors, Philanthropist and CSR Companies enabling the participants to Raise funds, Network, Ideate, Learn, Collaborate, and showcase their Social Contributions and Initiatives to stakeholders, marking the beginning of new collaborations and better service to the society.
GNE Award 2021 ceremony was held on 28th June, 2021. The Foundation was awarded with  ‘GNE Award of Excellence’ Digital Certificate, acknowledges as one of the Best NGOs in India for setting up and promoting impactful social practices.  

21st September 2021 – Felicitation and honouring Padmashree Anandji Virji Shah at the House of Lords

During Anandji’s recent visit to the UK, the well-known music composer from Bollywood, Padmashree Anandji Virji Shah of the popular Kalyanji Anandji duo, was felicitated at the House of Lords by Lord Loomba CBE, Founder and Chairman Trustee of the Loomba Foundation, in partnership with Raja Kaasheff & Rubayyat Jahan, who are the most popular young singers in the UK.

The dinner was held in the famous Attlee Room and It was attended by many of Anandji’s followers and dignitaries including Bangladesh High Commissioner, H E Ms Saida Muna Tasneem, G P Hinduja, Ashok Hinduja, C B Patel, Seema Malhotra MP, Umesh Desai, Ravi Sharma, Sarita Sabharwal.

The award-winning musical duo of Kalyanji Anandji have made an extraordinary impact to the music industry with their timeless and iconic melodies. Not only will their music stay with us for generations to come, but they have also created a legacy through their ability to identify, mentor and nurture new talent, many of whom have gone on to become very successful artists.

In addition, philanthropy has always been very important to them; proactively volunteering and raising awareness of social causes in much need times. They have many a time raised considerable sums through their art to fundraise and grow awareness of important issues across communities. They are renowned for the prestigious awards won across the Indian Music Industry and their talent took their musical reach global by influencing well known Western Music artists too.




2021-10-28 Project Jeeva – Completion

The Loomba Foundation signed an MOU with Navjyoti India Foundation to help widowed women from Sohna block of Gurugram District. 55 women were identified and enrolled in Project Jeeva through home visits, phone calls, in collaboration with Anganwadi workers and key resource persons. All of them were counseled over the phone and in person. Low self- esteem, lack of self- confidence and self- awareness identified as areas to support them on.


Simultaneously their family members were counseled and their consent taken for the women to attend the life skills sessions. Over time a change was noticed in the mindset of the male members, the parents and parents-in- law as they became more supportive of their  daughters/daughters-in-law.
Each woman’s employment status and skills were also assessed individually and those who are homemakers were motivated to take up an income generation activity as per their inherent strengths and interest areas. They were further counseled to get engaged with stitching, vermicompost, cookery and other skills.

Networking and linkages were established with various government agencies to help widows in facilitation of services. Agencies such as Women and Child Development, Social Welfare Department, Civil Hospital were co-opted in the project. This helped in availing government schemes such as widow pension, child pension for those who were eligible for the same. All the women were interviewed telephonically to understand individual problems faced by them in accessing scheme benefits.

Regular visits were made to Common Service Centres (CSC) in Bhondsi, Sohna and New Delhi to help in the documentation work required for making Aadhar card, ration card etc. which was necessary for availing government schemes.
75% women currently receive widow pension out of which 07 started receiving it due to interventions under project Jeeva and 5 have applied online and will soon start getting it while for rest of the 8, the work is under process.
23% of the eligible women are now availing child pension. 5 have submitted their documents online so they will start receiving it soon too while 19 are under process.
Women were taken to Public Health Centres for health check-up and such camps were organized in association with public and private hospitals. Linkage was also established with private hospitals such as Medox, Bhondsi. Session was conducted on Ayushman Bharat Yojana in association with Civil hospital. Issues such as BP, eye sight, joint pain etc were identified.
pproximately 70 participants attended the event celebrating the end of Project Jeeva, Phase 1 on 28th October at the NIF campus. Attendees included Dr. Kiran Bedi, Ms. Lalita Patwardhan, Mr. Atul Palta, all the beneficiaries as well as their family members, our stakeholders, partners and volunteers who were recognised with certificates of appreciation for their constant support. Women put up stalls in a vibrant Mela in which games and food were enjoyed by all.

2021-12-31 Ahmedabad Project Completion

We have completed a project to empower 150 widows in Ahmedabad in the State of Gujarat, in association with People Possible Foundation and SEWA. The beneficiaries were given training in cutting and tailoring so that they become self-reliant and lead a life of dignity.


Mentoring Widows Entrepreneurs in Mexico – 8th July 2020

The Loomba Foundation donated £15,000.00 to Cherie Blair Foundation for Women on 8th July 2020. The donation was made particularly to provide mentoring to widows entrepreneurs. Cherie Blair Foundation for Women used this amount for a project in Mexico, which would run over 3 years, to support single parent headed households or widows.

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