Cherie Blair, the wife of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President of the Loomba Trust and a leading advocate of human rights, appealed to the United Nations to recognise 23 June as International Widows Day. “Giving rights to widows and their children has been central to the work of the Loomba Trust since it became their champion more than a decade ago. ”This appeal came on the day that marked the campaign’s 5th anniversary celebrations at the House of Lords.

International Widows Day is seen by the Loomba Trust’s Founder and Chairman Trustee, Raj Loomba CBE, as a rallying point for the Trust’s crusade to tackle the underlying issue of poverty. “Poverty is the curse of Mankind” he said. “But when you put it in the context of widows and their children, it creates a new dimension in inhumanity.”

Lord Dholakia hosted the London event, with the importance of the occasion underlined by the presence of His Excellency Sir Richard Stagg KCMG, the British High Commissioner to India as Guest of Honour. Sir Richard and his wife Lady Arabella are active supporters of the Trust’s work on the Indian sub-continent.

The guest list also included Sir Mark Tully, the former BBC correspondent who has often reported on the Loomba Trust’s work in the area of improving the rights of widows, and who subsequently became a Patron of the Trust, several years ago.

This year International Widows Day was celebrated not only in the UK, but also in the USA and India, as well as in a range of developing countries including Nepal, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.