Mrs. Blair came to New Delhi for a conference: ‘Bharat Nirman (Development of India) Through Corporate Social Responsibility: Empowering Women and Educating Children in India’. “How can an Indian widow become an asset instead of a liability?” was the core concern of this conference attended by Shri Vayalar Ravi, the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, as the Chief Guest and presided over by the British High Commissioner Sir Richard Stagg at FICCI Federation House, New Delhi on Sunday, 13 January, 2008. Among other dignitaries were Lord Dholakia, Sir Mark Tully, Mr Dhindsa, representatives of UNICEF, other NGOs and social activists.
At this event, Mrs Blair met 50 students sponsored by The Loomba Trust for their education, their widowed mothers and some of their teachers. Keynote addresses at the conference were delivered by the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Lord Dholakia, Mr Raj Loomba, Sir Richard Stagg and, of course, by Mrs Blair. A dossier was launched at this event by the main guests. This dossier presents the situation of widows around the world and advocates the United Nations to declare 23 June as the International Widows Day. After the formal speeches, Mrs Blair met the conference participants at lunch. In the afternoon, she visited the Bahai Temple, the Catholic Church and the Akshardham Temple in New Delhi before returning home the next day.