British Deputy Prime Minster Praises the Work of The Loomba Foundation

Top Quote The Loomba Foundation Charity Dinner raised 300, 000 for educating the children of Widows. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) November 24, 2011 - The Loomba Foundation held its 'Educate a Widows Child in India' Annual Charity Dinner at the Savoy in London on Friday the 18th of November, 2011. It was truly a memorable evening which was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Nick Clegg MP as Chief Guest. The Guests of Honour included the acting High Commissioner of India, H.E Rajesh N. Prasad, the First Lady of the Republic of Gabon, Madam Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, Rt. Hon. Dr. Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Mrs. Cherie Blair, President of the Loomba Foundation. The Foundation's International Ambassadors, famous Bollywood Actors, Kajol and Ajay Devgn supported the charity at the event.

    The Loomba Foundation was honoured to receive a generous donation of 50,000 from the First Lady of Gabon, Madam Sylvia Bongo Ondimba and the leading entrepreneurs, S.P Hinduja and G.P Hinduja, pledged funds for the education of 500 children of poor widows in India, for a period of five years.

    Lord Raj Loomba, Founder and Chairman Trutstee of the Loomba Foundation, announcing these donations at the event said 'We are very much indebted to the Hinduja Group and the First Lady of Gabon, Madam Sylvia Bongo Ondimba for their generous donations'.

    Speaking at the occasion, Cherie Blair, President of the Loomba Foundation, informed guests that the Foundation, which was established in UK in 1997, had so far educated 6,221 children of poor widows in India and supported 27,000 family members. Many of the students have already completed their studies after receiving scholarship for a period of five years or more. She added that the Foundation is currently educating 2,150 beneficiaries in 14 states in India.

    She continued "The issue of widowhood has remained unidentified and undressed until the recent research study revealed that there are over 245 million widows and 500 million of their children worldwide. We are proud that through our tireless campaign the United Nations declared June 23 as International Widows' Day last year".

    Addressing the gathering, India's acting High Commissioner H.E Rajesh Prasad said, "Advancement of the weaker sections including widows and their children is one of the top priorities of the Indian Government ".

    Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP, leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister said, "I am delighted to be here with you and my ongoing commitment to education as a way out of poverty is one of the many reasons I support the excellent work of the Loomba Foundation".

    Superstar Bollywood Actress Kajol Devgn said, "The plight of widows is unthinkable and without financial means, it is even more scary. Education is the only way forward".
    Entertainment on the night included a dazzling performance by 100 school children, who performed and danced to the popular track Jai Ho.

    The Foundation raised over 300, 000 at the event through the generosity of its sponsors and the fundraising activities on the night. In his speech Lord Raj Loomba thanked all the sponsors and guests, giving a special thank you to Barclays Bank PLC who were the lead sponsors of the event.

    About the Loomba Foundation
    The Loomba Foundation was established by Raj Loomba CBE and his wife Veena in the UK in 1997. It promotes fundamental freedoms and human rights of widows and their children around the world, raising awareness of the gross injustices widows face and seeking to remove stigmas associated with widowhood.

    The Foundation collaborates with UN bodies, other NGOs, government officials, human rights advocates and prominent leaders to fight for the over 245 million widows worldwide who suffer prejudice and discrimination and seeks to bring about gender sensitive reform of national laws and policies, eradicating anti-widow superstitions, traditions, and social practices. It fosters gender equality and women's empowerment by implementing poverty-reduction strategies and educational opportunities for widow's and their children.

    The United Nations declared 23rd June as International Widows day. This designation was followed by a conferred at the UN headquarters in New York. The Loomba Foundation initially declared 23rd June as International Widows Day at the House of Lords in May 2005. The Foundation also published a comprehensive Research Study on widows worldwide and the first edition of was presented to the UN Secretary General, HE Ban Ki Moon on 22nd June, 2010 followed by presentations to the President of India and the US Secretary of State.

    The Loomba Foundation is honoured to receive support from the former, U.K First Lady, Mrs. Cherie Blair as President of the Loomba Foundation and Sir Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Group, as Patron and Chief of the foundation. An important role in fundraising and awareness is also played by the Foundation's numerous corporate partners who include ABN Amro, Alpesh Patel, Barclays Bank, Citibank, Commonwealth Business Council, Deutsche Bank, Duncan Lawrie, Europoint Holdings, HSBC London, Jaguar, KPMG UK, Landsbanki, M J Lonsdale, MPS, Old Waverly Hotel, O'Melveny & Myers LLP, ONGC, Praefinium Partners, Punjab Govt / Punjab National Bank, Rajeev Dhillion, Rational Foreign Exchange, Shamin Lalji & Nadira Lalji, Sheetal & Ricky Kapoor, State Bank of India, TATA Consultancy Services, Telecity Group Int'l Ltd, Torch Partners Corp. Finance Ltd, Oxfam and Virgin Atlantic.

    For further information please contact:

    Priti Patel
    priti ( @ ) theloombafoundation dot org
    020 8896 9922 Ext:249

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