Haryana’s Cabinet Minister Shri Anil Vij launches The Loomba Foundation’s project to empower 1000 widows and women prisoners in the state
December 23, 2016, Ambala: Shri Anil Vij, Hon’ble Minister of Health, Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Haryana today launched The Loomba Foundation’s project to empower 1000 widows and women prisoners in all 19 district prisons of Haryana. Lord Loomba CBE, Founder and Chairman Trustee of the Loomba Foundation, a UN accredited global NGO, travelled from London to be present at the launch together with Trustee Mr. Balbir Singh Kakar who raised funds for this project at a concert in New Delhi.
Mr. Rajat Kapoor, Founder of The Indian Diaspora Clubat 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.
Founder & Chairman of The Loomba Foundation, Lord Loomba CBE, 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 as well as value education would be equally emphasized.”
He added 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.
Urging the people to support the future of the children of widows, Shri Balbir Singh Kakar, a Trustee of The Loomba Foundation and an NRI, quoted Punjabi philosopherBulleh Shah’s Sufi poetry, “Charhte Sooraj Dhalde Wekhe, Bujhe Deewe Balde Wekhe…Jinnan Da Na Jag Te Koi, Oovi Puttar Palde Wekhe” (I have seen rising Sun set down, extinguished lamps getting lit up again, and orphans of those who have no one in the world also nourished).
At a recent charity concert organized by The Loomba Foundation with internationally-renowned Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan for raising funds for this Haryana project, UK’s former First Lady and the President of The Loomba Foundation, Mrs. Cherie Blair CBE QC, had said, “I love the work we do at The Loomba Foundation because while providing a sewing machine and training may be a small business, it makes a big impact in supporting the widows and their children, who deserve a better life. It matters all over the world because we are not giving everyone an equal chance in life.”
Mr. Rajat Kapoor, Director of the Indian Diaspora Club, who supported The Loomba Foundation in organizing the launch event in Ambala, said, “We at IDC salute Lord Loomba’s unparalleled spirit and initiative to connect back to his motherland. His efforts over the last two decades are an inspiration to the millions of Indian diaspora to contribute towards accelerating the progress of India.”
Over nearly two decades, The Loomba Foundation has been the crusader for the welfare of widows. It is assisting over 15,000 impoverished widows in nine states, including a project to empower 5000 widows in Varanasi which was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year. The Loomba Foundation has also provided five-year-long education scholarships to more than 10,000 children of poor widows and supported more than 60,000 of their family members across 29 states in India. Currently, it is educating about 1600 children of poor widows in 13 states of India including Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttarakhand.
For his exceptional contribution in the field of public service and community service to uplift, emancipate and empower poor widows and their children in India, the Indian Government has conferred the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Patra on Lord Raj Loomba, who is also the recipient of several other recognitions and accolades including the United Nations Association of New York’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Forbes India Philanthropy Award, British Asian of the Year Award, and an Honorary Fellowship by The University of Northampton. It was due to the efforts of Lord Loomba that the United Nations recognized 23rd June as International Widows Day which has helped bring the world’s attention to this neglected humanitarian crisis that impacts more than 259 million widows and their 584 million children worldwide. It was on June 23rd that Lord Loomba’s late mother, Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba, became a widow at an early age of 37, who faced hardships and prejudices being a widow but succeeded in educating her seven young children single-handedly.