Bollywood Star Couple Kajol & Ajay Devgn to Attend Charity Dinner to "Educate a Widow’s Child in India"

English: Cherie and Euan Blair with Nigel Lamb...

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Cherie Blair, Britain’s former first lady, to inaugurate The Loomba Foundation’s Annual Charity Dinner in Delhi to help ‘Educate a Widow’s Child in India’. Confirmed attendees include Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Bollywood star couple Kajol & Ajay Devgn, among several other dignitaries.

New Delhi, Dec 6, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) The Loomba Foundation today announced that it will be hosting its Annual Charity Dinner to support its ongoing ‘Educate a Widows Child in India’ programme, on Saturday, December 10, at the Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi. Cherie Blair, Britain’s former first lady, and President of The Loomba Foundation, will be in India to inaugurate the charity event.

Smt. Sheila Dikshit, Honorable Chief Minister of the Government of NCT of Delhi, has consented to be the Chief Guest for the evening. Bollywood star couple, Kajol and Ajay Devgn, who are the international brand ambassadors for The Loomba Foundation, will participate in the event to express their solidarity to the cause of raising funds to educate the children of poor widows in India.

Elaborating on the need for such a fund-raiser, Lord Raj Loomba CBE, founder Chairman of The Loomba Foundation, said, “Worldwide, there are over 245 million widows and over 500 million children suffering in silence. Out of these, India alone has as many as 42 million widows rearing more than 100 million children. Many of these widows and their children around the world suffer through abject poverty, illiteracy, HIV, conflict and social injustice. Those trapped in a cycle of deprivation find it almost impossible to get out of it. The Loomba Foundation has educated thousands of children of poor widows in India. It has also provided financial aid to their widowed mothers so that they can live a life of dignity.”

On November 18, The Loomba Foundation had organized a similar Charity Dinner in London, where the Hinduja Group announced that it will fund the education of 500 children of widows in India for the next five years, matching similar education being sponsored by the Loomba Foundation for another 500 children of widows. Lord Loomba urged the Indian corporate groups and high net-worth individuals to come forward and sponsor the education of such children at the fund-raiser event, promising that any such support will be matched by a similar grant by the Foundation. “Growing up in India and raised by my widowed mother, I witnessed firsthand the suppression and difficulties faced by women in this country. Sadly, this suppression in the work place was a fact of life for most women in India then. Widows are a category of disenfranchised women, whose status has never been properly recognized in human rights discourse. I have devoted my life to this particular class of marginalized and unrecognized women who suffer severe hardship and social stigma around the world,” he added.

The dinner in New Delhi will feature a live auction to raise funds for the children of poor widows in India.

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 Loomba Foundation 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 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.

The Loomba Foundation 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.

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