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INDIAN GOVERNMENT HONOURS FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN TRUSTEE OF THE LOOMBA FOUNDATION 

Vice President Hamid Ansari confers Pravasi Bhartiya Samman 2015 up on Lord Raj Loomba CBE for his exceptional contribution to the cause of empowering poor widows in India

January 17, 2014, New Delhi: The UN-accredited global NGO, The Loomba Foundation, has announced that its Founder and Chairman Trustee Lord Raj Loomba CBE has been conferred with the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award 2015 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. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated annually to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India.

The award was given away by the Honorable Vice President of India, Shri Hamid Ansari at the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in India last week, in the presence of Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Hon’ble Minister for External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India, General V K Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State for ExternalAffairs and Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India, Shri Om Prakash Kohli, Hon’ble Governor of Gujarat and Smt Anandiben Patel, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat, amongst over 5000 NRI’s who had come to attend the PBD Convention from all corners of the world. The award is most prestigious and highest given by the Government of India to honor the Non-Resident Indians settled abroad contributing immensely to India and their adopted countries.

Elated at receiving the award, Lord Raj Loomba CBE, Founder and Chairman Trustee, The Loomba Foundation, said, “I am extremely humbled with the honour bestowed upon me by the Government of India. It assumes even greater importance that I have been chosen in the historic year that marks a centenary of Mahatma Gandhi returning to India. The cause of widowhood is very close to my heart as I saw first-hand the discrimination and prejudices faced by my mother when she became a widow.

Less than three months ago, the United Nations Association of New York had also conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award upon Lord Loomba on the UN Day 2014 New York. Lord Loomba was instrumental in getting the UN recognition for “International Widows Day” on June 23, the date on which his own mother became a widow when he was just 10 years old. Lord Loomba has also received the Excellence of the British Empire award from Her Majesty The Queen in the UK, an Honorary Fellowship by The University of Northampton, the Asian of the Year Award and the Forbes India NRI Philanthropy Award amongst many other accolades

The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for Lord Loomba comes at a time when The Loomba Foundation is trying to raise funds for the benefit of widows and their children in Varanasi, a holy City of widows located on the banks of Ganges through their goodwill ambassador and renowned UK-based lawyer, Chris Parsons, who is walking 30 marathons (42 KMs everyday) a distance of 1,260 kms from Mumbai to Bengaluru over 30 days. The ‘Walk for Widows’ started from the Gateway of India in Mumbai on 10th January, 2015 and is expected to be completed on 10th February, 2015.

Please download the image of Lord Loomba receiving the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award from Honorable Vice President of India, Shri Hamid Ansari: http://we.tl/YcKWVIQfBm

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 inequalities widows face and seeking to remove injustices 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, the first edition of which 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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