Lord Raj Loomba Nominated for Awareness of the Rights of Widows

Lord Loomba

Lord Loomba

London, UK – April 20, 2016 – Lord Loomba CBE has been shortlisted from over 100 politicians this year for the 4th Annual Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. The award recognises outstanding politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the highest level in areas of policy, social and business overall. Lord Loomba is nominated for his longstanding work on the global rights of widowers through his charity, Loomba Foundation – the only organisation in the world to work on this important issue.

The inspiration to start work at the Loomba Foundation came from Lord Loomba’s late mother, Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba, who became a widow at the early age of 37 and succeeded in educating her seven young children single-handed. Unfortunately, not all widows are successfully in moving on with their lives with the death of their spouse.

The opportunities for female widows to rebuild their lives and support their dependents are shockingly restricted in many countries, with bans on employment, removal of assets, violence and discrimination commonplace. Discrimination against women widows is a deep-rooted feature of gender discrimination all over the world, though its form and impacts differ from place to place and from culture to culture. From shocking stories of child widows below the age of 10 in parts of India, and widows in some African countries where they are forced to undergo degrading “cleansing” rituals. Deprivation, however, extends also to developed countries with widows in the former Soviet Union and in the United States significantly disadvantaged compared to their peers.

The deprivation of widows has knock-on effects on future generations, depriving dependent children of education and increasing the incidence of child labour, trafficking and prostitution. Countries affected by conflict and disease take far longer to recover as a result of the unjust treatment of their widows and these factors present major obstacles to achieving some of the recently adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including the aims to end poverty in all its form everywhere and to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Alongside the all-important efforts to change cultures and attitudes, the Loomba Foundation sought to address this issue by empowering individual widows to become economically self-sufficient, setting women up with equipment, support, skills training and advice.

The work of the Loomba Foundation is humanitarian and aims to get human rights for widows and remove the injustices that they face. The Loomba Foundation has championed the cause of widows since it was first established in by Lord and Lady Loomba in 1997 with a pledge to educate at least 100 children of poor widows in each of India’s 19 states within a decade – a target it achieved in seven years. In 2005 the Foundation launched International Widows Day to be held as a global day on 23rd June each year, and mounted a campaign which resulted in the unanimous adoption of International Widows Day by the United Nations General Assembly five years later. Today, the Loomba Foundation is a UN ECOSOC-accredited NGO specialising in this issue.

Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Executive Director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: “All too often, we hear stories of our governments not representing our needs but Grassroot Diplomat looks upon selfless individuals in a position of power, who work tirelessly for their communities. The award seeks to create a culture of positive role models within our governments which encourages others like them to follow suit. Grassroot Diplomat winners go beyond their job descriptions and those shortlisted for the award should be proud to be recognised this far.”

The Loomba Foundation has also recently launched the “World’s Widows Report” which is the first comprehensive research about the plight of widows country by country worldwide. Such statistics will help governments to target solutions to lowering the number of widows affected by development issues, and the Loomba Foundation is leading the way in all areas related to the rights of widowers worldwide.

Join Lord Loomba and other government nominees for the gala dinner at The May Fair Hotel, London on Wednesday 20th April, 2016. For ticket information please visit: http://www.grassrootdiplomat.org/book-tickets or call 07511 816689.

Further details about the awards can be found on: www.grassrootdiplomat.org/annual-awards


About Grassroot Diplomat

Grassroot Diplomat is a non-profit diplomatic consultancy with the mission to build trust and strengthen relationships between governments and civil society. As an independent agency, Grassroot Diplomat shows no allegiance to a solitary government but will act in the interest of the people, no matter where they are or what state their country is in. We focus on improving public diplomacy activities by engaging government officials on sustainable social campaigns and investment projects that offers a positive rate of return for their people.

Nina Maxwell
Grassroot Diplomat
Voice Message: +44 (0) 207 608 5532

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