The Loomba Foundation was founded by Lord Raj Loomba CBE and his wife Veena, Lady Loomba. It was established in the UK by a charitable Trust Deed on 26 June 1997 and has sister charities registered in India and the USA. The inspiration came from Raj’s late mother, Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba, who became a widow at the early age of 37 and succeeded in educating her seven children single-handedly.
The Loomba Foundation was the first global charity that is committed to empowering widows and to educate their children in India and around the world. The core work of the charity is in India; however, it has empowered widows in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Syria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Rwanda, Malawi, Guatemala, and Chile. The Loomba Foundation is proud to have worked in partnerships with the Youth Business International, HRH Prince Charles’ charity, Virgin Unite, Sir Richard Branson’s charity, OXFAM (GB) and UN Women
In addition to empowering widows and educating children of poor widows, the Loomba Foundation is actively engaged in advocacy to improve the lives of widows around the world.
In 2005 the Loomba Foundation launched International Widows Day at the House of Lords in the UK as an effective day of action for widows and their children around the world. After a tireless campaign for five years the UN adopted 23rd of June as the UN International Widows Day at its 65th UN General Assembly in 2010. The 23rd of June is a significant day as it was on this day Lord Loomba’s mother, Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba, became a widow in Punjab in India in 1954. Every year on this date, International Widows Day is observed by the UN and many countries to raise awareness of the plight of widows around the world.
In India, the Loomba Foundation to date has educated over 10,000 children of poor widows in all 30 states and it has empowered over 12,000 impoverished widows in India, through various skills’ training programmes. These skill programmes are designed to help widows to earn money, become self-reliant, educate their children and to break the cycle of poverty.