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Black Tie International:
Lord Raj Loomba
 
Lord Raj Loomba, Founder and Chairman Trustee, The Loomba Foundation receiving award from Abid Qureshi, UNA-NY President
Lord Raj Loomba, Founder and Chairman Trustee, The Loomba Foundation receiving award from Abid Qureshi, UNA-NY President
 

Indian Origin Philanthropist Lord Raj Loomba conferred with 
United Nations Association of New York’s Lifetime Achievement Award

New Delhi, November 07, 2014: Indian-origin philanthropist, Lord Raj Loomba CBE, Founder and Chairman Trustee of the UN-accredited global NGO, The Loomba Foundation, has been conferred with the prestigious UN Day 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts promoting the welfare and economic empowerment of disadvantaged widows and educating their children. The celebratory awards dinner was organized last week by The United Nations Association of New York (UNA-NY) on October 29 to commemorate the 69th Anniversary of the United Nations. This year’s theme was ‘Empowering Women: Promoting Peace and Progress.’

The black tie gala brought together eminent persons from various fields including diplomats, policymakers, senior officials of the United Nations, UN supporters, business leaders and celebrities to laud the efforts of individuals and organizations who have selflessly worked for the cause of promoting women’s empowerment.  MSNBC anchor and community activist Richard Lui, who has himself spent 25 years in community service in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States, was the Master of Ceremonies at the event.

In his message delivered at the dinner, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon congratulated Lord Raj Loomba and other award recipients for their important contributions saying, “I thank all tonight’s honorees for helping to advance the cause of gender equality.  We cannot fulfill 100 per cent of the world’s potential by excluding 50 per cent of the world’s people. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all. I look forward to deepening our partnership with the United Nations Association of New York as we work together to build a more sustainable, equitable, peaceful and just world for all.”

Introducing Lord Loomba, Dr. Peter V. Rajsingh, former President of the United Nations Association of New York (UNA-NY), noted that it was at this same event ten years ago that Lord Loomba first presented the widows’ cause to the United Nations in New York. “Without Lord Loomba’s vision, strength of character and persistence, International Widows Day, which draws the world’s attention to the plight of widows, would never have come about. The 245 million widows in the world and their 500 million children, which amounts to over three quarters of a billion people and a sixth of the world’s population, salute Lord Loomba for his extraordinary accomplishments.  He personifies what it means to be the change one is seeking to bring about in the world, a man of extraordinary conviction and character who inspires us all.”  

 

The Loomba Foundation is the only global charity wholly dedicated to helping widows. Widows in almost every nation around the world are treated worse than other women, who are victims of double discrimination as they are women and they are widows.  And until recently, no one acknowledged widows as a distinct category of disadvantaged persons.  On the 22nd December 2010 at the 65th UN General Assembly, the United Nations recognized 23rd June, the day Lord Loomba’s mother became a widow at 37, as International Widows Day. 

 

While presenting the Award, Abid Qureshi, President of the United Nations Association of New York (UNA-NY) said, “The Loomba Foundation’s efforts in making widows self-sufficient through skill building, training, provision of business start-up capital, and other programs for economic empowerment, as well as promoting widows’ psychological well-being by allowing them to develop self-worth, are truly commendable.” He congratulated Lord Loomba for accomplishing important strides in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.  Also receiving 2014 UN Day awards were Stefan Persson, CEO and Chairman of H&M and Under-Secretary General Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women.

 

On receiving the Award, Lord Raj Loomba said, “It is a rare honour for me to be bestowed with this Lifetime Achievement Award. It renews my vigour and passion to help alleviate poverty and the suffering of widows. But it is not a recognition of just one person’s life’s work – it is in fact a tribute to the unselfish and collective efforts of our Patrons, Trustees, advisors, Partners, donors, supporters and volunteers across the world; it is also a celebration of those poor yet brave widows who believe in the possibility of a better life and who aspire to break the chains of immense economic and societal pressures put on them by systems of institutionalized injustice. The trials faced by my mother after being widowed at a young age serve as a constant reminder and inspiration for me to never let this torch fade away till each of the millions of widows and their children globally become self-sufficient and are empowered to lead lives of dignity, free of stigmas and oppression.”

 

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.

 

ABOUT THE UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK

United Nations Association of New York is a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to educating, inspiring, and mobilizing the New York City community to support the principles and vital work of the United Nations. Recognizing its position as a host Chapter, UNA-NY seeks to strengthen the UN system, and promote constructive United States leadership at the UN.

 

 

joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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