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New Delhi

On the auspicious occasion of Baisakhi, the festival of prosperity and new beginnings, The Loomba Foundation, a global NGO accredited with the United Nations under DPI and ECOSOC, has donated fifty sewing machines to Cordia Group of Educational Institutes, situated in Sanghol in Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab. These sewing machines will be used for vocational training of the students at the institute.

Committed to the education of rural youth and rural transformation, the Cordia Group is a life-time vision of UK-based NRI, Rt. Hon. Lord Diljit Rana, a Member of the House of Lords. The educational complex was inaugurated in 2005 by former President of India, visionary scientist and teacher, Late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

“I am overwhelmed to see the deep commitment of the Indian diaspora to contribute back to its motherland and raise the quality of education and skills in the country. Through Cordia Group, my dear friend Lord Diljit Rana is democratizing superior global education among the rural youth and is imparting vocational skills that ensure their financial inclusion through dignified livelihoods”, said Lord Raj Loomba CBE, Founder and Chairman-Trustee of The Loomba Foundation, adding that, “This aligns with the vision of The Loomba Foundation and I hope that our partnership will inspire youth to take actions for upliftment of poor widows. I also hope that this Baisakhi will usher in a new beginning with India’s youth joining our cause and create a whole movement for giving widows their rightful place in the society.”

Talking about his vision to transform the lives of rural youth, Rt. Hon. Lord Diljit Rana, Chairman of Cordia Group of Educational Institutes, said, “I am grateful to The Loomba Foundation, and especially Lord Loomba, who agreed to donate fifty sewing machines to our educational institute. What started off as a casual conversation has transformed into a beautiful partnership that harnesses our synergies in providing skills training to the rural youth at Cordia and to the poor widows at The Loomba Foundation. In every moment, we have the opportunity to create a new possibility, and I have deep respect for Lord Loomba for his untiring efforts over the last two decades to make widow empowerment a global clarion call.”

The Loomba Foundation has been working for the welfare of poor widows around the world. On 23 June, 2017, at its 20th anniversary celebrations event and the International Widows Day, The Loomba Foundation will launch an ambitious program to provide skills training to 30,000 widows all over India. The Loomba Foundation has already provided skills training to over 15,000 impoverished widows in nine states across India supported by several Indian and global leaders, including 5000 widows in Punjab (launched by the then Chief Minister of Punjab), 5000 widows in Varanasi (launched by India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi), 2600 widows in and around Vrindavan (launched by the British High Commissioner), and 1000 widows and women inmates in 19 district jails of Haryana (launched by Haryana’s Cabinet Minister). The Loomba Foundation has also funded three projects for UN Women in India, Malawi and Guatemala; supported a community based project in South Africa for 1500 HIV orphans in partnership with Sir Richard Branson’s charity, Virgin Unite; empowered young widows in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Syria, Kenya and Uganda in association with HRH Prince Charles’ charity, Youth Business International; and has supported 300 genocide widows in Rwanda by setting up a community based project through OXFAM (GB), which is supporting over 8000 family members. The Loomba Foundation has sponsored five-year-long education scholarships for more than 10,000 children of poor widows and has supported more than 60,000 of their family members across 29 states in India. In addition, it is currently educating about 1600 children of poor widows in 13 states of India including Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttarakhand.

The Foundation successfully campaigned for the declaration of International Widows’ Day by the United Nations, which takes place on 23rd June every year around the world.

The Cordia Group of Educational Institutes provides education in the fields of Arts & Humanities, Computer Applications, Science, Commerce & Business Management, Hotel & Tourism Management, Education & Skill Development programs. In addition to this, students and faculty are provided with opportunities for international exposure as well. With The Loomba Foundation donating sewing machines, the institute will also be launching a new vocational training program in tailoring and garment stitching.

About The Loomba Foundation
The Loomba Foundation collaborates with UN bodies, other NGOs, government officials, Human Rights advocates and prominent leaders to fight for the over 259 million widows worldwide who suffer prejudice and discrimination. The Foundation seeks to bring about gender sensitive reforms 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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