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Sewing machines distributed to 400 widows in Varanasi

May 25, 2017

The machines have been distributed by the Loomba Foundation as part of its project to empower 5000 impoverished widows in Varanasi.

Varanasi: The Loomba Foundation, a United Nations-accredited global NGO that focuses exclusively on the cause of widow empowerment, distributed 400 sewing machines to widows in Varanasi.

The event announced distribution of 424 sewing machines to widows across 30 different training centers in Varanasi. Around 250 widows attended the event, which is part of The Loomba Foundation’s commitment to empower 5000 widows of Varanasi.

Early this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off The Loomba Foundation’s project which includes providing a 2-months’ skills training certificate course in garment-stitching and a foot-operated sewing machine to 5000 widows in Varanasi. The 2011 Population Census of India estimates that Varanasi has more than 90,000 widows.

MLA of Pindra (Varanasi) Dr Awadhesh Singh said, “I am touched by the strong sense of purpose that is evident in this initiative undertaken by The Loomba Foundation to ensure that poor widows can lead a life of dignity and respect.”

Atul Palta, Director – Skills Training and Empowerment, The Loomba Foundation said, “There are estimated 46 million widows in India. Most of them live in rural areas. They are uneducated and cannot find a job. They are dependable on their families and communities, who often abuse them physically, psychologically and sexually.

Palta urged the Government of India for reaching out to widows as a matter of priority. In the light of recent communication from the Supreme Court to the Government regarding improving the state of widows in India.

The Loomba Foundation has urged the government for taking action on the following recommendations. (1) set up a National Commission for Widows; (2) Appoint a person in the Panchayats who is responsible for the well of widows in towns and villages; and (3) give a minority status to widows.

The Loomba Foundation, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year (1997-2017), has been the crusading for the welfare of poor widows and their children around the world. It is assisting over 15,000 impoverished widows in nine states, and has sponsored five-year-long education scholarships for more than 10,000 children of poor widows, supporting more than 60,000 of their family members across the entire country.

The Foundation was started by Lord Raj Loomba who has been recognised by the United Nations Association of New York with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Forbes India Philanthropy Award among others.

United Nations recognized 23rd June as International Widows Day which has helped bring the world’s attention to this neglected humanitarian crisis that impacts more than 259 million widows and their 584 million children worldwide, according to a recent ‘World Widows Report’ published by the Loomba Foundation.

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