Lord Loomba accompanied David Cameron as part of the largest delegation ever taken by a British prime minister to any country in the world
INDIACSR News Network
NEW DELHI: Lord Raj Loomba CBE, founder Chairman of The Loomba Foundation, recently visited India as a part of the British Prime Minister David Cameron’s delegation, the largest trade delegation ever taken by a British prime minister to any country in the world. The Loomba Foundation promotes fundamental freedom and human rights of widows and their children around the world, raising awareness of the gross injustices widows face and seeking to remove stigmas associated with widowhood.
Cameron, on his three-day visit to India was accompanied by more than 100 representatives from multinationals, ministers, other parliamentarians and peers, small-to medium-sized enterprises and universities. Considering the importance of education and its future prospects in India and UK, Cameron promised to make visas easier for students and also announced that there would be no limit on the number of students from here studying in UK.
Expressing his happiness on these announcements, Lord Raj Loomba CBE, founder Chairman of The Loomba Foundation, said, “Improving the lives of students by fulfilling their dreams and helping them in achieving their ambitions is crucial. I believe this delegation to India was very successful in that direction. The Prime Minister’s initiative to eliminate cap on student visas will encourage Indian students to explore the opportunities offered by the UK’s excellent education system. I am honoured to be a part of this delegation and working towards mutual progress between India and the UK. Our Foundation itself works towards imparting education to the children of impoverished widows and so far, we have funded the education of over 6500 children of such poor widows in 29 states of India, since 1999 and aims to provide the same to many more in the coming years. The Loomba Foundation also provides free sewing machines and imparts vocational skills development training to thousands of widows in India.”
Among several other initiatives during this visit, the British Minister of State, Rt. Hon. David Willets visited St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, where he discussed about education, innovation and employability. Some of the key topics discussed at the college were – policy interventions and good practice, developing key skills for employment and opportunities for India and UK collaboration. The objective of the discussion was to highlight the best practice in developing skills for the work-place, both through higher and further education, to enhance employability of the students, to focus on the innovation in the delivery of higher education and role of universities as innovation hubs.
Lord Loomba actively participated in these sessions and said, “The Government of India has set up a mandate to provide vocational skills and training to 500 million students by 2022. To achieve this goal, they have also set up a National Skills Development Council to create private and public partnerships. Skill Development should be the key if India needs to generate employment and economic growth in the country. Therefore, the British universities should work with these public-private partnerships, to make this a win-win situation for both our countries.”
The Loomba Foundation supports projects to help thousands of widows and their children in South Asia and Africa. 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 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 and the first edition of 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 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.