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UN accredited NGO to help 5,000 poor widows in Varanasi

PTI 28 Jun 2015, 12:09:43 PM IST

London: A UN accredited global NGO, the Loomba Foundation, will provide vocational skills and training to 5,000 poor widows in Varanasi in an effort to create employment opportunities for them.

"The Foundation will provide vocational skills and training to the disadvantaged widows in garment making, hair and beauty, care nursing, hospitality and retail sector, which will create employment opportunities for them," NGO's founder Chairman Lord Raj Loomba CBE announced yesterday.

Cherie Blair, President of the Foundation, said that there were 258 million widows all over the world and 115 million of them lived in poverty.

"Eighty-six million of them suffered physical abuse," she said, adding that it was a "global tragedy."

"Widows are victims of double discrimination. First, as a woman and secondly as a widow. Loss of a husband mean loss of income, loss of home, loss of social status. 

Widowhood comes with stigma, abuse and marginalisation. This is a serious human rights concern," Lord Loomba said at an event here to commemorate the 10th anniversary of International Widows Day.

Stating that the Foundation would try to secure greater global attention to the issue, he said, "at the moment my focus is getting widows recognised within the post 2015 sustainable development goals.

"The Foundation works to provide tangible assistance to widows to empower them economically.

 For example in India we train widows to use a sewing machine giving them the ability to earn a living. We also provide education for the children of widows, helping to avoid a cycle of deprivation."