The Hinduja Foundation has said the charity will extend its existing scholarships to 500 children of widows in India for the next five years.
“The Foundation has given scholarships for 500 children of 500 widows at the rate of Rs 500 per month for five years from 2012 and we will continue it (for the next five years),” Co-chairman G P Hinduja said yesterday at the Annual Charity Gala Dinner of the Loomba Foundation.
The funding is matched by the Loomba Foundation to provide a further 500 scholarships, “making a fantastic 1,000 in total,” he said.
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The initiative has been running over the past 17 years and the Loomba Foundation have educated over 10,000 children of poor widows and supported over 60,000 their family members, Loomba Foundation’s founder Lord Raj Loomba said.
Hinduja was honoured on the occasion by Cherie Blair, President of the Loomba Foundation, by presenting him with a memento.
Hinduja in his brief address said he had witnessed the useful work done by the Loomba Foundation in India, bringing joy and happiness to families of widows.
“At present the Loomba Foundation is working in nine states and plan to cover the entire country,” he noted.
According to Lord Loomba, “the children are chosen for scholarships by very virtue that their mothers are widowed and their family is impoverished.
An Education Programme Coordinator (EPC) organises and administers the programme helping to select the children, monitor their progress in attendance, and facilitate skill building and vocational training for them.
There are over 259 million widows all over the world and 584 million people of their children are affected, according to World Widows Report.
The report disclosed that discrimination against widows is a deep-rooted feature of gender discrimination all over the world, though its form and impacts differ from place to place and from culture to culture – from shocking stories of child widows below the age of 10 in parts of India.
“It is these stories that we strive as a Foundation to change, to give the chance of a new life and hope to widows and their children through our work, but as the Report demonstrates, four of the five Goals are very unlikely to be achieved unless more is done to help widows and their children, making our work more important than ever and even more of a priority,” Loomba said.