June 19, 2012 1:24:20 am
There’s going to be an unusual traffic hold-up in London this Saturday – as a herd of bleating goats is led across London Bridge by Cherie Blair,wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The ‘charity walk’ of these potential traffic-stoppers has been organised by the Loomba Foundation,of which Mrs Blair is the President,to mark International Widows Day on June 23. The Loomba Foundation is a global charity founded by India-born philantrophist Raj Loomba,with an aim to support widows and their children. The goat is a symbol of wealth and prosperity and is often a lifeline (providing meat and milk) for many widows in South Asia,particularly in India and Africa,where the foundation does rigorous uplifment work.
The former First Lady will be ‘goat herding’ on behalf of Raj Loomba,who as a Freeman of the City of London,has the privilege of herding livestock across four bridges in London – Tower Bridge,London Bridge,Blackfriars Bridge and Southwark Bridge. “The foundation recently handed out sewing machines to 73 poor widows in India in a bid to empower them with a new livelihood,” says Pratap Singh,Country Head-India,Loomba Foundation.
On the occasion,Mrs Blair will be accompanied by a few ‘assistant herders’ – prominent people from London’s political circles – including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam González Durántez,as well as artist Yoko Ono. “Until a couple of days ago,Delhi Chief Minister,Sheila Dikshit,was a confirmed participant but she had to drop out due to another official obligation,” says Singh.
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