A new initiative by lawyer and philanthropist Chris Parsons – “CYCLING FOR WIDOWS” - was launched at a lunch hosted recently by the British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, at his residence in New Delhi. It was attended by Lord Raj Loomba CBE, Chris Parsons and many high-profile business leaders.
Chris Parsons, a lawyer with international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, spends most of his time in India as chairman of the firm’s India practice. On 3rd February, 2020 he will cycle from Kanyakumari in the south to Srinagar in the north, a distance of some 4,500 km which he hopes to complete in about 45 days, to raise funds for widows in India through the Loomba Foundation.
In 2011, Chris raised $200,000 by cycling from London to Gibraltar. Keen to do something in India, in 2015 he came up with the idea of walking 30 marathons in 30 days. This took him from Mumbai down the coast of Maharashtra and Goa to Mangalore in Karnataka before turning east to cross the Western Ghats into Bangalore – some 1260kms - helping him raise $300,000 for the Loomba Foundation. All of the money was used to support 5,000 widows in Varanasi and the project was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in his constituency.
Lord Loomba said, “I am absolutely delighted and thankful to the British High Commissioner, HE Dominic Asquith for hosting the launch of the “Cycling for Widows” initiative by Chris Parsons at his residence.
Chris Parsons said, “India has become a very special place for me, and it feels like my second home. Over the last 15 years, I have visited the country over 150 times. I have also met a number of poor widows who have been empowered in Varanasi.'
The Loomba Foundation has appealed to readers to donate generously to support poor widows in India. The donations will be used to provide skills training to widows and unmarried daughters of widows. The Loomba Foundation will bear all administration costs.
To donate go to https://cyclingforwidows2020.ketto.org/
The Loomba Foundation was established in the UK in 1997 by Lord Raj Loomba CBE and his wife Lady Veena Loomba, in memory of Lord Loomba’s mother who became a widow at the early age of 37 and succeeded in educating all her seven young children single handedly. With sister charities registered in India and the USA the Loomba Foundation is committed to empower widows and to educate their children in India & around the world. In India, the Loomba Foundation to date has educated over 10000 children of poor widows in all 30 states
The Loomba Foundation is currently campaigning with the Govt. of India to set up a National Commission for Widows and Widows Help Centres through Panchayats in India, as part of our advocacy initiatives.