Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, on Tuesday announced that her foundation which works for the uplift of women entrepreneurs would coordinate with a global charity to help poverty-stricken widows in India.

Ms. Blair, who visited the Sanskriti School here for a programme, is the president of the Loomba Trust that is working to alleviate the plight of impoverished widows and their children in 12 countries including India.

Expressing concern that children of widows do not get proper education and health care facilities, Ms. Blair exhorted the public to support the Trust which has been providing education to such children across the country.

“The Loomba Trust had begun its work by helping children of poor widows to enrol in schools. Then we started working for the widows themselves, helping them empower themselves by working as hairdressers or seamstresses. My foundation (Cherie Blair Foundation for Women) that works for strengthening the capacity of women entrepreneurs is getting associated with the Loomba Trust because it’s a common goal we are working towards,” said Ms. Blair.

Ms. Blair said that from supporting 100 widows in Delhi, the Loomba Trust was now aspiring to increase the number to a thousand. “There are an estimated 30 million widows in India and we want to reach across to each one of them, especially the younger ones so that they can empower themselves. One of our main campaigns is to urge the United Nations to recognise June 23 as International Widows Day in order to create awareness on the plight of widows world over.”

Talking about the plight of widows bringing up kids, Ms. Blair said “My mother was abandoned by her husband and she had a difficult time raising the family, so I know the challenges that a widow faces,” Ms. Blair added.

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