11 Oct :Bollywood actress Kajol has been appointed goodwill ambassador and patron of the UK based Loomba Trust, a charity devoted to educating widow’s children, particularly in India.
Kajol was presented a plaque by Cherie Blair, President of Loomba Trust and wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair at Whitehall during a ceremony to celebrate UN International Day of Non-violence commencing on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and Indian festival Diwali last evening.
Describing it as a "great honour", Kajol, who has starred in hit films like "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" and "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" said, "I will do my very best to be worthy of this appointment."
Raj Loomba, who founded the trust in the memory of his late mother, said, "I hope Kajol will bring wealth of support and much needed wealth to our charity."
The function was attended by India’s High Commissioner to the UK Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, former Mayor Ken Livingstone, Lord Navnit Dholakia- Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords among others.
Cherie Blair said the trust would extend its activities to Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Luanda. It has already helped educate 3,500 children of widows in India, she added.
Talking about her recent trip to India, she said, "Not only did I have an opportunity to visit rural India but I also had the chance to spend time with many widows and children supported by the trust."
Indian High Commissioner Mukherjee praised the efforts of trust for their charity work.He also extended Diwali greetings to the people of Britain and said that the festival of Diwali had achieved international flavour as it marks the triumph of good over evil.
"Combined with it is the celebration of Gandhi Jayanti, the birthday of the Mahatma, who spearheaded non-violent Satyagraha which represented courage and strength," he added.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said, "On Friday , a thriving and diverse London depends on its Indian community. The personal and business links to the great and culturally rich nation of India add to our own society every day.”
"I look forward to strengthening my own ties to India and continuing my support of the Trust," he added.Remembering the message of peace that Gandhi advocated, Loomba said, "Many women throughout the world have lost their husbands through violence.
It seems fitting that on this day we commemorate the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, an apostle of Non-Violence." DDINEWS