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The Loomba Trust Annual Diwali Gala Dinner

The Loomba Trust Annual Diwali Gala Dinner

The Guildhall, London

Loomba Trust Makes History: First Diwali At The Historical 800 Years Old Guildhall In London, Thursday, 8 October 2009.

History was made by the Loomba Trust, as the first time Diwali, the Indian festival of lights was celebrated at the 800-year old London’s historic and prestigious landmark - Guildhall, more usually associated with state banquets and City of London occasions.

L to R: Mrs Poonam Surie, H.E. Mr Nalin Surie, Cherie Blair, Preity Zinta, Mrs. David Milibund & Mr Raj Loomba

The chief guest of the evening was the new High Commissioner for India, His Excellency Shri Nalin Surie, who earlier in the day had presented his letters of credence to the Queen, and his wife, Mrs. Surie, who were greeted by the President of the Loomba Trust, Cherie Blair, wife of the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Foreign secretary Davil Milibund & Mr Nalin Surie lighting the ‘Diva’ before the start of the function

Guest of Honour, Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP, Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth, was amongst over 475 leaders of business and government at the annual Diwali gala dinner hosted by the Loomba Trust, the charity supporting poor widows and their children in India and many other countries. The Foreign Secretary praised the work of the Loomba Trust and congratulated the Trust’s founder and Chairman, Raj Loomba CBE, for his dedication and tireless efforts to raise awareness of the plight of poor widows and their children around the world.

Dame Barbara Stocking, CEO Oxfam GB with Raj Loomba CBE, and the High Commissioner H.E. Mr Nalin Surie

The famous and charismatic Bollywood star, Preity Zinta, who this year won the best actress award at the Chicago International Film Festival for Deepa Mehta’s film Heaven and Earth, in which she played the role of a wife subjected to domestic violence, added a touch of glamour to the evening.

Mike Tobin, Chairman,’Friends of the Loomba Trust’ with Preity Zinta, famous Bollywood actress

Preity said she was honoured to be associated with such a prestigious charity and as her mother was widowed when she was only 13 years old she fully understands the problems widows face in India. I want to support the work of the Loomba Trust to alleviate the plight of widows in India and other countries. She accepted to become an International Ambassador of the Loomba Trust and made an appeal to the audience to join hands with her and support the charity.

Minister (Co-ordination) Mr Syed Ibrahim & Mrs Ibrahim being greeted by Mr Raj Loomba, founder & Chairman Trustee of the Loomba Trust

Raj Loomba CBE, Founder and Chairman of the Loomba Trust, thanked the dignitaries for honouring the Loomba Trust with their gracious presence at the Trust’s memorable gala dinner at the Guildhall. He also thanked the corporate sponsors who he said were the backbone of the Loomba Trust. With their generous support, he added - the event, the Trust’s 11th charity gala dinner in the UK, raised over £400,000, which will enable the Trust to continue the education of 3000 children of poor widows in India and empower Rwanda’s 850 widows, including 500 genocide victims - where half of the male heads of all households lost their lives in the inter-tribal conflicts – by helping them set up small business co-operatives.

Roma Loomba, Trustee Loomba Trust with Cheri Blair, President of the Loomba Trust

Organisations that supported Diwali at the Guildhall included ABN-AMRO Bank, BDO, Clariden Leu Bank, Clegg Gifford & Co, Dave Bance, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, India Tourism, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, Metropolitan Police Service, Punjab National Bank, Sheetal & Ricky Kapoor, Brijesh Nayyar, Punjab National Bank, Praefinium, Precis, Rajeev Dhillon, Rinku Group, Safer London Foundation, Scott Wilson, Schneider Electric, Singhania and Co., TelecityGroup, Torch Partners, Trade Aid UK, UBS, University of East London, Virgin Atlantic and Wragge & Co.

Raj Loomba CBE with Mr Nalin Surie, High Commissioner for India and Mr David Milibund, Foreign Secretary

The Trust in collaboration with PTC Network of TV channels entertained the guests through organising performance by Yana Gupta from Bollywood and the Bhangra King Malkiat Singh MBE.

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