WHY IS JUNE 23rd SIGNIFICANT?
The story of The Loomba Foundation begins on 23 June 1954 when Jagiri Lal Loomba, a successful businessman from the small Punjabi town of Dhilwan in the far North of India, died after battling tuberculosis, which was, at the time, a widespread threat to public health. His wife Pushpa Wati—her name means ‘like a flower’ in Hindi—had to, at the age of 37, care for the family’s seven children.
In accordance with custom, Jagiri’s mother—a widow herself—that same day, ordered her daughter-in-law to remove all her jewelery, and never to wear brightly-colored clothing again. In an instant, Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba’s world had been shattered: she went from being blessed and happy to disconsolate and sorrowful.
The contrast had a profound impact on her 10-year old son. “I was too young to comprehend the situation,” Lord Loomba now recalls, “but gradually I saw that her life had totally changed. Before, she was a happy wife. Now, she was a distressed widow.” Over the years, Lord Loomba would discover that the family still had much to be thankful for. But that was of little comfort now, as he watched his mother’s despair.
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