Cherier Blair praises NRI Punjabis of England

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Dhilwan, Kapurthala, Nov 18 (UNI) Cherie Blair, wife of former Prime Minister of England, Tony Blair today said UK had very good ties with Punjab as NRI Punjabis have played a pivotal role in the development of her country.

Ms Blair visited Dhilwan village to inaugurate the newly constructed building of a Government Senior Secondary school for which Pushpa Wati Loomba Trust had donated Rs 50 lakh.

Ms Blair who is also the President of the Pushpa Wati Loomba Trust earlier visited this school in January this year and signed an agreement with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for providing financial assistance for the development of the school infrastructure. Mr Badal had also announced a matching grant of Rs 50 lakh to the school.

Talking to media persons, Ms Blair said she was very delighted to visit the school to see the development that had taken place since her last visit. The family of NRI Raj Loomba who established the Trust, had studied at the school in Dhilwan.

She said if women were given due rights and opportunity only then society and the country could rise and develop. She said women have also inspired men to reach the pinnacles of glory in their lives.

Earlier addressing a function, Ms Blair appreciated the charity initiatives of Raj Loomba who had been inspired by his mother in serving the society. She began her speech with Sat Sri Akal and praised the NRIs for the their yeoman service.

She advised the girls make their way to schools after she was informed that there were only 40 girls out of a total strength of 300 students in the school.

She also danced with the students on the stage and enjoyed the folk dances of Punjab-- Bhangra and Giddha.

Mr Loomba chairman of the Pushpa Wati Loomba Trust was reminded of his school days here and became emotional. He disclosed that the Trust was accorded recognition by United Nations as an NGO in June this year and it was working in eleven countries across the world to help the widows and poor children.

He disclosed that Trust was giving an monthly scholarship of Rs 500 each to 3600 poor students in India for their studies. He thanked Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for giving the grant for the school building.

Ms Blair also gave scholarship cheques to 27 students of the school on this occasion.

Deputy Commissioner J M Balamurugan lauded the role of the Loomba Trust for the development of the school and the area. Former SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur also spoke on this occasion.

UNI HS MMS1938

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