Michelin-star Indian chef Vikas Khanna will be shining the spotlight on the rights and empowerment of widows and speak “in honor of the widows of India and around the world” at a special event on June 21st at Capitol Hill to commemorate International Widows Day.
I’m thankful 2 be one of the 1st Indians to be testifying for a global bill at US Congress
I walk up the steps of Capitol in honor of more than 350 widows worldwide.I’m humbled.
They came to bury us.
They forgot we were seeds.
We will blossom & rise.
Giving shade the World needs pic.twitter.com/uA3lrO1OcC
— Vikas Khanna (@TheVikasKhanna) June 12, 2022
Khanna has been dedicated to the cause of widows’ dignity and empowerment since 2011 and his book ‘The Last Color’ and namesake film starring Neena Gupta focuses on the life and plight of widows in the ancient Indian city of Banaras.
The critically-acclaimed film was screened at the UN and won several international awards.
Vikas Khanna is the Global Goodwill Ambassador for Widows and will be a special guest at a panel event “Ending the World’s Silence on Widows: Opportunities for Leadership Around the World” organized by the non-profit organization Global Fund for Widows on Capitol Hill.
In a post, Khanna said that as a Global Goodwill Ambassador for Widows, he is “proud” that he will be speaking and providing “testimony” at the “United States Congress in celebration and in honor of the widows of India and widows around the world.”
He also stressed that “it is time we end the world’s silence on widows and make widows matter.”
Widowed women constitute one of the world’s most disadvantaged and impoverished demographics and widowhood persists as one of the most neglected gender and human rights issues, which are currently not included in the Department of State human rights report.
The panel will discuss the next steps across US foreign policy and development programming to “recognize and integrate the unique needs and experiences of widows” and hear from experts who are leading advocacy and development programming for widows.
The Global Fund for Widows is dedicated to empowering widows and female heads of households to overcome poverty through skills-based training, job creation, and micro-finance through its work in Africa, the Middle East, and India.