BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in the UK, headquartered at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London – popularly known as Neasden Temple – observed the UN’s International Women’s Day (IWD), with an inspiring conference over the weekend.
BAPS’s celebration of IWD represents its ongoing commitment to women and matters of importance to women, as inspired and guided by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader and inspirer of BAPS activities across the world.
The conference, titled ‘Celebrating Women: Save, Sustain & Shine’, focussed on three key themes – saving and budgeting, ways in which we can contribute to a sustainable environment and finding time to develop knowledge and skills to achieve personal excellence. The programme highlighted the importance of becoming more financially aware, especially during a cost-of-living crisis, and urged participants to make sustainable choices in order to act on climate change while also prioritising personal and professional growth for a more balanced life.
These topics were explored through various mediums, including a panel discussion, uplifting video presentations, and inspiring testimonies of women who have overcome adversity and achieved remarkable success in various facets of their lives.
Sonia Morar, Deputy COO – Tax & Legal Services, KPMG, said: “I encourage you all to make the most of this afternoon by sharing and learning new experiences, by reminding yourself of what you already know but also by being excited about being able to focus on your skills, aspirations and continual development.
“There has never been a better time to be a woman – we should all relish that and take pride of what we have collectively achieved and the prospects ahead of us. Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to celebrate this day with you all.”
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The live panel discussion welcomed Lavina Mehta MBE (leading wellness coach), Dr Sundhya Raman (healthcare professionals trainer for NHS), Drishti Mae (Head of Operations for Earth Charitable Foundation), Riya Patel (Fitness Trainer for ‘Pilates By Riya’) and Nupur Gadkari (key marketing campaigner for ICC Cricket and FIFA in South Asia) who all shared insights from their incredible journeys demonstrating that it is never too late to learn and grow, enabling us to help those in need and make a positive impact.
Rena Amin, a BAPS leader and one of the volunteers helping to organise the event, explained: “His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj regularly reminds us that we should always be striving to improve ourselves and serve others. Leading by example, he teaches us that with unity and kindness, we can all make a positive contribution towards a happy, healthy and harmonious society.
“In celebration of International Women’s Day this year, we hope this programme empowered women to feel motivated to commit time for personal development and in turn enrich communities and protect the environment.”
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Similar conferences will also be held at over 20 other BAPS mandirs and centres around the UK.
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is an international community-based Hindu organisation affiliated to the UN, caring for individuals, families and societies through its more than 1 million members, 55,000 volunteers and 3,850 centres.