The final phase of the ‘Become Adarsh’ project – a spiritual development programme designed for youths in the UK – was held in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami on 1 and 2 October 2016 at BAPS Swaminarayan mandirs in London and Leicester, respectively.
‘Become Adarsh’ was launched in May 2016 with the aim of helping youths progress towards spiritual ideals and to develop various talents and skills.
In his opening address, Ishwarcharan Swami provided encouragement and motivation to participants, explaining that this programme will build spiritual knowledge. He also emphasised that one will earn the blessings of Mahant Swami Maharaj by participating.
The written assessment explored the application of spiritual concepts to daily life-scenarios. An additional creative element innovatively extracted participants’ ability to think laterally, where they shared their reflections through a variety of mediums, including poems, articles and sketches.
Delegates were also assessed on oral presentations which encompassed simulated debates, public speaking exercises and analyses of episodes from the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the Gurus.
The 400 participants were supported by 120 judges who expertly evaluated the performances and provided feedback and encouragement. The judges shared their positive impressions about the programme and the quality of delivery. One judge observed, “Thank you for the opportunity to be involved in such a spiritually enlightening project. The youths have a tremendous capacity and I feel that this programme has nurtured this capability and provided them with the confidence to excel in all walks of life.”
One of the participants added: “To speak in front of others has always been challenging for me. However, through the guidance of the volunteers, the materials and encouragement from my peers, I feel more capable and ready. I thoroughly enjoyed the programme.”
Mayank Patel, one of the volunteers, shared his own experiences. “Observing the talent and enthusiasm of youths was something which inspired us greatly. The array of creative output that we have seen is remarkable and the knowledge and development that has been observed throughout the year makes such programmes very rewarding. We hope to build upon these successes in the future.”