As part of its ongoing drive to encourage civic participation and engagement in the Indian-American community and to connect Indian-American constituents to their elected officials, BAPS held a special event for staff members of elected officials at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills, CA on June 23, 2017. The event was successful in bringing about greater awareness and understanding of our collective civic roles in building better communities.
Through this special event, 23 staff members from 8 different federal, state, county and city offices received a first-hand look at the community activities, charitable events, and humanitarian efforts conducted by BAPS. Volunteers led the staff members through guided tours of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, highlighting the devotional, architectural and aesthetic details of the hand-crafted stone Mandir and providing insight on the community involvement in creating such a beautiful place of worship.
BAPS volunteer Ronak Patel spoke to the importance of an open dialogue between BAPS and elected government officials. Following the event, volunteers hosted a lunch reception with staff members, creating an opportunity for more engaged and in-depth conversations.
Reflecting on his experience at the event, Ignacio Romero, Senior Casework Manager from U.S. Representative Mark Takano’s office mentioned, “We were impressed with the peacefulness and the beauty of the hand-carved Italian marble pieces inside the mandir. We look forward to working with the Indian-American community so that we can strengthen our relationship to improve the quality of life in the Inland Empire.” Additionally, Ghazal Sieno, Field Representative for CA Assemblyman Philip Chen noted, “The Staffers’ Day event was a wonderful experience. It was impressive to hear about BAPS efforts to reach out to the community.” Staffers from the offices of U.S. Representative Ed Royce, U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres, U.S. Representative Grace Napolitano, CA Senator Josh Newman, and the City of Chino Hills were also in attendance.
Through these activities, BAPS continues to emphasize the importance of civic responsibility and participation and will continue to encourage the Indian-American community to engage with their federal, state and local government representatives.