Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj was a divine visionary of child development activities. He established the Bal Mandal (Children's Wing) in 1954 and thus 2004 marks the golden jubilee of the Bal Mandal. His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the current spiritual leader of the Swaminarayan Sampraday, has given impetus to these activities and today there are over 5100 Bal Mandals worldwide with over 100,000 children attending weekly assemblies.
On Sunday 1 June 2003 the Bal Mandal of UK launched their Golden Jubilee Celebrations 'Bal Pravrutti Suvarna Jayanti'. Over 3000 devotees attended this unique launch, which was compered and conducted by members of the Bal Mandal. The program included chanting of the shantipaath, the singing of kirtans and a grand finale featuring a dance "Aje suvarna mahotsav aj…" It was an extraordinary sight to see three-year-old Neal narrating a story to a gathering of 3000 devotees and twelve-year-old Sandeep confidently delivering a speech on the moral values that this organisation has nurtured in children living in Western society. The highlight was a grand procession in which both adults and children placed a kumbh (a symbol of eternity) before the murtis to launch various projects marking the start of the golden jubilee celebrations.
In line with Pramukh Swami Maharaj's aspiration of providing the best child care activities and to commemorate the jubilee celebrations, Bal Mandal UK, have earmarked 8 major projects that will run over the next 18 months. These are as follows:
Suvarna Sampark: Establishing a rapport with the parents of the children of the Bal Mandal.
Suvarna Sandesh: Raising the awareness of the BAPS' worldwide welfare activities.
Suvarna Sabhas: Inspiring moral and spiritual qualities in children via prayer assemblies.
Suvarna Sanskruti: Encouraging and nurturing children's abilities in cultural activities.
Suvarna Arpan: Coaching children to be proficient in various talents and religious scriptures.
Suvarna Prarthana: Special prayers for world peace conducted by the children.
Suvarna Utsav: Inspiring ballet dedicated to Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Suvarna Bal Nagri: A fun packed National Children's Festival, first of its kind in the UK