With the grace and blessings of Param Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the UK National Karyakar Shibir 2009 entitled ‘Adarsh’ was held at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Sunday 28 June 2009. Over 800 delegates representing 35 centres from around the country attended the event – many travelling long distances to be present from the early morning.

The seminar began inside the Haveli with the traditional deep pragatya, which was followed with an inspiring video presentation depicting the theme through the lives of Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Shri A P Patel officially welcomed all of the delegates before Satyavrat Swami underlined the aim and purpose of the Shibir. Swamishri’s blessings during the first shibir of this kind that was held in his presence in 2007 provided a reminder of the qualities of an ideal karyakar, with particular emphasis on mahima and observing virtues in others.

Yogvivek Swami then spoke of the particular components of the title (‘Antardrashti’, ‘Dradhta’, ‘Adar’, ‘Ruchi’, ‘Samjan’ and ‘Het’) in relation to one’s seva. Such qualities were then illustrated in a presentation by Shri V H Patel, who thanked all those responsible in receiving the prestigious Queen’s Award for Volunteer Service – recently awarded to the Bal-Balika Mandal of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in the UK.

The second and third sessions – either side of a lunch break – were tailored for individual mandals and departments, where the Sant Sanyojaks and lead karyakars had prepared programmes and activities that were of particular relevance. The Kishore and Yuvak Mandals had organised a written and oral progress exam for the Adhiveshan as part of their Karyakar Development Programme, which all karyakars are participating in during 2009-2010. The Sanyukta Mandal focussed on their Sampark Training initiative and the Bal Mandal addressed the concepts of Ekantik Dharma. Specific Departments were also provided with training relevant to their particular roles through team activities, discussions and insightful presentations.

All karyakars regrouped together for the evening session, where Yogvivek Swami provided the conclusion by emphasising the importance of remaining proactive in one’s seva. Following the shaurya geet at the climax of the Shibir, the delegates then dispersed for dinner before beginning – for many – a long journey back home.

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