The British Home Secretary Rt. Hon. Theresa May was Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker at an inspiring conference for International Women’s Day at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Saturday 9 March 2013.
The conference, titled Celebrating Women: Above and Beyond, aimed to celebrate the achievements of women and inspire them to fulfil their potential.
Mrs May arrived at the Mandir at 12 noon and was greeted in traditional Hindu manner with a flower garland and the tying of an auspicious thread around her wrist signifying goodwill and friendship. After touring the Mandir, she entered the assembly hall to rapturous applause.
After being introduced to the audience, Mrs May commented on how privileged she felt at being in the company of hundreds of motivated women. She paid tribute to the sense of solidarity and friendship that she witnessed there, and praised the work of the women who were helping others selflessly and setting a fine example encouraging others to go ‘above and beyond’.
Mrs May also commended the work of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, saying: “It was very good to see the work BAPS does, the fantastic work being done across the world to improve the lives of others, and people giving up their time generously to do it. I commend the work BAPS does and all those who are in it.”
She went on to speak about the many government initiatives in place to encourage and support women, to ensure “women can go above and beyond and fulfil their full potential.”
Other guest speakers included Baroness Barbara Young, the first female Chief Executive of Diabetes UK; Dr Devi Nair, Clinical Lead for Lipids and Cardiovascular Risk Prevention at Royal Free Hospital and Director for the Supra Regional Assay Services for Cardiac Biomarkers; Sarah Teather, Member of Parliament for Brent Central; Seema Sharma, dentist and founder of The Sharma Foundation and Operations Director for a postgraduate medical training course; and PC Purnima Raval, the Metropolitan Police Service’s longest-serving female Hindu officer, with 21 years of active service.
For a fuller report about the conference, please click here.