BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in UK & Europe observed the UN’s International Women’s Day (IWD) with an inspiring online programme on Sunday 13 March 2022.
BAPS’s celebration of IWD represents its on-going commitment to women and matters of importance to women, as inspired and guided by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj.
The programme centred on three key themes – Enhancing Confidence and Positivity, Staying Safe, and Seeking Out Goodness – that enhanced the overall message of celebrating and supporting the invaluable role and contributions of women in our world.
The programme illustrated the powerful impact that women have had throughout the challenging two years of the global pandemic and brought to life their positivity. It also paid tribute to the multitude of family, social and professional roles that women have undertaken by drawing upon their powerful and inspiring virtues.
These noble virtues were explored through various mediums, including personal testimonies, uplifting video presentations, and an enactment of real-life scenarios from women who have overcome adversity.
The messages were enhanced through keynote addresses by guest speakers, including Louisa Rolfe OBE, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, and Varsha Kumari Mistry, Directorate of Forensic Services at the Metropolitan Police Service, who provided expert guidance on ‘Staying Safe’. They were be joined by Judith Copeman, Director of Urban Context Design Ltd. Judith was the architect for the newly opened BAPS Hindu mandirs in Birmingham and Manchester.
Rena Amin, one of the lead volunteers for the event, explained: “His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the creator of Neasden Temple, embodied countless virtues throughout his life which continue to inspire us women to excel personally and professionally, as well as in serving our community and nation. As we celebrate his centennial birth anniversary throughout 2022, we hope that some of his spiritual virtues that have guided and empowered women all over the world for decades can provide a fresh message of hope, positivity and harmony to women across the UK.”
Raksha Patel from Wellingborough shared her experiences after the event. “This year’s programme was exceptional. The testimonies of women who have contributed so much to support their families during the pandemic were truly remarkable and have inspired me to contribute further to my family as well as the community, particularly during a year where we celebrate Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s centennial birth anniversary. He lived by his message, ‘In the joy of others lies our own,’ and I know women across the UK who watched or attended the programme will embody this spirit of selfless service.”
IWD is also being celebrated through a hybrid of online and in-person events at several other BAPS mandirs and centres across the UK over the month of March.