On 1 January 2023, as part of the ongoing series of women’s empowerment programmes organised at Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar, Advocate Gauri Chandnani, former President of the Income Tax Bar Association, reflected upon the works of Pramukh Swami Maharaj in the field of women empowerment – a movement that was started 200 years ago by Bhagwan Swaminarayan. She said, “From the time of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, all of his spiritual successors have done immense work for empowering women. For example, Pramukh Swami Maharaj inspired the creation of a-three-month training program for the holistic development of young women in BAPS, called the Yuvati Talim Kendra. This exceptional programme has helped the thousands of young women who have proactively participated over the years grow in all aspects of their life.”
Talking about the need for women’s empowerment, she highlighted the fact that a woman, if uplifted, contributes to the progress of two families at once. She further added, “Today’s women are managing multiple fronts including their professions, social engagements, and domestic responsibilities. This is the strength that God has gifted to women. Our overall environment has given women a good perspective of their future and the ability to contribute to our national economy. This wouldn’t have been possible without their family’s support.”
Further, Ms. Chandnani shared her personal experiences with Pramukh Swami Maharaj saying, “I owe all my success and achievements to the blessings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. My father, an IAS officer, had the good fortune to meet Pramukh Swami Maharaj and so, I have witnessed that Pramukh Swamiji never differentiated based on anyone’s social class, education, etc. When a Saint like him has compassion for us, we are blessed. When my mother passed away, Pramukh Swami Maharaj had asked four Swamis including, Pujya Doctor Swami, to visit our place and do bhajan. This way, Pramukh Swami Maharaj ensured that he was with us during our sad times.”
She concluded by adding, “We all are capable of doing good things. I have successfully saved 75% of the marriages from long-pending divorce cases during my tenure at the family court which was only possible due to God’s grace. We women have immense untapped potential to uplift others. We just need to nurture our skills and you will be amazed by your own capabilities!”
BAPS women’s wing volunteer, Dharaben Vaidhya, highlighted the virtue of patience reflected in the life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. She emphasised the importance of patience in leading a calm and successful life. She narrated Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s response after the terrorist’s attack on Akshardham and said, “Pramukh Swami Maahraj’s appeal for peace to the society was the epitome of his patience. Though Akshardham was one of his finest creations and it was under attack, he chose peace and avoided any unrest in the society. Likewise, in our personal lives too, for good decision-making, we need patience and level-headedness as fundamental virtues in our lives.”
Dr. Naynaben Patel, Dean of the Dental College of Jamnagar, shared her experience of visiting the Nagar by mentioning that, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar is incredible! I am amazed, particularly by the arrangements at the Women Empowerment Exhibition Hall and I feel that what I see here is almost legendary. My visit to Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar on the first day of 2023 will be my first step towards spirituality for this year.”


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