BAPS Centenary Celebration
14 December 2007, Amdavad
14 December 2007

Under the theme of Women’s Empowerment, BAPS Women’s Wing celebrated Women’s Day as part of the BAPS Centenary Celebrations in Chandkheda, Amdavad on the Sabarmati-Gandhinagar highway. Specially created skits, dances, lectures and presentations were performed by BAPS women volunteers aged from 5 to 75. An international audience of thousands viewed the program.
The program began with a video presentation on Women’s Empowerment, comments on BAPS Women’s Wing from Sheila Dixit and Indira Betiji, a presentation on the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and traditional welcome with opening prayer.
Then, a magnificent parade, called Bhakti Yatra, with beautifully decorated floats rolled it ways across the stage. Each float represented a different activity of BAPS and the principles of Bhagwan Swaminarayan; cultural preservation, health awareness, education awareness, social work, family unity and spiritual progress. Each float also had up to 50 girls in full traditional costume waving flags, dancing and acting.
Two major accomplishments by small girls, ‘Say No to Addiction’ campaign and character development seminars of the BAPS Women’s Wing were highlighted in a lecture. This was followed by a felicitation of BAPS women from around the world. Each woman was honoured for her noteworthy educational, career or personal achievement. An inspiring video presentation on ‘Developing the Leader of Tomorrow’ was shown to promote and encourage women to reach new heights and break barriers.
BAPS Women’s Wing engages in many social service activities. They have been instrumental in the rehabilitation of thousands of women affected by the 2001 Gujarat Earthquake and 2004 South Asian Tsunami. The work done by BAPS women volunteers was presented, but the highlight was the introduction of many of the women who benefited from the work. These women, from remote areas of the country, were the special guests of BAPS.
Following the Navdha Bhakti dance was a touching performance based on a true event called ‘Inspiring Mothers.’ Here, a mother is shown writing a letter to her son. In it, she encourages her son to become a sadhu and give his life in service to society as guided by Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
More than 700 girls and women from throughout Gujarat and parts of Maharashtra worked day and night for 2 months to make this day of the BAPS Centenary Celebrations a success.
The Centenary Celebrations of BAPS, a United Nations affiliated social-spiritual organization with 3,300 global centres, 700 mandirs, 780 sadhus, 55,000 volunteers and one million followers, will continue on 15 and 17 December 2007, with Children’s Day and Guru Bhakti Day (87th Birthday Celebrations of Pramukh Swami Maharaj), respectively. All programs will be telecast live every day from 5:30pm to 8:30pm on Aastha.
Reports of each day of the celebrations will be posted in the Media Info section of the BAPS website at

Introduction to BAPS Women’s Activities
By the grace of His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, BAPS Women’s Activities are presently run in over 6000 women’s forums around the world and over 10,000 women volunteers manage the spiritual and social activities run through these centres. The goal of these activities is the spiritual and social advancement of all women regardless of class and race.
BAPS Women’s Wing functions in three departments: Women, Young Women and Girls. While much of the spiritual programs remain the same throughout the three departments, each differs from a social and individual development perspective. To execute their tasks more efficiently and intelligently, BAPS women volunteers attend leadership-training camps. Here, they are trained for social, moral and educational service in society.
Geographically, BAPS Women’s Wing has active centres throughout India, USA, UK, Europe, Africa, Pacific and Middle East. Each centre engages in various activities; examples include weekly spiritual assemblies, preparations for special festivals, spiritual discourses, satsang exams, community development initiatives, and community outreach activities.
A truly notable feature of the BAPS Women’s Wing is their in-house produced magazine, Premvati, which is released once every two months. Additionally, BAPS women produce newsletters, books, audio recording and videos for the education and advancement of women worldwide.
Previous accomplishments include a massive literacy campaign through which 12,000 women were taught the basics of reading and writing. Anti-dowry awareness, blood donation camps, education awareness and counselling, anti-female infanticide campaigns and relief work have all been successfully planned and executed under the leadership of the BAPS Women’s Wing. Nearly, 100 schools in the Panchmahal district of Gujarat benefited from a kitchen garden project aimed at delivering nutritious lunchtime meals to school children. After the Gujarat Earthquake and South Asian Tsunami, the BAPS Women’s Wing took action to bring livelihoods back to the thousands of families affected. Over 150 milk-producing buffalo were given to women in Kutch. With raw materials given by BAPS, women were able to start producing traditional embroidered clothing to sell in city markets. Small scale enterprises, like rubber slipper production, now employ nearly many women who lost their livelihoods after the tsunami struck.
Today, the Young Women’s department has developed a customized program for young women, BAPS WILL (Women’s Ideals for Learning & Living). This program brings together remarkable stories and lectures of women from all walks of life for the inspiration of young women worldwide. The Girls department is focused on delivering lessons of Hindu values, Indian culture, educational motivation and health awareness. Small girls have also taken part in social service activities. Over 3,000 girls spoke to 147,226 people about the ill effects of addiction to smoking and alcohol. In 225 hospitals, 500 girls met and prayed for 4,350 patients.