It was a great honour to be invited to speak at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir… and I wanted to thank you all for your very warm welcome. I can understand why the Mandir has been called the 8th Wonder of the World. It was an extraordinary setting for a memorable occasion.
Congratulations on organising a successful women’s conference into such a varied and stimulating programme. I was delighted to be able to contribute on the subject of inspirational women of the present and future.
Thank you for the commitment to the maternal mortality campaign. It was a great opportunity to have the White Ribbon Alliance information given to all the women delegates. Your support for this cause, to reduce maternal and infant deaths is greatly valued.
– Sarah Brown
From the moment I arrived, everyone has been so wonderfully kind and attentive and very helpful, and it seems like a very energetic area but also a place of peace and tranquillity.
The one thing that has impressed me the most about the event today is how unbelievably it has been organised… with the most care down to the last detail. I think someone has obviously got passion behind this and I think that really shows because everybody has had a sense of purpose.
– Kate Hall, Civil Engineer & Director, Arup, Olympic Park Design Team
BAPS is clearly a welcoming and inclusive organisation because we have all experienced that today by the depth of the welcome that we have all received.
What’s impressed me about this event is the professionalism; it’s been a very slick, smooth, efficient performance. But it’s also been clearly great fun for everyone. I think everyone that I have met seems to have enjoyed themselves. One does not get the impression that it is the end of a hard month, or a hard week, or a hard day but everyone seems to have had a wonderful time which has been extremely impressive.
– Prof. Neena Modi, Professor of Neonatal Medicine and Honorary Consultant, Imperial College London
I was pleased to be one of your speakers. It is an enormous amount of effort but all the hard work produced excellent results. Well done and many congratulations for putting on a very good women’s conference!
– Mei Sim Lai Peters OBE, Representative Deputy Lieutenant, London Borough of Brent
I am overwhelmed! This has been such an inspirational event to see so many hundreds of women all engaged in the topic of how to balance your life’s desires – your family, aspirational goals… The focus on that was just awesome. I am a firm believer as a Director of Diversity that more had to be done not only to assist minority groups with issues like employment, education, access to services, but equally communities have to do more to help themselves. And organisations such as BAPS are actually putting those principles into action. And I think that all too often minority groups, and in particular women, tend to be forgotten, so to be amongst the women and organisations such as BAPS who are doing it for themselves, it has to be commended and has to be the way forward.
Organisations such as this have a tremendous role to play ensuring that young people are focused and contributing well to society and to their communities. And events like this demonstrate on a really practical basis what can be done. So three cheers and thumbs up for encouraging not just you women but also your young people to be all that they can be.
– Denise Milani, Director of Diversity and Citizen Focus, Metropolitan Police Service
BAPS women are astonishingly organised and that is fundamental to the success of this organisation and it is astounding for me to see the level at which they are organised…. They are polished… and it’s so refreshing to see.
– Nishma Gosrani, Management Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers
This is my first [time attending a BAPS] event and I can’t tell you how interesting and how useful and how fascinating it has been for me. I have met some really motivational women. I have met women who are absolutely committed to doing seva here; thoroughly unselfish. And it is great to see that we have – events like this that allow women to network with each other.
It’s really interesting to see that women are so dedicated at BAPS. I’m not sure what it is. It has to come from inside. It has to be a belief that you are contributing to society in general. It has to be because you have to passionately believe that it’s the right thing to do, and not everybody can do it.
– Nina Amin, Tax Partner, KPMG
I was most impressed by the professionalism of the organizers and precision and commitment with which the volunteers worked. I was very proud of being a woman and in the company of thousands of others present there. I look forward to continuing the relationship.
– Mira Kaushik OBE, Director, Akademi, South Indian Dance UK
I am very fond of the mandir and I love it here; this is my second home as I have many friends here. I visit the mandir very often. I feel the volunteers here are very friendly, very helpful, and very supportive, and they pay full attention to the guests that come to the mandir. Many guests from our place [the Brahma Kumaris] that come to the mandir have always come back saying how much they have enjoyed it and that is because they have been given that special attention.
– Jaymini Patel, Director, Brahma Kumari Publications; and Coordinator, Brahma Kumari World Spiritual University
Events such as these are very important as they empower women and they are doing a very important job, contributing in a very significant manner, showing that career, faith and family all go hand in hand.
Pramukh Swami is an inspirational leader. I have his speeches and they are really inspiring and I have gone back feeling ‘up there’, and having the feeling that I can do more.
– WPC Purnima Raval, Metropolitan Police Service (currently based at the Palace of Westminster, dealing with anti-terrorism) and a committed member of the Sikh community
I was very impressed with what I saw today. It was just fantastic and was so professionally done. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
– Anjana Patel, Councillor (West Harrow, London)
What impressed me about today’s programme was actually [how] the whole event – the music, the dance, and the dramas – all tried to engage with all the people. But one of the most important things for me was the way that BAPS engaged with the young and all the different calibre of people here today.
– Kanta Mistry, Councillor (Queensbury, London)
What impressed me was the number of young girl volunteers organising the programme and taking part in the programme. We don’t see young girls taking part everywhere these days and that was very impressive.
The women and girls in BAPS are very dedicated because they have been provided with all the opportunities to take part in the daily life of what is happening in BAPS and also whatever they want to do and like to do. They are being very well supported by BAPS and by the men and the santos as well.
– Indira Patel OBE, Representative, National Council of Women of Great Britain; and Member, The NGO Committee on the Status of Women at the United Nations, New York
The lectures were stimulating, the discussions encouraging, and the food delicious; but most off all, I appreciated the way in which you made each of us feel so welcome that we were unaware that about 2,000 other women were there too.
The whole day was organised seamlessly with quiet efficiency. Everyone – the organisers, the speakers and the audience – was smiling from the time we munched breakfast to the light-heartedly graceful communal dancing at the close of the day.
I now realise that the unique atmosphere pervading the whole day stemmed from your belief that ‘in the joy of others lies our own,’ for you made that day the most joyful I have ever known. Many, many thanks for giving me the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful experience.
– Rochelle D Shapiro