BAPS Women’s Conference inspires and empowers women

Jasmine Shah (left)

LOWELL, MA–The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Lowell, MA held its annual Women’s Conference themed Resolutions: Bonds that Liberate. The conference centered on positive resolutions that transform lives by transforming habits: accepting ownership, performing hard work, and making sacrifices.

Distinguished speakers discussed how one’s resolve to take ownership, perform hard work, and make sacrifices can strengthen character and develop grit.

The first part of the conference, led by Reena Vaidya focused on how individuals can cultivate personal accountability within family, community, and spiritual growth without feeling burdened.  The audience learned that hard work requires drive and dedication, a commitment to finding the solution without giving up from Sima Vyas, Vice President of Client Management at Optum, United Health Group.  They learned the value of sacrifice, putting the needs of others first, is actually empowering from Forum Shelat, Harvard Law .

Keynote speaker Jasmine Shah

Jasmine Shah, who was invited to serve as the keynote speaker for the conference, said: “We often undermine the value in assuming responsibility for the fear of harboring blame.  We think performing hard work will consume our energy and that making selfless sacrifices for others will weaken us.  But what if I told you these seemingly daunting roles can actually enable us?  These are resolutions that will liberate us, bringing about real, positive changes in our lives.”

Distinguished speaker Sima Vyas emphasized on hard work and developing our young girls.

“Unless one is charged with genuine drive, one cannot reach great height. Remember, we all need to work hard, put in effort and be disciplined in order reach your goal,” Vyas  said. “And while doing this if you keep Swami by your side – you’re golden.  Swami will always be there to watch over us and give us that extra push along the way, but if we don’t put in any effort, you won’t get the results you’re looking for.  We must learn to see failures as the stepping stones to success.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – mistakes are proof that we are trying.  Help your daughters, from the small things like encouraging to find her dreams and helping her achieve them; appreciating the efforts and helping a woman at home; treating all children equal, boy or girl; making a woman believe in herself and increase her self-confidence.”

The Women’s Conference was organized by local youth and women volunteers of BAPS.  They dedicated weeks of their time leading up to the conference to organize a professional forum where women could share their strengths and empower one another.  The diversity of speakers invited to present at the conference appealed to a wide variety of interests among audience members.  Their personal experiences and adherence to cultural values inspired young women to strive for success while imbibing spirituality into their daily lives.

Aashi Kulkarni, a young audience member who attended the conference spoke of her experience:  “I really enjoyed the conference and learned a lot and saw different things girls my age and women are doing here.  I am truly moved by it.”

Dr. Geeta Kulkarni, an honored guest expressed said:  “Speeches were very impactful for younger generation.  My daughter and I are very  inspired by the guest speaker speeches.  We both had something to take back with us and make a positive change in our lives.”

After the conference, audience members were able to network with the speakers and other professional women who attended the event. The Women’s Conference program connected with members of the audience to bring them together and inspire them. His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj encouraged events as such to strengthen and support women to, in turn, support the backbone of our society. Today, his beliefs are persevered by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj who encourages all to lead a life infused with spirituality and integrity.

The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) is a worldwide spiritual and humanitarian organization that is dedicated to community service, peace, and harmony. Motivated by Hindu principles, BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families, and individuals. Through various spiritual and humanitarian activities, BAPS endeavors to develop better citizens of tomorrow with high esteem for their roots and culture. Its 3,300 international centers support these character-building activities.


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