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BAPS Women’s Conference – Inspires and empowers women

Lighting of the divo (lamp). From left to right: Mrs. Jyotsna Patel, Dr. Nita Gandhi, Mrs. Asha Dhume (Keynote Speaker), Dr. Heena Thakkar, Mrs. Sushma Pallod, Mrs. Sushila Agrawal

Lighting of the divo (lamp). From left to right: Mrs. Jyotsna Patel, Dr. Nita Gandhi, Mrs. Asha Dhume (Keynote Speaker), Dr. Heena Thakkar, Mrs. Sushma Pallod, Mrs. Sushila Agrawal

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Houston, TX 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. Mrs. Asha Dhume, Vice President of Pratham – Houston was invited to serve as the keynote speaker for the conference. Through her personal experiences and lessons in sacrifice, hard work and responsibility, she set the tone for the conference. Mrs. Dhume shared the sentiment that while people refer to bonds as something that bind, when we correctly utilize resolutions, they can be the very thing that can lead to a more meaningful life.

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.

COMM_Baps _Speaker on sacrifice

“Each year we hope to organize a conference that appeals to a wide range of ages and backgrounds. Our goal is for each attendee to be able to relate in some way or another to the topics discussed and walk away feeling inspired or encouraged.” said Akshita Amin, a local volunteer and conference lead from the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, “I believe the theme this year allowed for good dialogue and unique perspective from the speakers.”

The first speech of the conference, led jointly by Dr. Parin Patel and Ms. Khyati Patel, focused on how individuals can cultivate personal accountability within family, community, and spiritual growth without feeling burdened. Reaffirming that hard work requires drive, dedication, and a commitment to finding the solution without giving up, Mrs. Bijal Jadav, JD shared with the audience her personal experience with the topic. To bring the theme full circle, the third speech by Mrs. Ketki Patel focused on the value of sacrifice, and how putting the needs of others first, is actually empowering. Each speaker brought their distinct viewpoints and personal experiences to provide practical ways in which the resolutions of responsibility, hard work, and sacrifice could be applied in everyone’s day to day lives.

Keynote speaker, Asha Dhume, Vice-president of Pratham-Houston, addresses the audience and sets the tone for the conference.

Keynote speaker, Asha Dhume, Vice-president of Pratham-Houston, addresses the audience and sets the tone for the conference.

Sippy Varma, a fashion designer and owner of Designs by Sippy, shared after the conference, “This was my first time attending and it was phenomenal. Very inspirational and something that each one of us can connect to from day to day.”
Another first-time attendee, College freshman, Roshni Trivedi attended the conference with her mom. “I am glad that I chose to attend. The program today was interesting and I can see how I can apply the topics that were discussed today to my life, how I can resolve to be better.”
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.


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