The South Asian Times

17 January 2019 03:42 AM

BAPS Women's Conference focuses on the power of unity

New Jersey: Unity is strength. This was simple yet powerful subject of conversation at this year’s annual BAPS Women’s Conference held at 14 centers across North America between April 21st and May 5th with the goal of bringing together women of all ages and backgrounds for an open dialogue about concepts that impact them and their families.

With the thought of unity currently on the minds of many in society, the conference focused on the individual’s role in creating a unified nation and global community. The speakers delved into the qualities of humility and positivity and their roles in initiating a more unified


The conference aimed to inspire its attendees to bring about change through dialogue and reflection.

Over 2000 women gathered at the BAPS Mandirs in five cities - Edison, NJ; New York, NY; Robbinsville, NJ; Washington, D.C. and Westborough, MA in the Northeast region to participate in this annual conference.

The event was held over one day and covered three key concepts: importance of unity, power of humility and power of positivity. The conference not only provided an opportunity for attendees to understand the significance of unity as a global concept, but also discussed the little steps everyone can take toward this ultimate goal.

The conference at Robbinsville started with a speech by Dhrupi Patel, emphasizing what unity truly means and why it is essential to achieve it.

While there are more apparent benefits one can claim from integration, the speaker focused on how the small actions of each can lead to a more unified family, which can in turn influence a community and even society at large. “When people of shared inclination come together, they get positive results.”

Speaking at the conference in Washington, DC, Amita Shukla, CEO of Vitamita, emphasized the importance of the mindset in achieving unity.

Shukla beautifully summarized the core theme of the conference stating

that “Positivity is simply surrendering our fears, humility is surrendering our ego, and unity is becoming one with the elements and seeing everything as an interconnected whole.”

At the conference in Robbinsville, New Jersey Senator Linda Greenstein very astutely explained, “It doesn’t make you less powerful to be united. It adds great strength to anything that you’re doing, began with a powerful message in which she shared, “The unity within us enables and fosters the unity around us.”

Dr. Tamanna Kalra, a practicing nephrologist, used an evidenced based approach to affirm that humility is not a fixed trait, but one that should be practiced and developed.

Dr. Priya Patel, an OBGYN resident, closed out the conference with a compelling talk on the power of positivity. Her story of a cancer patient’s calm, thoughtful, and positive response to a life ending diagnosis was inspirational for all.

Naimi Patel, closed out the conference with a compelling talk on the power of positivity. Giving a simple yet practical piece of advice, she said, “You can turn a negative situation into a positive situation through a change in perspective.”

Gauri Chandna, a celebrated author of the book, SPARKS expressed at Westborough, “Women play a great role in the growth and development of society making it an advanced and modern society. There is a famous saying by Brigham Young that you educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”

Also, attending the event were First lady of New Jersey, Tammy Murphy, Assemblywomen Nily Rozic from New York, and Suhag Shukla, Executive Director of the Hindu American Foundation.

The speakers, just like the audience, were from various professional and personal diasporas and yet were able to come together to bring about an environment for dialogue for self-reflection and growth.

One of the attendees, Ellen Dorian, Chief Operating Officer at Main Street Bank, stated the conference allowed her to “think about some of [her] own behaviors and actions through a different perspective.”

Update: 12 May, 2018