Under the auspices of the Brahmaswarup Pramukh Swami Maharaj Centenary Celebrations, Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Surat in association with AARSH Research Institute, Swaminarayan Akshardham, Gandhinagar, organized a seminar on the topic ‘Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s Contribution in the Field of Tribal Upliftment’ at the Chanakya Hall.
The seminar was chaired by the Vice Chancellor of the VNSGU Dr. Kishorsinh N. Chavda.
Following initial prayers and traditional lighting of the inaugural divo, a video highlighting Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s exemplary planning, decision-making and foresight was shown.
In his speech, Gnannayandas Swami of BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Sarangpur, highlighted that under the guidance of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha has addressed the needs of hundreds of remote and impoverished villages. Mindful of tribal cultures and practices, BAPS has worked to bring education and health care services to remote regions such as Ambaji and Dang. These underprivileged tribal communities have suffered from poverty, addictions, superstitions, crime and illiteracy. In 1977–78, Pramukh Swami Maharaj visited around 90 villages in a short span of 17 days in these areas. He toured the hinterlands of India and endured to inspire them to live an addiction-free life. His visits inspired many to undertake personal reform.
The BAPS Sanstha also runs a Vocational Training Centre at Dharampur, Vansda, which provides free facilities to tribals. This has led to educational awareness, value-education for children and women empowerment amongst these communities. Mass wedding ceremonies are also held for them. The Sanstha also provides spiritual guidance to them to bring an end to theft, gambling and violent crimes, and thereby alleviate community discord. Today, many individuals from these communities have progressed in education and become doctors, engineers, surgeons, professors and educated professionals. Around 20 tribal youths have become sadhus in the BAPS Sanstha.
Convener of the HRD Department of VNSGU Dr. Bhaveshbhai Vanpariya also presided over the seminar.
The seminar was broadcast live on the university’s website.