INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY AT BAPS TEMPLE-LONDON
The event, themed ‘Celebrating Women: Inspiring Generations’, was aimed at breaking down the barriers of age and seeking inspiration from fellow women.Over 1,300 women came together at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, to celebrate its eighth annual
International Women’s Day on Saturday 11 March.
Focusing on three key messages from His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj – Think Big: “Be the best”; Service: “In the joy of others lies our own”; and Dedication: “The future is bright” – the fun-filled programme featured a host of sketches, videos, a chat show, a game show, and motivational speeches by inspiring women. A mother-daughter team compèred the evening, which concluded with a climactic musical ensemble.
It was truly an honour to be the chief guest and a prominent speaker at the world famous temple, The Shri Swaminarayan temple, Neasden, London. Absolutely brilliantly organized event. It is an honour to be part of this amazing temple with amazing members.
This temple has played a key role in my life since I was young. I used to visit this temple as young girl without any identity but was equally respected. The temple is integral part of my life in past and in present. It is a feeling of contentment that I have lived up to the trust and confidence the temple and swami ji and everyone had shown in me. I now return back to the temple upon successful completion of my journey and spreading very important campaign with a promise to work even more harder in the work that I have undertaken. I feel that each wall and corner of this temple remembers me as young girl and have been part of all ups and downs of my life.
My solo drive was a driving force to bring changes to the society, to change the mindset of people and to be catalyst for positive change in the society in terms of woman empowerment. Undertaking this historic solo drive journey, I demonstrated that there are no bounds to human endeavor performed by a woman.
hese are the common questions I am routinely asked so felt I would post them here. Why did you choose this particular challenge, a solo drive and what inspired you to do it? Firstly, it is my challenging nature of taking up challenges. Especially when it comes to woman empowerment I am all geared up for accepting the challenge. Solo drive was a driving force to bring changes to the society, to change the mindset of people and to be catalyst for positive change in the society in terms of woman empowerment. Undertaking this historic solo drive journey, I demonstrated that there are no bounds to human endeavor performed by a woman.
I have come across so many jokes about female drivers. In many countries driving is considered to be a male domain. All the positive or negative things and episodes inspired me greatly to become inspiration for many females. My driving was driving the campaign.
How did your family react when you told them about your vision and how did they support you? My family has always been supportive in whatever I did. When I told them about the solo drive I wanted to undertake, the only question was whether I am confident that I would be able to do it. From that moment they showed full trust and confidence in my confidence and rest is history. The support from my family was very precious for me. At every stage, from the beginning to the end my family supported me in every possible way that they could support.
Why did you decide to drive to the Arctic Circle?
Why not just the quickest route to India?
I am a passionate driver, but more than that I am a strong believer that a heart of steel is lot stronger than bulging muscles. When it comes to women empowerment I can certainly go extra miles. So far many people have done UK to India by quickest route and in groups. None of the males or females had undertaken this journey combining Arctic Circle with transcontinental solo. In order to bring the change to the society I wanted to bring that change in me by pushing my limits and by pushing the boundaries of what a determined and empowered female can achieve. Many people criticised me saying you are a female and it is impossible for a female to do such driving on her own, some said that I am committing suicide, whilst some suggested that I should just carry on driving in UK how I am doing daily for school run. I didn’t say anything to those people as I just wanted my action to be their answer. I also have strong desire to explore unknown or less known territories and Arctic circle has been one of them.
Was there any point at which you felt it was no longer possible to continue? How did you overcome this?
I never brag about myself and would never do that in my life but it is not my nature not to give up once I am up to something. When I decide on any task or work I always do thorough research and assess the feasibility of completing the task. Once I am sure that I would be able to do it then only I enter in to it hence ‘not possible’ never comes to my mind. Whilst saying that I do not wish to sound very overconfident as I did have back up plans ready in case things go wrong. Fortunately, none of the conditions or situations I faced during this solo drive were able to break my confidence hence at no point I felt that it was no longer possible to continue. If for some reason that situation would have arisen, I would have taken 2-3 days break, would have reconsidered my options and worked out plan to continue with my journey. Also god was always with me hence perhaps I never faced this situation.
How did you feel when you finally arrived at your destination?
It was a sense accomplishment, certainly a sense of relief that I had finally reached my destination. I was carrying hopes and best wishes of millions of those voiceless females during this journey. Many people had supported me and demonstrated their confidence in me. I did not wish to let anyone down. I was extremely happy that I lived up to those expectations, hopes and the confidence. I had successfully carried the spread the mission of ‘Save Girls educate girls’ through my solo drive. It was certainly a big responsibility to show to the society and the world the strength of female and why women empowerment is so important. I was able to fulfill that responsibility. Besides reaching to motherland and that too by car travelling through so many countries and so many thousand miles is always out of the world feeling.
What is next for Bharulata Kamble?
First and most important is the book I am writing on my world record journey, which will come out soon. Please look out for it, I can assure you that it would be very interesting and thrilling.
Every next mission would be dedicated to the purpose of women empowerment and save girl child and educating them.
As this temple is my home I wish to take this opportunity to announce and perhaps launch this project here today that this summer my next drive would be from lands end south to John O’Groats lands end north of UK, which is almost 1500 km. We are soon to launch major next project in May this year for my next major drive next year, I would be setting off for another world record drive where I would be breaking my own record to set a new one of driving through 50 countries in one go and in continuous journey, needless to say again solo. There are many in pipeline but would reveal as time comes.