The event commenced with a beautiful Navkar Mantra sung by Sadhvi Shri Sanghmitraji in the style and in memory of the late Shri Lata Mangeshkar. Sadhvi Shri Shilapiji then addressed the 500 people watching online, describing Pujya Tai Ma as a “spiritual scientist, a path breaker and an out of the box thinker…” and praised her for “setting out a new path of compassion in action for the first time in the history of Jain religion” and depicted her life of unconditional love from childhood combined with her clarity of thought and clarity of vision being her innate virtues. Sadhviji referred to Tai Ma’s assertion that selfless service and spirituality go hand in hand.
UK Jain leaders who spoke included: Shri Nemubhai Chandaria OBE representing One Jain, an umbrella organisation that represents all Jain organisations in the UK; Shri Jayeshbhai Shah representing Oshwal Association; Shri Bhupendrabhai Shah a former President of Navnat Vanik Association; the renowned Jain Scholar Shri Vinodbhai Kapashi OBE; and Shri Prakashbhai Naik, the President of Lions Club Enfield who have donated substantial amounts to support Veerayatan projects. They described Pujya Tai Ma as “a ray of sunshine in the sorrows of life of millions” and highlighted her extraordinary achievements in empowering women in particular through the leadership roles of the Sadhvi Sangh as well as by promoting education and vocational training for women.
During the programme SCVP teacher Sonalben Udani thanked Pujya Tai Ma for giving her the opportunity to teach children about the beauty of Mahavir’s message, whilst Rishi Sanghrajkha a former student and now a teacher at the school, shared how he had been inspired by Pujya Tai Ma ever since meeting her as an 8-year-old. Aaryan Sanghvi, aged 12, a current SCVP student recited a beautiful poem revering Tai Ma’s qualities.
Pujya Tai Ma then addressed the audience starting with a message to extend love and peace in Ukraine. She then spoke about her contemplation of Bhagwan Mahavir’s message. She said, ‘We all take from the world using its resources. Knowing that all souls are interdependent, we should give to the world and be of service to others.’ With humbleness, Pujya Tai Ma said that this Padma Shri award is for all her disciples and others who have wholeheartedly supported the cause of Veerayatan for the past fifty years.