Nov 10 2009: UK Trip Report
13.30 pm Arrival at University of Bradford at the invitation of Dr P.B. Anand.
Visit to the Department of Development and Economic Studies
Meeting with Mr Patrick Ryan, Head of the Department; Professor Tom Franks an irrigation and water expert, and Dr Anna Mdee, Associate Dean.
14.00 to 15.30 Seminar on the theme of ‘faith in development’.
This seminar was attended by academic staff members Professor Farhad Analoui, Dr Behrooz Morvaridi, Dr Anna Mdee, Mr Issac Lyne and several undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Department of Development and Economic Studies and also from the Department of Peace Studies. Swamyji provided an overview of the various service activities being undertaken by VTSeva and also the need to detach faith from development activities when it comes to service activities. There was a lively discussion with a number of questions: what are the challenges being faced by organisations like VTS; whether VTS can work with government or develop advocacy mechanisms to inform government and change attitudes.
15.45 to 16.00 Meeting with Vice Chancellor of Bradford University Professor Mark Cleary. Swamyji mentioned about interest in developing possible links in two ways: one related to vedic studies, for different periods such as 1 week, three weeks, six weeks, or one year; second to explore volunteering and placement opportunities for students who want to work in development activities in VTS.
18.00 to 19.00 Visit to Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, Leeds Road, Bradford and a brief Bhajan satsang and Pravachan (in Hindi) by Swamy varu.
19.00 to 20.30 Visit to St Peters House and discourse (in English) on the theme of ‘Cultural Heritage and Excellence: Messages from Bhagavadgeetha’. Swamyji was welcomed by Dr Geetha Upadhyaya, Artisitic Director of Kalasangam who introduced Swamyji to the audience.
21.00 to 21.30: Visit to Bradford Cathedral and meeting the Dean Very Reverend Dr David Ison who took Swamy varu around the Cathedral and explained some of the features and their significance. Dr Ison welcomed Swamy varu to visit the Cathedral again.