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J&K Bank chairman & chief executive officer Mushtaq Ahmad unveiled the bank’s wall calendar 2014 Wednesday. The wall calendar has been dedicated to the golden hands of artisans & craftsmen of Jammu & Kashmir.

While speaking on the occasion, the chairman & CEO, Mushtaq Ahmad said, “Arts and crafts are to Jammu and Kashmir as fragrance is to flower. J&K Bank understands well that the craftsmen and artisans remain not only at the centre of Jammu and Kashmir’s craft excellence but they are the symbols of our identity. The Bank has always been playing a key role in promoting and protecting these golden hands. In this backdrop we themed this year’s wall calendar – ‘A Tribute to Golden Hands that Craft Magic’. Concentrating on the hands (that craft the magic), the theme is very powerful and reflects the evolved culture of creativity at the Bank. Precisely, this calendar is our humble tribute to these golden hands that continue to earn respect, reputation and riches for the state.”

Commenting on depicting of these magical hands through pictures, he said, “The selection of photographs has been well thought out with a clear eye on theme- specific requirements. Almost every photograph used aptly focuses on what matters most to the idea: the hands. As such, the pictures luminously portray the essence of the theme.” The chairman assured that J&K Bank would walk an extra mile in holding these magical hands and accompany them to their rightful place and status in the socio-economy of the state.

 “Our artists and craftsmen found an unmatched expression for our splendid culture through the cherished legacy of handicrafts.   Be it Carpet weaving, Kani shawl making, Papier-mâché work, Khatamband, Wood-carving, Phulkari work, Thangka Painting, Namda making, Basohli Painting or other craft, the master-skills of legendary local hands remain incomparable throughout the world,” he said.

Notably, J&K Bank plays a key role in craft financing through its specialised products like Craft Development Finance, Dastakar Finance and Artisan Credit Cards. With a renewed sense of urgency, the bank has now launched a comprehensive Dastakaar Project so that the craft industry remains not only bulwark of our historical legacy but transforms into an enterprising fortune for artisans besides current trade and future commerce.

While giving details of the Dastakar Project, Mushtaq Ahmad said, “This project is an attempt to provide much bigger impetus to the craft industry. Expediting the loan processing, under the project we plan to cover 2 lac artisans under 14 categories of crafts within the next 3 years. By the end of this fiscal, 25000 artisans shall be provided the requisite finances.”

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