Finance Minister unveils J&K Bank Calendar 2017

Finance Minister unveils J&K Bank Calendar 2017

Says J&K Bank’s greatest strength is its people

State Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu today unveiled the J&K Bank Calendar-2017 amid thunderous applause here at Corporate Headquarters in presence of bank’s Chairman and CEO Parvez Ahmed, Vice Chancellor Kashmir University Prof Khurshid Andrabi and former Vice Chancellor Islamic University of Science & Technology Prof Siddiq Wahid.

Themed as ‘Pride of Paradise’, the bank’s Calendar-2017 showcases twelve achievers from across J&K who have made the entire state proud by following their dreams till realisation with perseverance and proper training.

The bank’s Executive Presidents Vagesh Chander, S S Sehgal, Abdul Rauf Bhat, Senior Presidents Abdul Rashid, Mohammad Sayed Wani and S K Bhat Presidents, Vice-Presidents and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.

Dr Haseeb Drabu, who was also Chief Guest on the occasion, said, “I don’t see it as a calendar but an intervention into the social space with a certain power of messaging. The bank has been coming up with calendars over a period of time now that have helped to rediscover the state beyond its aesthetic value to the outside world. These calendars have been representing our people, our history and our heritage.”

“This year’s calendar is sending a very powerful message out and that is about the aspirations of youth. It is really a great thing for a calendar to focus on this positive theme during these times”, he added.

Stressing upon the need for strong corporate governance, he reiterated his government’s complete support for the bank in every possible way.

Commending the bank staff for their capacity and commitment, Dr Drabu said, “The greatest of J&K Bank’s strength is its people, who always exhibit a certain sense of positivity in tough times.”  

Earlier, giving a brief about the idea behind this year’s calendar, J&K Bank Chairman & CEO Parvez Ahmed said, “Our youth has immense talent and potential, which just needs our guidance, encouragement and support. This year, we selected an unconventional theme ‘Pride of Paradise’ for the calendar, wherein we have made an humble attempt to showcase the twelve achievers of the state having outstanding accomplishments along with genuine recognition from national and in many cases from international forums.”

“On this occasion, I acknowledge and express my gratitude for the inputs and insights of our finance minister Dr Haseeb Drabu from the conception till completion of this calendar. It is under his leadership many years back, the bank not only rediscovered its brand but presented a formidable combination of identity and image to earn the global acclaim”, he added.

“I would like to thank the jury for providing us the best of the achievers’ lot and within a short duration of time available to us”, he said.     

Chairman also appreciated the achievements and contribution of all other participants on this occasion. 

Earlier, Chairman presented a Kashmiri shawl to the Chief Guest, as a token of love from the bank.

Chief Guest and other dignitaries presented mementos and a token cheque to those featured in the calendar.

Present on the occasion, the members of expert committee also spoke about the concept of calendar and the criteria of their selection.

“We did our best to be correct and balanced in regional, political and social sense while finalising the list. And I am really proud of J&K Bank for showing us the way not only to support but nourish and develop the talent as required”, Said VC KU Prof Khursheed.

While congratulating the bank for encouraging the young talent of the state, Prof Siddiq Wahid suggested the bank to invest aggressively in building institutions with commercial value as well like in education, health and tourism.

“It is only institution building that can help us advance forward to meet current and upcoming challenges”, he said.

VC Jammu University Prof R D Sharma, who could not join the function due to some official engagements, was also part of the selection committee.

The bank’s Executive President S S Sehgal concluded the function by presenting the vote of thanks. RJ Sardar Nasir Ali of Big 92.7 FM anchored the programme.


Profiles of the young achievers


She won six games in five days. The last of those was the gold medal bout at the sub-junior World Kickboxing Championship in Italy. From a remote village in Bandipora, 8-year-old Tajamul Islam has made winning a habit. In the process, she has won the hearts of spectators with her never-say-die and fearless attitude.

Islam’s coach Faisal Dar trained her in an open field with makeshift apparatus. That did not stop her from beating athletes from countries such as Japan, France and the US. She now trains in Delhi and aspires to win an Olympic gold medal.



This Kashmir-born US-based scientist is part of the team that uncovered an inheritable genetic factor that heightens the risk of cancer. Dr Abdul Rouf Banday’s path-breaking discovery was featured in the reputed scientific journal Nature Genetics and the findings could herald a new era for cancer prevention and treatment.

Dr Banday holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from A M University, Aligarh and was awarded the highly competitive Council of Scientific Industrial Research Junior Research Fellowship. He currently works in the US at the National Cancer Institute. He has received several awards such as the US National Cancer Institute Director’s Innovation Award and American Association of Cancer Research Scholar-in-Training Award.



Versatile, progressive, legendary; this is how Abhay Rustum Sopori, a 9th generation santoor player who sings during performances, has been described. He is the only contemporary Indian composer whose composition Haftrang, a tribute to Kashmir, has been conducted by the legendary Zubin Mehta and performed by the Bavarian State Orchestra.

He learnt music under the Guru-Shishya Parampara from his grandfather Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori, the ‘Father of Music’ in J&K, and his father, Padma Shri winner Pandit Bhajan Sopori. He is a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar and J&K State Award.



A few weeks of training may not be enough for most people to become the best in the country, but it was plenty for 7-year-old Hashim Mansoor, who won a gold medal at the national Karate trials in Srinagar.

Following this, he won another gold medal for India at the Asian Youth Karate Championship in Delhi.

This aggressive yet disciplined child comes from Nadihal, a remote village in Bandipora and trains at

Ali’s Sports Academy. Mansoor is now all set to represent India at the World Karate Championship as well as the World Martial Arts Games in 2017.



When one of India’s finest films is based on you, it is clear you have touched the lives of millions. Sonam

Wangchuk, whose story inspired the Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots, is a mechanical engineer from NIT Srinagar and primarily, an innovator. In 2016, he won the prestigious Rolex Award for Enterprise for “innovative thinking and dynamism”.

His idea to freeze millions of litres of water in the form of ‘ice stupas’ is an ideal solution to water shortages in a cold desert. He plans to use his award money of 100,000 Swiss francs to establish an institute that facilitates alternate solutions to socio-ecological problems.



He is a farmer’s son and lives near the India-Pakistan border. However, Akbar Khan’s geographical location did not stop him from becoming the first ever cyclist from Kashmir to represent India when he rode at the Track Asia Championship in 2015.

Akbar Khan has won 2 National Road Cycling Championships and 5 consecutive Annual Inter-college Cycling Championships. He also won 2 golds at the All India Inter-university Championships in 2016. He is currently studying for a master’s degree in physical education and has inspired 60 boys from his village to train to become professional cyclists.



‘A graduate from the Institute of Music and Fine Arts Jammu, Insha is the first candidate from the entire

North India to be selected for the MA – Painting programme by the prestigious Royal College of Art in London.

A recipient of the National Award of Scholarship (2015-16) to India’s young artists, she is currently pursuing a Double Masters in Painting.



Sanjay Saraf is a differently-abled painter from Jammu who refused to allow disability to become his defining identity and went on to beautify blank canvases with his brilliant imagination. He topped the All India Art Competition for his canvas paintings in 1999 and 2000.

His work was nominated by the Very Special Art institute (USA) for the International Festival Visual Arts Project in 2004. Additionally, Saraf won the J&K Academy of Arts Culture and Languages Award for his canvas painting titled ‘Valkin Vapour’. He also bagged a junior fellowship in the field of Visual Arts from the Ministry of HRD in India.



In 2011, avid footballer Chandeep Singh was electrocuted due to accidental contact with a high-tension wire and subsequently lost both arms.However, his sporting spirit refused to wane and he began skating instead. Displaying grit, determination, passion and conviction, Singh has been competing with able-bodied skaters ever since.

In 2015, the Jammu resident won bronze at the 7th All India Roller Skating Championship in Mussoorie. He was Sports Captain at Banyan International School and has won a Gold medal from Sahyog India for his skating skills.


In 2016, renowned army officer Lt Col Ranveer Singh Jamwal became the first officer from J&K to scale Mount Everest thrice. He had first reached the summit of the world’s highest peak at 8,848 meters on 25th May 2012 and then conquered it for the second time on 19th May 2013. 

A reputed climber, Lt Col Jamwal led a group of sixpeople to the summit, thereby having led a record 17 people during his 3 expeditions to the summit. He won the Tenzing Norgay National Award in 2012-2013 and has scaled 20 peaks including the highest ones in South America and Africa.



What do you do when your remote village lacks proper roads? According to Chain Singh, you shoot for the stars. In 2016, this member of the Army Marksmanship Unit became the first athlete from J&K to represent India at Olympics when he participated in shooting events in Rio. 

Singh, who hails from a pastoral village in Doda District won 6 gold medals – three in individual events and three in team events – at the 2016 South Asian Games in India. He was also a bronze medalist at the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea.



Currently the Managing Director for J&K State Power Development Corporation Ltd, Dr Shah Faesal became a household name in the state when he became the first Kashmiri to top the Indian Civil Services Examination in 2009. Hailed across the country, he has emerged as an iconic figure among those aspiring to join the civil services.

He has served as Director of School Education Kashmir, District Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner earlier and is one of the youngest and most dynamic minds in the state bureaucracy. Dr Shah Faesal has attended some prestigious workshops on leadership both within the country and outside.