SRINAGAR, MARCH 8: “On the economic empowerment front, J&K Bank is leading the pack of financial institutions especially in the twin UTS of J&K and Ladakh in facilitating the enterprising women entrepreneurs to realize their economic pursuits where they will be creating employment opportunities not just for themselves or their gender but the society at large.”
J&K Bank MD & CEO, Baldev Prakash stated this today at a special function organised to celebrate the achievements of women in their personal and professional lives on ‘International Women’s Day (IWD) 2023’ that has been themed by the United Nations Organisation as ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality’.
Professor Neerja Mattoo was the guest-of-honour at the function that was attended by Bank’s Executive Director Sudhir Gupta, General Managers, DGMs, other officers especially women staff of the Bank. Members of JK Bank Officers’ Association (JKBOA Kashmir) led by President Riyaz Ahmad Bhat were also present on the occasion. All the zonal offices of the Bank also joined the function through VC mode.
Detailing few of the female-focused schemes, MD & CEO said, “Under UMEED a dynamic program aimed at financial independence and empowerment of Rural Women (NRLM), the Bank has achieved Bank Linkage of over 30000 Women SHGs and Credit Linkage of over 12000 Women SHGs with credit facilities of Rs 260 Crore. Besides, the Bank is also aggressively facilitating and implementing other government programs like Beti Padhao, Tejaswini, Ladli Beti, etc.”
With an improving proportion of 38% in the Workmen Cadre and 30% representation in the Junior Management Grades, he said that the picture on the horizon was clearly pointing towards the times when majority of the Top Executives in the Bank will be women and not because of any favour but due to their sheer talent and performance.
“Now, it is the responsibility of all of us in general and the empowered women in particular to act as change champions for broad-basing the transformation and let the empowerment reach to the women in the hinterlands as well”, MD & CEO added.
Speaking on the occasion, Professor Neerja Mattoo – who was also felicitated as valuable and long-time customer of the Bank – recalled how she always felt herself an empowered woman in the Kashmir she grew up thinking that sky is the limit. She said, “As far as women empowerment in Kashmir is concerned, we have great inspirations in the form of Lal-Ded, Habba Khatoon, Arin Maal and Rupa Bhavani to emulate and follow for they were truly emancipated women.”
“They were the original women who charted their own course and had the courage to stand up to the difficult social norms and challenges of their respective times”, she added.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Executive Director Sudhir Gupta said, “Today’s function is not just an isolated event but a part of the global movement to promote gender equality and create a better society for all. As a bank, we are committed to providing women with access to digital tools and services that can help them achieve their financial goals and build a better future for themselves and their families. We believe that empowering women is not just a social obligation but a necessity for building a better and more stable society.”
Speaking on the occasion, General Manager Tabassum Nazir stressed upon her women colleagues to take lead in all the initiatives aimed at people’s empowerment in general and women in particular. She said, “Things should be spoken without reference to gender as women are excelling in every field of consequence because of their capabilities not gender.”
“When we talk of equality, it must be followed with equity to ensure equal outcomes from different situations”, she added.
Meanwhile, MD & CEO also launched the poster for awareness of POSH Act (Prevention of Sexual Harassment during the function, where after President JKBOA gave a detailed overview of POSH ACT which was passed in 2013 for Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of sexual harassment of women at workplace. “Today we have launched a year-long awareness campaign to sensitize the staff about the need and importance of making workplace better and safer for our women colleagues”, he said.
A short-film titled womencipation@J&K Bank was also screened at the function. Scores of bank’s retired women staff were felicitated during these functions held across the country along with dozens of bank’s valuable women clients.
DGM Manju Gupta presented the vote of thanks. The function concluded with releasing of balloons by the participants in presence of MD & CEO and top management executives in the lawns of Bank’s corporate headquarters as a symbolic gesture of emancipation.
Pertinently, the Bank has digitally on-boarded over 1.28 lac women customers during the month-long campaign that was launched last month with twin objectives of facilitating women empowerment through digital on-boarding and enabling access to digital banking services for promotion of cashless economy.