Exquisite gifts that are a part of the ‘One District One Product’ (ODOP) scheme in Uttar Pradesh will be given to guests at the groundbreaking ceremony in Lucknow on Friday.
Top businessmen, who attend the event, will be gifted cufflinks from Banda’s shajar stone and ‘meenakari’.
According to official sources, at least 45 top business tycoons and more than 150 businessmen, start-up owners and policymakers will also attend the event.
The other gifts include Aligarh’s brass ‘diya’ set, ceramic mugs, Lucknow’s chikankari stoles, Firozabad’s glass Ganesha and Azamgarh’s black pottery.
The officials said that some of the gifts are exquisite and truly unique.
Citing the example of Shajar, which is a semiprecious stone belonging to the quartz family, officials said that the technical name of this stone is dendritic agate.
“It has been described as a geological wonder found under riverbeds. For centuries, it has been used to make memoirs and jewellery.
Artisans engaged in the trade claim that the association of the stone with Banda is 400-years-old.
According to the legend, Abdullah, an Arab stone carver patronised by the Nawab of Banda, was travelling when he wanted to smoke but could not find any source of fire.
A villager gave him a stone chip and iron strip to light fire. Abdullah noted an artistic pattern on the stone and carried it back to the city and polished it to make jewellery.
Shajar is a corrupt form of Shazar, Arabic for a tree or plant.
He presented the first piece to the Nawab who was impressed and soon the art became a fashion statement.