Hyderabad’s Numaish suspended till Jan 10, just a day after being opened

Every year, the popular trade fair begins on January 1 and goes on till February 15.
A file photo from 2019 of the Numaish exhibition in Hyderabad
A file photo from 2019 of the Numaish exhibition in Hyderabad
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Hyderabad’s popular trade fair Numaish was temporarily closed on Sunday, January 2, just a day after it was thrown open, amid rising COVID-19 cases in Telangana. The trade fair has been suspended till January 10, authorities said. Last year as well, the city had missed Numaish due to the pandemic and this year, the 81st edition of the event had begun amid fears of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Though the organisers had promised strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols and announced that they will follow a no-mask no-entry policy, ensuring physical distance was seemingly a challenge for them. The All India Industrial Exhibition Society (AIIE), which organises the annual event at Numaish Maidan at Nampally in the heart of the city, had earlier said that it was not taking any chances.

The society said that it took steps like checking the vaccination status of the stall owners and daily sanitisation. It also said teams would patrol the venue to ensure conformity with COVID-19 safety protocols. "We are not issuing identity cards to stall owners till they produce their two-dose vaccine certificate," AIIE secretary Aditya Margam earlier said.

However, after Numaish was temporarily closed, several people took to social media to ask why it was allowed to open in the first place if COVID-19 cases were a concern. Some also asked if the organisers of the event would return the deposit which was taken from stall owners, who invested heavily to set up shop at the fair, in hopes of making a profit.

Hyderabad rings in the new year with Numaish. Last year, the society initially postponed the exhibition to January 31. Though the COVID-19 situation was under control and the number of cases in Hyderabad had dropped, the society took the decision as a measure of abundant caution.

As thousands of people throng the exhibition every day and the guidelines which were then in force did not permit gatherings of more than 200 people, the society deferred the event. The Society was hopeful that 'Numaish' would begin in March-April but the second wave forced them to drop the plans.

Traders from various parts of the country set up their stalls during the exhibition, which is visited by around 45,000 people every day. Every year 'Numaish' begins on January 1 and goes on till February 15. Over 20 lakh people had visited the exhibition in 2019.

A blend of economy and culture, the event is organised on the sprawling grounds and revenues from the fair are spent on a group of educational and charitable institutions run by the society. The exhibition draws people not just from the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad but from other parts of Telangana and even neighbouring states.

Numaish-e-Masnuaat-e-Mulki or in short, Numaish, made a humble beginning in 1938 as an event to promote locally produced goods. Beginning with just 50 stalls, it has evolved into one of the biggest industrial exhibitions in the country. The seventh Nizam of Hyderabad State, Mir Osman Ali Khan, inaugurated the first Numaish.

With each passing year, the event grew in size and popularity. Traders from across India, besides local industries, entrepreneurs, hotels and food chains, set up stalls. Various state and central government departments as well as public sector undertakings use the platform to reach out to people. Renamed the All India Industrial Exhibition in 1949, it was inaugurated by the Governor General of India, C Rajagopalachari.

With IANS inputs

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