Hyderabadis ushered into a new year without the annual trade fair ‘Numaish’ which has been part of the historic city’s culture for 80 years.
For the first time in 72 years, the exhibition did not commence on January 1 due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The Exhibition Society, a state government-controlled body which organises the All India Industrial Exhibition every year, decided to postpone the 81st edition till January 31.
Though the Covid-19 situation in Telangana is under control and the number of cases in Hyderabad has dropped, the Society headed by Telangana’s Health Minister E. Rajender, took the decision as a measure of abundant caution.
As thousands of people throng exhibition every day and the current guidelines don’t permit gathering of more than 200 people, the Society decided to defer the 46-day event.
Officials said they did not want to take a chance especially in view of the possibility of a second wave of the epidemic and some cases of UK strain of coronavirus being reported in the country. They are hopeful that ‘Numaish’ will begin in March-April.
Traders from various parts of the country set up their stalls during the exhibition, which is visited by 45,000 people every day.
Every year, ‘Numaish’ begins on January 1 and goes on till February 15. Over 20 lakh visitors had visited the exhibition last year.
A unique blend of economy and culture, the event is organised at the sprawling Exhibition Grounds in the heart of the city and revenues from the fair are spent on 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 Numaish, in short, 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’.
Enthused by the good response, it was decided to make it an annual event and use the earnings to promote education.
With each passing year, the event grew in size and popularity. Old-timers recall that it became a platform for artists to show their skills. Mushaira or literary activity, songs and qawalis became a part of it.
Now there is more focus on commercial aspect. 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.
Numaish could not be organised in 1947 and 1948 due to the turmoil in the aftermath of India’s Independence. With Hyderabad acceding to the Indian Union, the event bounced back in 1949.
Renamed the All India Industrial Exhibition in 1949, it was inaugurated by the first Governor General of India, C. Rajagopalachari.