Melissa Juried Kriebel
NEW DELHI: The ongoing India International Trade Fair here has proven to be a door opener for small businesses and startups which have been able to reach new target groups as a record number of people visit the fair every day. An India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) official said the fair has been a major success and the footfall has beaten all the records.
Vijay Kumar Jha, a Madhubani artist from Bihar who has set up a stall in Hall No 1 at Pragati Maidan, was beaming with joy as he made good sales on Monday.
“Thousands of people are visiting every day. It has provided us with a channel to showcase our art and we have made good sales. People in Delhi are really fond of art. Such a fair should be organised twice a year,” Jha said.
The 41st India International Trade Fair is being organised from November 14 to 27, 2022, at Pragati Maidan and all states are showcasing their progressive strides in various fields.
Overseas participation is from 12 countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belarus, Iran, Nepal, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE, and the UK. Several traders from Afghanistan have set up stalls of dry fruits in Hall No 1. These stalls are drawing a large crowd with people buying all sorts of dry fruits from walnut, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, raisins, dates and figs.
“Afghan dry fruits are famous for their quality and prices. I have bought half a kilogram each of dates and walnut. I tried their products, the quality is unmatchable. I am happy a came here to explore. The prices are a bit on the expensive side but we all can pay a little price for good quality,” said Ashutosh Kumar, a Shahdara resident.
Traders are also relishing good business. “The fair has been good for business. Lots of people are coming and buying every kind of dry fruit for themselves. Dates are quite popular among people,” said 24-year-old trader Ashraf, who is quite fluent in Hindi.
This has also become a channel to showcase lost, old and reviving art. Arunanchal Pradesh resident Ula Maina, who has a small business selling products made out of traditional fabric, said the art of making this fabric is quite old and the fair has given them a chance to share their culture with people.
“The fair like this is helping us in reviving this lost art and allowing us to make a livelihood out of it. Our business has grown tremendously due to a fair like this. Now people know about our culture and clothes,” said Ula, proudly showcasing her products.
Speaking with PTI, Pushpam Kumar, SM Officer on Special Duty (Admn.) Functional Division ITPO, expressed his delight with the response to the fair.
“Today is the 8th day of our 41st edition of the India International Trade fair. The response from our participants and visitors has beaten all the records and they are quite enthusiastic about the fair,” said.
People were seen clicking selfies and making video calls to their loved ones to show the exciting display at the fair.
Several schools have also arranged a visit to the fair. Students were seen enjoying the fair, however, it appears to be a hassle for teachers to ensure no student goes astray. Among the students, stalls related to gadgets and toys appear to be the centre of attraction.
“I am fond of new gadgets. There are many stalls selling toy cars, I will come again with my parents to buy at least one remote-controlled car,” said 10-year-old Shubham Badheria.
The ITPO organises the mega event and it was first held in 1979. The fair was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the second time in history that the fair was not organised. The first time this happened was in 1980.
Several ministries have also set up stalls at the fair. The Ministry of AYUSH has highlighted its initiatives around the theme of “AYUSH for Global Health” along with other achievements.
Various AYUSH institutes and research bodies of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homeopathy streams have set up their stalls to make people aware of how they can maintain good health by including AYUSH in their lifestyle through daily routine and good dietary habits available under the system.
The visitors were being given free saplings of medicinal plants having multiple health benefits.
The crowd gathered in large numbers during a quiz organised by the ministry. The winner was given interesting prizes.
The visitors were given a glimpse of various initiatives undertaken by the Delhi government under education, health, infrastructure, electricity, water, transport, tourism, as well as ease of doing business, at the Delhi pavilion, it said.
Among the women, Hall 12 is the most popular as it houses beauty and cosmetic stalls.
“All famous cosmetic brands are here. So it has become one stop for ladies. So many brands to explore and so many products. It has become a makeup hub,” said Kritima.
Meanwhile, the design of the Delhi pavilion is based on the design of e-buses run by the Kejriwal government.
Delhi’s education model and its various initiatives like Mindset curricula, Mohalla Clinics, and employment generation initiatives of the government are on display at the pavilion.