Over a million expected at Jain trade fair


Mumbai : A galaxy of dignitaries, including ruler of Dubai Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, IT wizard Sam Pitroda, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will be among the million visitors expected at the second four-day Jain International Trade Organisation (JITO) fair, which opens here Thursday.

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Apart from the trade fair, a conference of Jain businessmen from around the world will be held at the NSE Exhibition Complex at Goregaon in northwest Mumbai.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil and Shiv Sena Executive President Udhav Thackeray will also be present, a spokesman for JITO told IANS.

According to JITO President Hemant Shah, the fair will give Jain businessmen and industrialists an opportunity to showcase their products and services to an estimated one million visitors from all over the world.

“Last year, 500,000 visitors had visited the JITO fair. This year, the number will be more than double,” Shah said.

JITO Vice President Champalal Vardhan said 10,000 Jain delegates from 50 countries would take part in the conference, to be held during the fair.

An added attraction will be a pavilion that will exhibit over 500 rare Jain artefacts.

“On display shall be the best of treasures from various Jain temples in India, Jain iconography, miniatures and wall paintings, idols carved out of precious stones from all the world called Ratna Pratimas, sculptures and other items dating to the second to 14th centuries sourced from Sravanbelagola, Khajuraho, Devgadh, Gwalior, Mathura, Chanderi, Vidarbha, Kolkata, Surat, and Rajasthan,” said one of the organisers, Girish Shah.

A special pavilion at discounted rates has been provided for upcoming Jain youth and women entrepreneurs to encourage them, Vardhan said.