Rooh Afza Crisis hits Indian Market: Popular cold drink disappears from the market

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Popular cold drink Rooh Afza has disappeared from the market forcing people, especially the fasting lot, to look for alternatives.

Sumaiyah Syed, an architect-housewife, says that in the last few days she has looked for the drink in several shops in Banjara Hills and Masab Tank area in Hyderabad but did not find it. “It is a popular drink at home, particularly during Ramzan, but it is not there. We don’t know the reason but we do miss it,” she told Siasat.com.

Market sources said that the shortage began some six months ago.

The scarcity is not restricted to Hyderabad alone. Reports from Delhi and other cities also suggest that the drink which is produced by Hamdard (Wakf) Laboratories in India has started disappearing from the market some time ago.

It is one of those drinks that began its production in pre-partitioned India and continued to do so after Pakistan came into being in 1947. The arrival of modern soft drinks from the Western countries has not disturbed the Rooh Afza market because it caters to native pallet in a way which no other sherbet has been able to do.

Established in 1906 by Hakim Hafiz Abdul Majeed and Ansarullah Tabani, a Unani physician, Rooh Afza is produced in India by Hamdard Laborataries (Waqf) in Delhi. In Pakistan it is produced by another independent company but under the same brand name, Hamdard.
The shortage in India has led the Hamdard Pakistan to offer supply the drink to India through Wagah border which has been closed for several months.

Mr Usama Qureshsi, MD and CEO of Hamdard, Pakistan, offered to send trucks through the Wagah border, if permitted by the Indian government.

Rooh Afza India responded to Usama Qureshi’s tweet, saying that production of Rooh Afza in India is in full swing, ‘and the situation is only getting better every day.’

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