SRINAGAR: For most people in the subcontinent, the idea of ending the fast is synonymous with drinking Rooh Afza – a popular rose-flavoured syrup. However, many Indians might not be doing so this Ramadan.
The iconic drink, produced by Hamdard Laboratories, has been off the market in India for four to five months and it was unavailable on online stores as well, according to a report by The Print.
After the shortage in India, the beverage producer in Pakistan has offered to fill the gap.
Officially, India’s Hamdard Laboratories says that a lack of raw material is behind the shortfall.
The report; however, citing sources, claimed that a dispute among the owners was the reason for the shortage.
Hamdard Laboratories Waqf Pakistan has offered to supply the drink to India through the Wagah border in view of the shortage.
“We can supply RoohAfza and RoohAfzaGO to India during this Ramzan. We can easily send trucks through Wahga (sic) border if permitted by Indian Government,” tweeted Usama Qureshi, MD and CEO of Pakistani Hamdard.
The two Hamdards have common ancestry — the original was founded by Hakeem Hafiz Abdul Majeed in old Delhi in the early 1900s, while the one in Pakistan was founded by his son Hakeem Mohammed Said, who migrated after Partition, in 1948.
Shortage of ingredients
While many speculations have been circulating around the drink’s shortage, a representative from Hamdard India said that it was because of issues at the production stage.
“We are facing supply constraints of certain herbal ingredients. We hope to fix the demand supply gap within a week,” said Mansoor Ali, chief sales and marketing officer at Hamdard, according to a report by The Economic Times.
However, some reports said that the lack of production was due to a family dispute. However, Ali has shutdown such claims. In the same report by The Economic Times, he was quoted as saying: “The speculation about any rift is completely baseless. These are rumours.”