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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Hamdard Pakistan’s “Heat Wave Initiative”

The nourishing Rooh Afza helped regain the energy that had been lost because of extreme heat. An estimated 300,000 and 100,000 glasses of chilled Rooh Afza were served in Karachi and Lahore, respectively as part of Hamdard Pakistan's 30-day heat wave initiative.

News Desk |

Hamdard Pakistan continues its annual heatwave activities in different parts of the country under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives this year in June.

This year as per the instructions of the Chairperson of Hamdard Pakistan, Mrs. Sadia Rashid, the company organized Heatwave activity in different areas of Karachi and Lahore.

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The activity has been going on for two years now, in 2017 Hamdard served over 7000 glass per day continuously for 60 days. This activity continued during Ramadan in places where iftar was being served to hundreds of people every day.

Why Rooh-Afza provides a cooling effect?

Actual reasons are not fully known, but the drink from its inception from Delhi in early part of 20th century is known for its relief from scorching heat effects. It has something to do with its formulation that includes herbs like: purslane (“Khurfa seeds”, Portulaca oleracea), Chicory, wine-grape raisins (Vitis vinifera), European white lily (Nymphaea alba), blue star water lily (Nymphaea nouchali), lotus (Nelumbo), Borage and Coriander.

The 30-day Heat Wave CSR Activity

The 30-day campaign constituted of three Heat Wave camps in six districts of Karachi to serve chilled Rooh Afza in the scorching heat of June.

It caused the deaths of about 2,000 people from dehydration and heat stroke, mostly in Sindh province and its capital city, Karachi. The heat wave also claimed the lives of zoo animals and countless agricultural livestock.

A team Rooh Afza brand ambassadors were assigned duties that comprised of catering to the general public during the heatwave. Rooh Afza’s “Rocket Man” also served the chilled drink to people in the surroundings through an instant dispensing machine

To expand their reach this year, portable camps were placed in three different locations at a time including traffic signals, bus-stops, roundabouts, markets etc.

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With 10,000 chilled Rooh Afza glasses being served per day, an estimated 300,000 chilled Rooh Afza drink was served to the general public as a result of this 30-day CSR activity. Similarly, in Lahore 100,000 glasses were distributed in various parts of the cities through the designation of several rocket men and floats.

The general public lauded the gesture and efforts of Hamdard Pakistan to give back to the community. Humanitarian assistance has always been crucial and fundamental to the organization; a value inculcated by its pioneer Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said, a renowned physician, medical researcher, scholar, philanthropist, and the former governor of Sindh Province (1993-1994).

Read more: “Not a Heat-wave”: Soaring Temperatures in Karachi raise fears

Pakistan is the 8th most-affected country from climate change and has become a water-stressed country because its reservoirs can store water equivalent to 30 days of consumption, whereas the standard minimum requirement is 120 days.

Heat Wave Patterns in Pakistan Since 2015

A severe heatwave with temperatures as high as 49 C (120 F) struck southern Pakistan in June 2015. It caused the deaths of about 2,000 people from dehydration and heatstroke, mostly in Sindh province and its capital city, Karachi. The heatwave also claimed the lives of zoo animals and countless agricultural livestock. The event followed a separate heatwave in neighboring India, that killed 2,500 people in May 2015.

In April 2017, a severe heatwave with temperatures as high as 51 C (124 F) hit Pakistan, especially its southern parts. This heatwave broke the old temperature records of many cities in the country for the month of April. Larkana, a city in the southern province of Sindh, experienced the highest maximum temperature of 51.0 C on 20 April, breaking the previous day’s record of 50 C.

The traditional drink also referred to as “The Original Red Drink” is known for its refreshing and thirst-quenching qualities in predominantly South Asian households.

Similarly, in 2018, almost 65 people died in Karachi as a result of the scorching heat resulting in temperatures as high as 44°C in May. According to the MET office forecast this year, temperatures rose to 44 C temperature in Lahore, 41 C in Peshawar, 42 C in Karachi and 40 C in Islamabad.

Rooh Afza – the Original Summer Drink

Rooh Afza (Soul Enhancer in Urdu), is a product of the popular Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf), which is known for manufacturing traditional herbal medicines and products using updated machinery and techniques. The traditional drink also referred to as “The Original Red Drink” is known for its refreshing and thirst-quenching qualities in predominantly South Asian households.

Made up of herbal extracts, the drink is consumed widely in Pakistan and India especially in summers and the Holy month of Ramadan. The large bottle filled with a deep red color and syrup-like consistency is known for its versatility. As a drink, it is mixed in water and is also a strong favorite mixed in milk, fresh lime or yogurt.

In addition to drinking, it has a plethora of other uses, such as being the vital ingredient in home-made ice creams, sorbets, slush, smoothies, sundaes and many other sweet and savory dishes. Known for its universal outreach, it was named among the top hundred brands of the world in 2007 by a renowned US magazine, ‘Saveur’, calling Rooh Afza a “heavenly elixir”.

Read more: 8 beverages to beat the heat in Karachi this summer!

In addition to international recognition, it is the recipient of the Best Export Trophy for 22 consecutive years from the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI). In addition, it has also won the Consumers’ Choice Award for 10 consecutive years from the Consumer Association of Pakistan (CAP) since 2005, as well as the Brands of the Year Award, running since 2006, and the Brands Icon of Pakistan Award in 2008 and 2010.