Hamdard Laboratories Pakistan: A saga of health-care in South Asia
A Dawakhana in India to Hamdard Laboratories Pakistan
Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Pakistan is a true example of a noble vision turning into a successful reality. Hakim Abdul Majeed (1883 – 1922) established Hamdard Dawakhana, a clinic of the Eastern System of Medicine, in Delhi in 1906. Abdul Majeed hailed from a family of herbal doctors. He himself joined well-known Hakim Ajmal Khan‘s Unani pharmacy. He received deep knowledge of medicines and he later decided to establish his own Dawakhana.
Today, it has grown into an organization committed to promoting healthcare, education, and philanthropy. This Non-profit pharmaceutical company famous for herbal medicines has turned into a movement promoting science, ethics, culture, and service.
By the time of partition of the subcontinent in 1947, Hamdard had become a reliable manufacturer of herbal medicine. Following the partition Hamdard Laboratories (India), established its branches in Pakistan and Bangladesh. After 1971 the Hamdard laboratories Waqf Bangladesh was established.
Abdul Majeed’s youngest son Hakim Mohammed Saeed had joined the company in 1940. He migrated to Pakistan in 1948 at the age of 29. Hakim Mohammed Saeed established Hamdard Laboratories Pakistan in Arambagh Karachi. It soon became a prominent manufacturer of herbal products. Hakim Mohammed Saeed announced Hamdard Laboratories as Waqf in 1953 when it grew into a big pharmaceutical company.
Products of Hamdard Laboratories Pakistan
Hamdard Laboratories Waqf Pakistan produces more than 500 products. It includes fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) like Rooh Afza, Isapghol Khas Joshina, Miswak Toothpaste, and Carmina Plus, etc. Its over–the–counter OTC products include Naunehal Gripe Water, Sualin, Suduri, Safi, Barrisal, Rahat-e-Shikam, and, Roghan-e-Badam. it also includes Sharbat Toot Siyah, Garlina, Erqember, Somina, Khuban, and Tunsukh, etc. Many specialized medicines are available through matabs everywhere in Pakistan.
Rooh Afza is the most fascinating product of Hamdard. Hakim Abdul Majeed invented it in 1907 as a medicinal drink which turned into a popular summer soft drink. Due to its growing popularity, he established a Rooh Afza factory in Ghazi Abad India. By the time of partition, it was the most popular drink in Delhi and other provinces.
After the creation of Pakistan and the establishment of Hamdard Laboratories Pakistan, the production of Rooh Afza also started from Karachi. The taste of Rooh Afza mesmerized Pakistanis too. Today, Hamdard Pakistan produces 70 million Rooh Afza bottles a year and 95% of the revenue of its exports comes from Rooh Afza.
Hamdard Foundation Pakistan
Hamdard Pakistan has been involved in philanthropic activities since 1953 but Hamdard Foundation was separately established in 1964 for this noble cause. Since then Hamdard Foundation has been carrying out philanthropic activities in many fields. like his father, Hakim Mohammed Saeed, was not only an excellent physician but also a visionary philanthropist. He focused on health and education which he believed very important for any nation.
He established a broad network of free Clinics (matabs) in the country. He also introduced Hamdard Free Mobile Dispensaries, established hospitals, schools, colleges, and universities. He founded the City of Education, Science and Culture called Madinat al Hikmah. He converted Hamdard into a trust to serve humanity.
The vision of Hakim Abdul Majeed and Hakim Muhammad Saeed has left behind three non-profit organizations with their many branches in South Asia. Today, Hamdard Laboratories (waqf) India, Hamdard Laboratories (waqf) Pakistan, and Hamdard Laboratories (waqf) Bangladesh are helping their communities in health and education.
(Written by Ijaz Ali)