With the advent of summer season, the demand for ice-lollies and ice cream has promptly gain strength in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.Street vendors can be seen selling ice lollies, in front of schools and colleges to children and adults alike, clamoring to get their hands on the chilly delight.
The ordinary man and child finds his respite in these little, inexpensive treats known as ice lollies.With a range of sweet, brightly coloured syrups poured over freshly crushed ice, it is a delight savoring an ice lolly in Capital’s sweltering summer heat. Their target is to sell as many lollies as they can before their purchased ice melts. “The peak hours for selling ice lolly are from 9am till 6pm nowadays,” informed Qasim Khan, a vendor. “Ice melts very fast. I have to try and sell as much as I can before that”, he added.
The business, as it turned out, was fortunately quite lucrative despite the modest price tags of Rs 10 and Rs 20 for a stick and cup respectively. Wasiq, a young ice lolly seller in Karachi Company, told media, “I earn Rs 700 in ten hours.”
He said that usually his customers are school-going children but during the summer season, even adults joined the youngsters to relish the candy-flavored ice.Students are incredibly enthusiastic about the lolly, often preferring it to its more expensive, conventional `sibling’, ice cream. “I can easily afford ice cream but I prefer having ice lollies,” said Athar, a student of NUML University. Rayan, a sixth grader from a government school, said, “It is the only thing I have on my mind after school. My friends and I save at least Rs 20 every day to buy an ice lolly after school hours.
“I like ice cream too, but it’s expensive for me and usually I have it on special occasions.” Hamza, 12, said, “I love the wide range of flavored syrups on the ice lollies. Haneef Ahmed, a 50-year-old shopkeeper, said, “Although some people may consider me too old for ice lollies, I still love to eat them in summers. It’s not only a way to escape the heat, but also it’s a reminder of my childhood days. I used to fight with my siblings over lollies as we were usually short on money and could not buy them every day.It’s obvious that they prefer ice cream and one cannot blame them.Unlike them, we have grown up in dirty streets and inexpensive treats such as ice lollies are our luxury.”
Although innocent children slurped on lollies oblivious to this alarming fact, many mothers are aware that they ought to draw the line here. Mrs Abrar, a housewife, said, “I flatly refuse when my children insist upon eating lollies. I get them biscuits and candy instead. I am not a health expert but I know for sure that the dust on our roads is enough to make children sick. And the sub-standard syrups used as topping in lollies are very harmful for children as their immune system is weak.”