The ice-cream man

Ice-cream anyone ... Ravindra Salen pushes his ice-cream cart at Lautoka wharf. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

The jingling sound of the icecream man’s bell that echoed around the Lautoka wharf after the easing of travel restrictions for maritime islands was met with a lot of happy customers.

Ravindra Salen said he was excited his ice-cream business was back.

“I’m so happy. My business is picking up day by day now. The hot temperature currently experienced in the country makes business sweeter because I tend to record good sales in a day,” said the 43-year-old.

Ravindra has been operating his ice-cream business for the past 11 years and made a living for himself.

Regular customers who know him call him the Ice-cream Man.

The task involves pushing a cart around the scotching conditions in the west for hours.

However, the Varoko, Ba native said he learnt to adapt to the conditions and was glad to be back.

“It has been a tough seven months and I had missed out on earning money. I have been operating from the Lautoka wharf for the past 11 years. I’m super excited.”

Ravindra said he expects an increased income as travel by sea increases which meant more customers for him.

“I had to cease operations completely since mid-April when the second wave of the killer virus emerged and restarted my ice-cream business when COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed.

“However, I wasn’t able to operate from the wharf. Although people wanted icecream I couldn’t just go and sell as normal because the health of everyone was paramount.

“Hopefully I can start earning $300 in a week like before with more sea travel taking place over the next days and weeks.”

The easing of travel restrictions allowed Ravindra to recommence making rounds again at the Lautoka wharf albeit with extra hygiene measures.

“I’m using gloves and I always make it a point of washing my hands frequently.”

Maritime Island travel recommenced on Friday, November 12 under risk reduction protocols after the overall vaccination coverage for Vanua Levu and Maritime Island groups reached the 80 per cent threshold albeit for fully vaccinated individuals.

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