Updated: Oct 4, 2020
Pakistani's have been lucky for 69 years; an Angel; Abdul Sattar Edhi, lived among them. "Nana" to millions of Pakistanis.
Abdul Sattar Edhi, born in Bantva, a small village near Joona Garh, Gujrat (India), in 1928. At age eleven, his mother became paralyzed, and later her mental health started to deteriorate. Young Abdul Sattar, an angel, took care of all her needs; cleaning, bathing, changing clothes, and feeding. Despite all his efforts, his mother moved to Eden.
This whole life tragedy had a toll on his studies. However, the loss of his mother opened a window to the understanding of the pain of humanity. He felt restless, watching people in pain and miseries. Then the bloodshed during the partition of the sub-continent. All this made him sensitive to the problem of humanity.
Imagine if Abdul Sattar Edhi had not migrated to Pakistan?
Edhi migrated with his family to Pakistan in 1947. He worked his way up to become a commission agent by selling cloth in Karachi's wholesale market for bread and butter for his family.
After a couple of years, he left this job and devoted his life fulltime to start a free dispensary for the community. This led to the establishment of Edhi Trust with a vision of a growing and developing system of various services. Whenever Edhi made a public appeal for funds, his right name in the community, everyone contributed with an open heart.
Edhi got married to Mrs. Bilquis Edhi, a nurse by profession working at the Edhi dispensary. She is the lady that has been the strength of Abdul Sattar Edhi throughout his life. Both of them made a powerful couple as both shared the shared vision to serve and support those in sufferings and a sense of personal responsibility to help everyone in need.
In 1964, he also served as a Member of Parliament for a short period.
He is a well recognized public figure but still, he resorts to a straightforward and modest lifestyle. Hated the limelight. In an interview to a journalist in Lahore in 1991, Edhi said,
” I want to request the people not to invite me to social gatherings and inaugural ceremonies. This only wastes my time which I have wholly devoted to the well being of our people.”
Lived in a two-room apartment adjacent to the premises of Foundation's headquarter his entire life. He received no monetary benefits from his Foundation. He had bought government securities to meet the expenses of his family.
Founded the world's largest volunteer ambulance network
More than 1,800 ambulances are stationed across Pakistan, making the Edhi Foundation Pakistan's largest welfare organization. In 1997, Guinness World Records awarded the "largest volunteer ambulance organization" title to the EDHI Foundation.
People have become educated, but have yet to become human
Abdul Sattar Edhi
He was very fond of playing and laughing with the children. A short, powerfully built man in his early seventies with a flowing beard and a ready smile, Edhi is popularly called "Nana" (Grandfather) by the residents of "Edhi Homes."
Edhi won the case for orphans to receive a National Identification Card.
Many Pakistanis are alive because there has always been a cradle outside EDHI centers where parents can leave their children, no questions. EDHi homes fed them, taught them, and raised them to be a Kamyab Pakistani.
To reduce female infanticide a cradle was placed outside each centre
Edhi believed in women empowerment, and Of the 2,000 paid workers of the Edhi Foundation, around 500 are women. They are working as in-charges of Edhi centers, heads of maternity homes and dispensaries, and office workers. Moreover, several women volunteers help the Edhi Foundation in fundraising.
A question still stands why Abdul Sattar Edhi was never awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
He was once nominated in 2014; maybe some of you remember the hashtag #NobelPrizeforEdhi. In an interview with the newspaper, Express Tribune, Edhi, being the true man he was, said: "I don't care about it. The Nobel Prize doesn't mean anything to me. I want these people, I want humanity. Abdul Sattar Edhi left us deep grief and sorrow in July 2016, at age 88.
He established Orphanages which saved over 500,000 babies. Live and help live. (The Edhi Foundations Slogan)
So we can say that Adbul Sattar Edhi was an angel who provided the support and shelter to the hopeless and homeless. He was a blessing for vulnerable segments of this nation. After his death, his sons Faisal and Qutab took over the responsibility of the EDHI Foundation. Together with their mother today, they are running and expanding the Foundation. Services offered by EDHI Foundation are:
Homes & Orphanage Centres
Edhi Mourge Services Marriage Bureau Services
Langer Service (Free Kitchen)
Missing Persons Service
Edhi Animal Hostel
As a true Pakistani, we owe a lot to Abdul Sattar Edhi. The least we can do is contribute to EDHI Foundation as a national responsibility and as a debt that the nation owes to Abdul Sattar EDHI for his services and contributions. No matter how small the donation, it makes a difference. So do not hesitate to donate today.