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Abdul Sattar Edhi : Renowned philanthropist and chairman of Edhi Foundation

ghazi52

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Mar 21, 2007
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Remembering Edhi, the exception to Pakistan's faults




For our entire lives, Abdul Sattar Edhi was the exception.

All Muslims are terrorists.”
But, Edhi…

All Pakistanis are corrupt.
But, Edhi…

All Karachiites are violent.
But, Edhi…

All men with beards are extremists.
But, Edhi…

All…
“But, Edhi.”

Our lives as Pakistanis and the experiences within tell us that Edhi should not have been. People aren’t that noble in real life, no one can be that selfless truly.

To have access to millions of dollars, and still only own two changes of clothing, and the same cramped apartment in the same cramped part of the city.

To start with a single van in which he carried corpses, no matter their level of degradation. And to build the world’s largest volunteer ambulance service purely on the weight of reputation alone.

These things do not happen. People don’t remain uncorrupted their entire lives. Politics gives them promises of power, wealth gives them a lust for luxury, religion gives them the narcissistic egotism of a messiah.

But, Edhi.

I know people who when they met him in person, were so overcome with emotion, they wept. I did too.

He was small, frail in appearance, even years ago. Until you noticed his arms. Edhi’s hands were the kind that only develop after a life of hard work, with gnarled fingers and a fierce, yet effortless grip.

His forearms were thick, muscled from carrying the dead, carrying the children, carrying the weight of all our exceptions.

People aren’t that brave, they cannot be.

But, Edhi.


Abdul Sattar sits in his office. —AFP


Edhi did not stop working. Even when the religious parties lashed outagainst him because he didn’t discern between Muslims and non-Muslims, he kept on sending his ambulances out to save the wounded and to bury the dead.

They hurled abuse at him for not praying as much as they did, yet he kept working. He knew, as did we all, that they hated him because he showed their farce for what it was. They could pray all day and pass judgement all night, but they would never be as revered as he was.

Political parties threatened him, yet he kept working.

One night, when I was working in a newsroom many years ago, Karachi had been submerged under monsoon rains. The death toll was high, higher than the ruling political party could allow.

They knew they couldn’t stop people dying, not in a Karachi so neglected by development and consideration for care, so they instead stopped the ambulances from collecting the dead — the toll would not rise if there were no more bodies to count.

Edhi’s son called the news channels for help. The political party leaders also called, to threaten with silence. No channel ran the story. Yet, Edhi kept working. He personally went to collect the corpses, knowing they would not kill him. Anyone else they would have.

But, Edhi.


A Pakistani motorcyclist pays his respects to Abdul Sattar Edhi as he travels to his office in Karachi. —AFP


Gangs fighting in Lyari would cease fire to allow his ambulances to collect bodies. Infants, who would have died unwanted, were saved by his cots, given lives through his orphanages.

He began with a single van, and died with a fleet of ambulances, helicopters, orphanages, and an army of volunteers dedicated to saving life. Even in death, he donated his last functioning organs, a final act of charity.

Pakistanis know how to grieve; it is the one thing we know all too well. However, I worry that this grief is too large for all of us — it is the kind of grief that no one can carry for us. But, Edhi.


Sami Shah
 

ghazi52

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Nation remembers – Guardian of humanity
Edhi left millions inspired, moved and motivated to carry his legacy on



https://nation.com.pk/blogger/natasha-waqas-awan-mishal-abbas-khawaja
Natasha Waqas Awan & Mishal Abbas Khawaja

July 08, 2019


People all over the world are paying homage to the man who rekindled our faith in humanity, Edhi.

He earned various titles and esteemed recognition all over the globe and had millions mourning three years ago today when he passed away , leaving us in an amalgamation of inspired hope and dismay at the same time. Edhi was born on January 1st, 1928 in Gujrat, India and was brought up to be a compassionate human which added to it when he started taking care of his mentally ill and paralyzed mother. After witnessing the horrors that came with the brutal reality of partition, he was further convinced to play his part in the reformation of the society and laid down the foundation of what would later be the epitome of humanity - Edhi Foundation.

Be it orphans, addicts, homeless, the needy or any human that needed shelter, assistance or guidance, every person was welcomed by him with open arms. He was joined in this philanthropic journey by a nurse who worked with and proved to be as compassionate as Edhi himself and later became his spouse i.e. Bilquis Edhi. The couple had four children and served the nation together as a team.

He has been given the title of “Angel of Mercy” for his charitable acts towards each and every individual regardless of the class, religion, race or title. His services were provided on the basis of “human”, independent of all social norms and boundaries.

The humanitarian founded the Edhi foundation which runs hospitals, orphanages, shelters and rehab centres all over the country and is acknowledged and widely known all over the world. The foundation has rescued over 20,000 abandoned infants, girls and boys, trained over 40,000 nurses and taken care of approximately 50,000 orphans till date. The foundation is a long network comprising 330 centres all over Pakistan. It consists of the world’s largest ambulance chain with estimated 600 vehicles dedicated to the service. The foundation does receive huge amount of charities and donations by the masses and fellow humanitarians.

Edhi himself led a very simple and pious life and lived in an ordinary household next to his office. In 2013, his kidneys failed and he led the following years on dialysis and took his last breath on 8th July, 2016.

He left millions inspired, moved and motivated to carry his legacy on. His wife is still working under the same principles and carrying his vision forward. May his soul rest in peace and may he keep on inspiring and guiding individuals in becoming better versions of themselves everyday.
 

ghazi52

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Abdul Sattar Edhi: The greatest humanitarian to have come out of Pakistan


Anis Shivani


Photo by Tapu Javeri | White Star


Photo by Tapu Javeri | White Star

Abdul Sattar Edhi is the Herald’s most influential Pakistani after Muhammed Ali Jinnah, topping a list also comprising three assassinated prime ministers, two military dictators, a poet, a performer, a human rights campaigner and a sports star-turned-philanthropist-turned politician. Below is an an excerpt from Edhi's profile in the Herald's August 2017 cover story, which features nine other profiles of notable leaders.


One of my earliest memories as a child is being taken by my father (along with my mother and sister) to Abdul Sattar Edhi’s clinic in Karachi’s Mithadar area where the great man himself was at the counter to receive our donation. If I remember correctly, he was dressed in his trademark plain dark clothes and had his Jinnah cap on, though his beard was darker.

There must have been some reason why this memory has stayed with me. When we were young, whenever there was money to give, he was the go-to guy, more trustworthy than anyone else. In later years, when I was no longer in Pakistan, I knew my parents unfailingly sent him money in place of sacrificing goats every Eidul Azha.

The Mithadar-Kharadar-Jodia Bazaar setting for Edhi’s headquarters seems apt. This almost medieval labyrinthine area near Karachi’s port, with narrow winding streets and congested paths (some steeply ascending from what I remember), is a stark rebuke to every modern method of conducting business — even philanthropy. If Edhi needed money, he would simply stand on the footpath and beg of passers-by who were likely to be closest to those he was actually helping in his healthcare facilities, orphanages — and, yes, morgues.

To rescue a foundling, a dying person or a hurt animal was for him as immediate as stepping on the street and gathering what was out there. Kharadar, where Edhi lived and breathed until the end (having moved there only days after Partition), stubbornly insists on not being complicit with the blindness of affluence — not always out of necessity but sometimes, as in the case of Edhi and others from his Memon community I have known who were beholden to radical simplicity, as a matter of choice.

The modern welfare state promises guardianship of the individual from cradle to grave in return for allegiance to the national creed. Consider Edhi’s unwavering attention to both the cradle and the grave, the origin and the end of life, from a different moral posture.

Think of the jhoolas (cradles) that famously stand outside his shelters where unwanted children can be dropped off, no questions asked — the idea being to demolish the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate when it comes to children or any form of sentience. Consider the number of corpses he must have washed and cared for during his long life.

This is a non-partisan outlook, not in the way of postmodern, New Age, neo-liberal distance from ideology but as a way to get us thinking about laying the foundations of civilisation again — block by block, starting from the beginning of life and moving to its very end. Though dedicated to Pakistan (his refusal to seek treatment for his terminal illness abroad was of a piece with his beliefs), his was a morality free of the puny understandings of nationalism that usually define official heroes.
 

ghazi52

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Abdul Sattar, a young man of Bantwa, a village of Gujarat, went to Karachi and started a clothes business. He went to the market to buy cloth. Who stabbed a person there. Injured fell on the ground and started suffering. People surrounded the injured and watched the spectacle. That person died in anguish..

Young Abdul Sattar's heart was stained, thought there are three types of people in the society who watch the spectacle of those who kill others and help the injured..

Young Abdul Sattar decided he will be one of those who help and Then left the clothes business, bought an ambulance, wrote his name on it, wrote the telephone number below and started helping the injured and sick in Karachi city.

He was also the driver of his institute, office boy, telephone operator, sweeper, and the owner also. He kept the telephone on his head and rings the bell of the phone while writing this address and taking an ambulance, saluting the injured and patients to the hospital and returned. On the way..

Abdul Sattar put an iron grain in front of the center. People used to put their worthless money in it while passing. These hundreds of coins and few notes were the total asset of this institution.. They went to the mosque to offer Fajr prayers. A newborn child was left at the doorstep. Maulvi Sahib declared the child illegal and announced to be killed. People were taking the child to kill. They lifted stones and stood in front of them. Took a child from them and raised a child today. That kid is a big officer in the bank..

They used to go to pick up the bodies, found out that there was a body lying in the dirty canal.

They reached there and saw the families were also not ready to get out the body. Abdul Sattar Edhi went down into the canal, took out the body, brought the house, took a bath, put a shroud, put a funeral and offered a funeral with his own hands. I buried my body after digging the grave..

When I came out in the market, I saw the helpless old people picking up the paper, I saw the stray children sleeping with the dogs on their feet, they made old people home, made mad houses, made children's home. Made Khawan, saw women in trouble, made maternity home..

People kept watching their madness, helped them, they kept moving forward, until Edhi Foundation became the largest welfare institution in the country. I have also come to the Guinness Book of World Record..

Mr. Edhi has made the world's largest private ambulance service.. Abdul Sattar Edhi used to roam in the country without fear.

He also went to where there was police competition or riots. There used to be police robbers and hostile groups, after seeing them, they used to stop firing. The child of the country knows Abdul Sattar Edhi after Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal.



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jupiter2007

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Feb 19, 2007
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I know of family members living in karachi who has cancer and he is in need of financial assistance. Is there a NGO in Karachi that can provide financial assistance or can help those are in need of Medical treatment?
 

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