Mr Abdul Sattar Edhi (1 January 1928 – July 8, 2016) arrived in Pakistan in 1947, Nishan-e-Imtiaz Award (Order of Excellence) Awarded, was a prominent Pakistani philanthropist, social activist, ascetic and humanitarian. He is the founder and was the head of the Edhi Foundation in Pakistan.
Celebrated humanitarian and Edhi Foundation Chairman Abdul Sattar Edhi passed away at the age of 92. “He wished to be buried in the same clothes he used to wear. He also wanted to donate his body parts, but only his cornea can be donated as rest of the organs were not in healthy condition,” said Faisal Edhi.
In June, Edhi declined an offer by former president Asif Ali Zardari for treatment abroad, insisting on getting it done in Pakistan, particularly in a government hospital.
The state’s failure to help his struggling family care for his mother – paralyzed and suffering from mental health issues – was his painful and decisive turning point towards philanthropy.
In the sticky streets in the heart of Karachi, Mr Edhi, full of idealism and hope, opened his first clinic in 1951. “Social welfare was my vocation, I had to free it,” he says in his autobiography, ‘A Mirror To The Blind’. Edhi founded the Edhi Foundation, with an initial sum of a mere five thousand rupees. Regarded as a guardian for the poor, Edhi began receiving numerous donations, which allowed him to expand his services.
To this day, the Edhi Foundation continues to grow in both size and service, and is currently the largest welfare organisation in Pakistan. Since its inception, the Edhi Foundation has rescued over 20,000 abandoned infants, rehabilitated over 50,000 orphans and has trained over 40,000 nurses. It also runs over three hundred and thirty welfare centers in rural and urban Pakistan which operate as food kitchens, rehabilitation homes, shelters for abandoned women and children and clinics for the mentally handicapped.
The most prominent symbols of the foundation – its 1,500 ambulances – are deployed with unusual efficiency to the scene of terrorist attacks that tear through the country with devastating regularity.
Abdul Sattar Edhi’s tireless work has helped save hundreds of thousands of lives and shown us what it means to be a man who works for the people, read a statement issued by Prime Minister Office.
Most of the Muslims hate him because he received Ahmadiya Peace Prize 2010. On that occasion he said “Humanity is the most important religion. When a person becomes a true human being then no other relationships matter except for the relationship between man and God.”