People like Abdul Sattar Edhi aren’t born every day (not even every decade!). In this day and age, during the ‘me-me-me’ era, when people can’t get enough of doing things for themselves, this one man has given new meaning to the word ‘giving’.
Mr. Abdul Sattar Eidhi is no stranger to any Pakistani, anywhere in the world. The Edhi Foundation is the largest welfare organization in Pakistan today. Mr. Edhi has a reputation of being a selfless aid to the injured and unwell.
Mr. Edhi began his career as a philanthropist in 1951, when he bought a small shop and started his first free dispensary.
The most amazing thing about this great man is that he did not have very much money himself. His dispensary was run using money he collected standing on street corners and also from begging. His dedication and conviction to serve the needy eventually led him to purchase an ambulance.
Making use of his basic medical training, Mr. Edhi drove his ambulance all around Karachi providing free basic health care to people who needed it. His selflessness and ever-ready-help for the needy gave rise to his popularity among all Pakistanis.
Soon, Mr. Edhi laid the foundation for the Edhi Trust and Foundation with only five thousand rupees. As he was a man of very good repute and was regarded by all as a guardian of the poor, donations began to pour in; using which Mr. Edhi expanded his services.
Today the Edhi Foundation includes clinics, ambulance services, soup kitchens, maternity centers, a nursing school, adoptions centers, shelters for children and battered women, as well as other much needed services.
Since its inception, the Edhi Foundation has rescued more than 20,000 abandoned infants, rehabilitated over 50,000 orphans, and trained more than 40,000 nurses.
The number of Edhi Foundation welfare centers in both rural and urban of Pakistan areas is more than 330! These welfare centers include food kitchens, rehabilitation homes, shelters for abandoned women and children and clinics for the mentally handicapped.
Another amazing fact about the the Edhi Foundation is that not only is it the foremost source of emergency medical assistance in Pakistan, but it also operates the LARGEST fleet of ambulances in the world!
Today the Edhi Foundation has centers in the United States, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Canada and the United Kingdom, but Mr. Edhi still lives an extremely simple life. He owns very few clothes, lives in a small two bedroom apartment above one of his clinics and has never taken a salary from his organization for his services rendered.
Today most of our young population idolizes actors and singers and desires the latest sports stars; it is unfortunate that most of them have forgotten the huge contribution this great humanitarian has made to our society.
However, recognition or no recognition, it has no effect on Mr. Edhi. This great individual continues his work unabated, which is why I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Edhi for all that he is done for us Pakistanis. His services are such that only Allah will be able to repay him.