It’s heartbreaking that we lost another gem of Pakistan, everyone mourns the death of the great Abdul Sattar Edhi who is no unknown name in Pakistan, and around the globe. One of the most active philanthropist, social activist, and humanitarian in Pakistan.
So much can be said about this man, who was the epitome of compassion, perseverance, and courage. He was a guiding light, a ray of hope, and a hero to many around the world. Here are some facts about him that are a true source of inspiration, and motivation to millions of individuals around the world.
1. Edhi was only 11 when his mother was paralyzed and mentally unstable. He devoted his life completely for taking care of his ailing mother. Sadly she left him when he was only 19, however he rose to the occasion and started charitable work.
2. About sixty years ago, Edhi stood on a street in Karachi and begged for money for an ambulance, raising enough to buy a battered old van. He would drive around the province of Sindh in his worn out ambulance, collecting dead bodies and burying them himself. He recovered dead bodies from rivers, inside wells, from road sides, accident sites and hospitals.
3. He founded the Edhi Trust and Foundation with only 5000 rupees and to reduce infanticide, Edhi placed a little cradle outside every center. He has saved so many babies and in most cases found families who cherished them. Nobody knows the exact number of the infants he saved.
4. The Edhi Foundation has the world’s largest fleet which is over 1,800 ambulances, 28 rescue boats and 2 airplanes. Edhi also runs 24 hour medical dispensaries, a missing person’s hot line and owns the largest morgue in Pakistan. To this day, he owed only two pairs of clothes and never took salary from his organization. Eidhi lived in a small two bedroom apartment over his clinic in Karachi.
5. His wife Bilquis is an equally effective social activist and manages nursing homes, child homes, maternity homes and girls’ hostels. Eidhi provided the children in his hostels with so much care that they would call him ‘Nana’ out of reverence and love. Edhi was awarded Nishan-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan in 1989, the prestigious Magasay award by Philippines, Balzan Peace Award in 2000 by the Italian Government and a Peace Prize from U.S.S.R.