We a nation of 160 million have only one Abdul Sattar Edhi. Why? Is it his duty alone to work for the society? or we think what he achieved is immpossible for others? I am yet to come across a a child who if asked “what do you what to be when you grow up? ” Answers “Abdul Sattar Edhi”.
Isn’t he an international celebrity? Isn’t he known and respected all over the world? Then why does our future generation wants to be a crickter, a footballer, a muscian, an actor or Bill Gates? I do not think there is anything wrong in being any of the above but why not someone like Edhi?
I wish we had a few more of him!!!
Edhi established his first welfare centre and then the Bilqis Edhi Trust with a mere Rs. 5000. What started as a one-man show operating from a single room in Karachi is now the Edhi Foundation, the largest welfare organization in Pakistan. The foundation has over 300 centers across the country, in big cities, small towns and remote rural areas, providing medical aid, family planning and emergency assistance. They own air ambulances, providing quick access to far-flung areas.
In Karachi alone, the Edhi Foundation runs 8 hospitals providing free medical care, eye hospitals, diabetic centers, surgical units, a 4- bed cancer hospital and mobile dispensaries. In addition to these the Foundation also manages two blood banks in Karachi.
20,000 abandoned babies have been saved
40,000 qualified nurses have been trained
50,000 orphans are housed in Edhi Homes
1 million babies have been delivered in Edhi Maternity Centers
Born in 1928 in Bantwa , Gujarat, India , Edhi’s family belonged to the industrious Memon community. From a young age his mother taught Edhi to be kind towards others and to help the poor. In 1947 the family migrated to Pakistan and settled in Karachi. That was a time of great emotional trauma and social and political upheaval. Edhi became involved in social work and began working with welfare organisations and soon started his own dispensary, providing medical aid to the poor. He bought his first ambulance, an old van which he called the “poor man’s van” and went around the city providing medical help and burying unclaimed bodies. His van became his advertisement and soon he came to be known for his work with the poor. As a consequence, donations started pouring in and his operations expanded, employing additional nurses and staff. It was here that Edhi met his wife Bilquees who was a trainee nurse at the dispensary. They were married in 1966. Bilquees became the ideal wife for Edhi, totally committed to welfare work. Read more.
Despite his enormous fame and the vast sums of money that passes through his hands, Edhi adheres to a very modest lifestyle. He and his family live in a two room apartment adjacent to the premises of Foundation’s headquarter. Neither Edhi nor Bilquis receives any salary, The live on the income from government securities that Edhi bought many years ago to take care of their personal needs for the rest of their lives, thereby freeing them to devote single mindedly to their missionary work.