‘No religion is higher than humanity’: Abdul Sattar Edhi
Nation remembers Abdul Sattar Edhi on his 4th death anniversary, one of the most prominent philanthropists of the world. Edhi dedicated his life to the poor from the age of 20, when he himself was penniless in Karachi. Edhi, who founded the world’s largest volunteer ambulance network, would have been 92 today.
Pakistan’s iconic humanitarian was born on February 28, 1928, in a small village of Bantva near Joona Garh, Gujarat in the sub-continent. He migrated to Karachi after partition and in 1951, he formed Edhi organization that started welfare services. Over his lifetime the Edhi Foundation established a network of 1,800 minivan ambulances, 28 rescue boats, and two airplanes to help in emergencies. The foundation also runs homeless shelters, animal shelters, rehab centers, and orphanages all over Pakistan.
Edhi himself live a simple life; he was fully devoted to helping the needy. Until his death, he was the head of the Edhi foundation. His wife, Bilquis Edhi, looks after the maternity and adoption services of the foundation. The purpose of Edhi’s life was not to gain fame but to serve the needy person of his nation despite the religion or caste.
The lists of National awards to his name include Silver Jubilee Shield by College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan, (1962–1987), The Social Worker of Sub-Continent by Government of Sind, Pakistan, in 1989, Civil decoration from Government of Pakistan in 1989, Recognition of meritorious services to oppressed humanity during the eighties by Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Government of Pakistan, in 1989, Pakistan Civic Award from the Pakistan Civic Society in 1992, Shield of Honor by Pakistan Army, Khidmat Award by Pakistan Academy of Medical Sciences and Human Rights Award by Pakistan Human Rights Society.
Not just national but he was awarded by international organizations as well. Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 1986, Lenin Peace Prize in 1988, Gandhi Peace Award from Delhi in 2007, UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Peace Award in 2007 and Peace Award Seoul in 2008 are only a few names off the list of his international awards.
Around 400 medical stores are working under his organization. Apart from that 24-hour service of ambulances is available all over the country. Not only that the Edhi foundation takes the responsibility for burying the unclaimed dead bodies but also performs all the rituals without being concerned about their religion and caste.
With billions of people in the world and millions being born, dying, the only ones who remain alive in the heart of the masses have done something special in their lives. Edhi being at the top of that list has immense services for humanity which will never be forgotten by mankind.