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Remembering Abdul Sattar Edhi

Remembering the world's greatest humanitarian

Abdul Sattar Edhi

Abdul Sattar Edhi, the humanitarian and social activist passed away on the 8th of July 2016 at the age of 88. His most prominent achievement was the Edhi Foundation, a non-profit service which provides emergency assistance to Pakistan and other countries abroad.

He was born in 1928 in Gujarat of British India, prior to the formation of Pakistan. His early life was humble, being not very different from common  folk of the era but at the age of eleven, his life changed when his mother became paralyzed after suffering from a stroke. Through this experience, Edhi gained an increased compassion for those who were disabled and suffering from illnesses. 

When Edhi was 17-years-old, the partition of India occurred, with his family he moved to Karachi , Pakistan, to begin a new life. He began employment  at a wholesale shop as a peddler, where he would sell cloth. His mother embedded the value of charity to her son as she would give him 1 paisa for his meal whilst at work and told him to give another paisa to a beggar.

Two years after the families move from India, Edhi mother passed away, in 1949, when Edhi was aged 19. He then spent his life focusing on helping the needy, as he opened his first free clothes dispensary called the " free Bantva dispensary", named after the small village in Gujarat where he grew up.

in 1951 Edhi started his most notable non-profit venture the Edhi foundation. The organization provides three main services to the poor and ill in Pakistan, an Ambulance service, which employs over 1800 emergency vehicles, Hospitals, and childcare services, which are notably run by his wife whom he married in 1965.

Edhi received many awards for his humanitarian work and also recognition from the people of Pakistan , he was given many titles such as, “Father Teresa of Pakistan" and the "Angel of Mercy".

Abdul Sattar Edhi, passed away due to a kidney failure, even in death, he chose to give, as he donated his eyes to the blind.

Below, are some quotes from the prominent social activist.

“My religion is humanitarianism, which is the basis of every religion in the world.”

“I do not have any formal education. What use is education when we do not become human beings? My school is the welfare of humanity.”

 “Never take anyone’s death to heart Bilquis. Remember God by the equality with which He implements it. Nobody is different, the richest to the poorest, from here to the end of the globe face it equally. What an example of equality.”

“So, many years later there were many who still complained and questioned, ‘Why must you pick up Christians and Hindus in your ambulance?’ And I was saying, ‘Because the ambulance is more Muslim than you.”

“The Holy Book should open in your souls, not on your laps. Open your heart and see God’s people. In their plight you will find Him.”

“Empty words and long praises do not impress God. Show Him your faith by your deeds.”

 “Those who believed in changing the world were either hungry by circumstance or practiced deprivation by choice.”