By: Mahjabeen Malik
Do you want to rule over the hearts of millions and trillions of people around the world? You do not need to bother at all. You can do so just by rendering some sacrifices like that of Abdul-Sattar Edhi- a great social worker and philanthropist.
Abdul-Sattar Edhi was just like an angel who helped people without having any kind of expectation from them. He had no wings but he reached everywhere around the world within a wink to support and sympathies miserable people. He had an immense pathos for poor and sick people in his sensitive heart.
Dear readers in this article, I would tell you about the life history and achievements of the great man Abdul-Sattar Edhi. Abdul-Sattar Eddhi was a great Pakistani in true sense. He was born in Bantva, the Indian state of Gujrat in February 1928; at the age of eleven, he was migrated to Pakistan in 1947. Unfortunately, his mother was paralyzed when he was only 11 years of age. However, he started looking care for her. At the age of 20, he founded a social services network in Karachi, Pakistan.
He was so sensitive from his very childhood so he thought to provide services to needy and deprived people. He was a kind hearted person and a sensible great philanthropist.
Marriage and children
In 1965, Abdul-Sattar Edhi got married to a nurse named Bilquis. They had four Juvenile; two daughters and two sons. Bilquis worked at Eidhi Dispensary. After marriage, she established a maternity home for free delivery of poor ladies. She also adopted deprived children and even provided shelter to those born out of matrimony. Eidhi was a simple man who was popular among the people of Pakistan and around the world for his ascetic lifestyle.
Bilquis Eidhi Trust and Foundation
Abdul-Sattar was determined to change the fate of needy people. In the history of Pakistan, he established the genuine concept of the welfare of people. Thus he had established Eidhi Trust and Eidhi Foundation. In the beginning, he established Eidhi Foundation and Eidhi Trust with very little amount around 5000 rupees only. Later on, the Trust’s name was changed into Bilquis Eidhi Trust. Then Eidhi started receiving massive donations from different organizations and rich individuals, he expanded the network. The Trust was turned into a shelter for the poor. With the passage of time, the Trust became the largest welfare organization of Pakistan. Edhi had to spread its services and buildings on the demand of poor people. Around 330 welfare centres are running in the rural and urban areas of Pakistan.
Bilquis Eidhi Trust had secured more than 20,000 forsaken infants, restored over fifty thousand orphans and had given training to more than forty thousand nurses. The Trust established by Abdul-Sattar Eidhi is providing shelters to widows, homeless women, children, handicapped and mentally retarded people.
Private donations and services are being offered by the Eidhi Foundation to people regardless of their race or religion. It also provides free of cost nursing homes, orphanages, clinics, women’s shelters and rehab centres for drug addicts and mentally retarded persons. It has launched operations for relief in Africa Middle East, the Caucasus region Europe and the United state. The foundation donated $ 1000,000 for relief fund after Hurricane Katrina.
During the sickness and after the death of Abdul-Sattar Edhi, his son Faisal, wife Bilquis and daughters are organizing his welfare centres. BBC mentioned about him he is that he was the most prestigious figure of Pakistan and India admired his services while comparing his services with Mother Teresa.
Unfortunately, the right-wing targeted the Trust in 2014 and robbed of 400,000 money.
Newborn babies and Unknown Corpses
Eidhi centres provide cradles to the infants. Many unwanted infants are put into the cradles at Eidhi centres on a daily basis. Eidhi centres not only provide love and care to newborn babies, orphans and destitute women but also provide services to dead bodies. Many of the unknown corpses of unknown children, men and women are washed, shrouded and buried with respect by the workers of Eidhi welfare centres.
Another great and notable task of Eidhi is unique and unforgettable. Eidhi had spread the network of Ambulances around the country. Whenever he came to know about any incident happen anywhere, he reached there to help the people. Edi’s Ambulances are running on roads throughout the country for the sake of sick and needy people. He had saved many lives with the help of ambulances and emergency services. He was a true philanthropist with angelic spirit.
Achievements & Medals
- Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service (1986)
- Lenin Peace Prize (1988)
- Paul Harris Fellow from Rotary International (1993)
- Peace Prize from the former USSR, for services during the Armenian earthquake disaster (1988)
- Hamdan Award for volunteers in Humanitarian Medical Services (2000), UAE
- International Balzan Prize (2000) for Humanity, Peace and Brotherhood, Italy
- Peace and Harmony Award (2001), Delhi
- Peace Award (2004), Mumbai
- Peace Award (2005), Hyderabad Deccan
- Gandhi Peace Award (2007), Delhi
- Seoul Peace Prize (2008), Seoul
Honorary doctorate from the Institute of Business Administration Karachi (2006)
- UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize (2009)
- Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize (2010)
- Honorary Doctorate by the University of Bedfordshire (2010)
- London Peace Award (2011), London
- Silver Jubilee Shield by College of Physicians and Surgeons (1962–1987)
- Moiz ur Rehman Award (2015)
- The Social Worker of Sub-Continent by Government of Sindh (1989)
- Nishan-e-Imtiaz, civil decoration from the Government of Pakistan (1989)
- Recognition of meritorious services to oppressed humanity during the 1980s by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Government of Pakistan (1989)
- Pakistan Civic Award from the Pakistan Civic Society (1992)
Jinnah Award for Outstanding Services to Pakistan was conferred in April 1998 by The Jinnah Society. This was the first Jinnah Award bestowed on any person in Pakistan.
- Shield of Honor by Pakistan Army (E & C)
- Khidmat Award by the Pakistan Academy of Medical Sciences
- Bacha Khan Aman (Peace) Award in 1991
- Human Rights Award by the Pakistan Human Rights Society
- 2013 Person of the Year by the readers of The Express Tribune
Living Style of Abdul-Sattar Edhi was quite simple and plain. He had only two dresses in black to wear. He had a long bear and always lived in a traditional dress. He was lucky to find a cooperative and sensible life partner Bilquis Edhi who had helped him in his work and passion. Bilquis also devoted her life for the help of humanity.
The great Eidhi had achieved two times Nishane Imtiaz of Pakistan. He was an ideal figure of Pakistan. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the founder of Pakistan, Abdul-Sattar Eidhi was the soul of Pakistan.
Journey to Eternal Life
Eidhi travelled to live an eternal life at the age of 88 due to deteriorating health. His kidneys were failed on 25th June 2013; so he was admitted in a hospital. He lived for two years after the failure of his kidneys. Abdul-Sattar Edhi died on 8th July 2016 and his body was laid to rest at the Edhi village Karachi.
Funeral of Abdul-Sattar Edhi a great philanthropist
A huge crowd of people went to attend his funeral. The whole country was sad about the death of such a great humanitarian. Chief of army staff Raheel Sharif named him a “true humanitarian”. Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif expressed “We have lost a great servant of humanity. He was a real manifestation of love for those who were socially vulnerable, impoverished, helpless and poor”.
Prime Minister Sharif announced national mourning on the day next Edhi’s death and declared a state funeral for him. He became the third Pakistani to obtain a historical state gun carriage funeral after Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Zia ul Haq. Abdul-Sattar Edhi was the lone Pakistani with no a state authority or a state role to receive a state funeral.
By a guard of honour and 19-gun salutes, the state honours were given to Edhi. The notable visitors at his funeral prayer comprising luminary President of Pakistan Mammon Hussain, Raza Rabbani (the chairman of the Senate of Pakistan), Ishratul Ibad (provincial Governor of Sindh), Qaim Ali Shah and Shahbaz Sharif (the Chief Ministers of Sindh and Punjab), Raheel Sharif (Chief of Army Staff) along with Muhammad Zakaullah and Sohail Aman (the Chiefs of Staff of the Pakistani Navy and Air Force), at the National Stadium, Karachi.
We all must try to follow the footsteps of Edhi and give our alms and charity to Edhi Trust so that the great mission can keep continues forever.