In the material-driven society of today, in which we devote our entire being to the pursuit of money and social status, it’s easy to see why somebody like Edhi seems like an outlier, an alien even. The never-ending race towards success leaves us blinded towards the suffering of others because let’s be honest, nobody ever got rich feeding orphans.
Knowing this, some people make the choice to reject this race altogether and dedicate themselves to the service of others.
Who was Abdul Sattar Edhi?
Abdul Sattar Edhi was a philanthropist and humanitarian. He is known for establishing the Edhi Foundation, an organization that aimed to help the less privileged members of society. It accomplished this by constructing orphanages, rehabilitation centers, and homeless shelters for the homeless (Edhi homes), all while running the world’s largest ambulance network.
In fact, his kindness wasn’t limited just to human rights but extended to animals as well. The Edhi foundation also made several animal shelters. As of today, the Edhi Foundation runs the world’s largest volunteer ambulance service (operating over 1,500 of them) and offers 24-hour emergency services.
Born in Bantwa, British India in 1925, Edhi and his family migrated to Pakistan in 1947. The seeds of compassion were sown in Edhi at a young age due to his own personal tragedy. His mother became disabled when Edhi was 11 years old, and over the course of time became mentally ill.
She passed when Edhi was just 19. This was a deeply disturbing ordeal for Edhi, who had to sip from the bitter cup of grief at this very tender age. From this point on, Edhi realized that changes had to be made towards the way the less fortunate were treated in society and he had to take action for the welfare of the people of his country.
How His Lifelong Mission Of Humanitarianism Started
Soon after migrating to Pakistan, Edhi had to begin earning his bread and butter and started working as a commission agent selling cloth in Karachi. His compassionate nature, however, prompted him to quit this occupation. With the help of other members of the Memon community, he set up a free dispensary.
As his vision expanded, and he realized, even more, could be done, he was able to set up the Edhi Trust. Once again relying on asking the masses for help, the people of Karachi did not disappoint, and Edhi raised rupees 200,000 in terms of charity. With this sum, Edhi set up his foundation’s first maternity home and bought his first ambulance.
Edhi’s Strives Towards Welfare
Edhi’s incredible commitment to humanitarian work earned him the title of ‘Angel of Mercy’. Ask anyone among the 20,000 children under his guardianship and they would agree. Despite facing challenges such as a robbery in 2004 which set them back $500,000, the Edhi foundation, driven by its founder’s vision, persevered.
Edhi’s humanitarianism and services weren’t just limited to national boundaries. This is best illustrated by the fact that the Edhi foundation donated $100,000 to victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and has run various other relief operations in the Middle East.
Finding The Perfect Partner
In a world where no person bats a single eyelash at anyone else’s worry, Abdul Sattar Edhi, found nothing short of a miracle. the love of his life, Bilquis Edhi, became his backbone. even when everything was breaking down, his wife helped him break through.
after Edhi passed away, Bilquis Edhi resumed his legacy and maintained the good work he had established during his lifetime along with the help of her son Faisal Edhi.
Edhi Serving The Humanity
Edhi was always profoundly attached to his work. During his lifetime, he kept himself involved in the day-to-day activities of the foundation, despite his old age. He would often be seen driving an ambulance around, searching for somebody in need of help. Edhi had an unwavering love for children, which was reflected by the fact that he would take time out of his busy work schedule to play with the orphaned children of Edhi Homes, who would endearingly call him Nana (the Urdu word for grandfather).
For these orphans, who had nobody to place a hand on their heads and protect them from the harshness of the world, Edhi was no short of an angel of mercy.
A Rare Find In This World
Termed as the King without a crown, it was laudable and admirable how easily Edhi resisted the charms and lures of riches and luxury. he maintained a life of simplicity and focused purely on making sure his services left the Pakistani society better than he found it.
Edhi refused any help from the government. His foundation claimed that the people who often have the least, give the most. He placed his entire trust in the nation of Pakistan and dedicated his efforts and services to social welfare in his country and abroad.
In 2014, started an uproar among the masses along with the hashtag “NobelPrizeForEdhi”. people believed that even after a lifetime of serving humanity, it was unfair that Edhi and his Foundation were not included in the Nobel peace prize nominees announced in 2014.
The Edhi foundation, to this date, has been working tirelessly for the betterment of humanity; helping the poor, the destitute, the helpless women, and the abandoned babies. He helped a million people set their path straight and lead better lives.
With an inspiration as strong as Abdul Sattar Edhi, we can clearly see how the most nominal deed in the positive direction can take you to a life of kindness and sheer good. With a little effort, every single person on the planet can make the world a little better than they found it.
“Empty words and long praises do not impress God. Show Him your faith by your good deeds.”ABDUL SATTAR EDHI