Published On: Sat, Jul 9th, 2016

Legendary philanthropist laid to rest amid guard of honour


Legendary philanthropist laid to rest amid guard of honour

KARACHI: Renowned social worker and philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, who passed away yesterday, was laid to rest amid guard of honour at Edhi Village in Karachi on Saturday afternoon.

Earlier, Maulana Ahmed Khan Niazi led the funeral prayer of Edhi at National Stadium. A 19-gun salute was presented to the eminent social worker.

The coffin, wrapped in national flag, was escorted from Kharadar by a contingent of Pakistan Navy.

Elaborate arrangements were made for the funeral. Strict security measures were also taken for the very occasion.

President Mamnoon Hussain, Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani, Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member of the National Assembly Asad Umar and philanthropist Ramzan Chhipa also offered the funeral prayers.

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Naval Chief Admiral Zakaullah, Corps Commander Karachi Lt-Gen Naveed Mukhtar and DG Rangers Maj-Gen Bilal Akbar also attended the funeral.

Profile of Abdul Sattar Edhi

Legendary philanthropist laid to rest amid guard of honour

Abdul Sattar Edhi was born on  1st January 1928  in Bantva in the Gujarat,  India. He was a prominent Pakistani philanthropist, social activist, ascetic, and humanitarian. He was the founder and head of the Edhi Foundation and ran the organization for the better part of six decades. He was was considered Pakistan’s “most respected” and legendary figure.

When he was eleven, his mother became paralysed from a stroke and she died when Edhi was 19. His personal experiences and care for his mother during her illness, caused him to develop a system of services for old, mentally ill and challenged people.

The partition of subcontinent  led Edhi and his family to migrate to Pakistan in 1947. He then shifted to Karachi to work in a market at a wholesale shop. His mother would give him “1” paisa for his meals and another to give to a beggar. He initially started as a peddler, and later became a commission agent selling cloth in the wholesale market in Karachi. After a few years, he established a free dispensary with help from his community.

Edhi resolved to dedicate his life to aiding the poor, and over the next sixty years, he single handedly changed the face of welfare in Pakistan.

To this day, the Edhi Foundation continues to grow in both size and service, and is currently the largest welfare organisation in Pakistan. Since its inception, the Edhi Foundation has rescued over 20,000 abandoned infants, rehabilitated over 50,000 orphans and has trained over 40,000 nurses.

It also runs more than 330 welfare centres in rural and urban Pakistan which operate as food kitchens, rehabilitation homes, shelters for abandoned women and children and clinics for the mentally handicapped.

The Edhi Foundation, founded by Edhi, runs the world’s largest ambulance service (operating 1,500 of them) and offers 24-hour emergency services. It also operates free nursing homes, orphanages, clinics, women’s shelters, and rehab centres for drug addicts and mentally ill individuals.

It has run relief operations in Africa, Middle East, the Caucasus region, eastern Europe and United States where it provided aid following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. His son Faisal Edhi, wife Bilquis Edhi and daughters managed the daily operations of the organization during his ill health.

Together with his wife, Bilquis Edhi, he received the 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. He was also the recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize and the Balzan Prize.

In 2006, Institute of Business Administration Pakistan conferred an honoris causa degree of Doctor of Social Service Management for his services. In September 2010, Edhi was also awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bedfordshire.

In 1989, Edhi received the Nishan-e-Imtiaz from the Government of Pakistan.  He had been recommended for a Nobel Peace prize.

News Source Samaa

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology