Published On: Sat, Jul 9th, 2016

Revered social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi passes away


KARACHI: Revered social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi has passed away after a prolonged illness in Karachi.

Edhi’s son Faisal Edhi said his father’s funeral prayers will be offered after Zuhr prayers on Saturday (July 9) at Memon Masjid. He will be laid to rest at Edhi Village, Super Highway.

According to Faisal, Mr. Edhi had prepared his will wherein he wished to donate his body organs post his death to the needy. His eyes has been donated, while other organs could not be given away due to his poor health.

Earlier in the day, Edhi was shifted to the hospital in morning after he developed respiratory problems. He was then moved to Intensive Care Unit of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT). The SIUT officials had later confirmed that Abdul Sattar Edhi has been placed on ventilator.

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Well-known surgeon Adeebul Hasan Rizvi was heading the team of doctors treating Abdul Sattar Edhi. The doctors had already declared that next 6-8 hours were very crucial for his life.

Army Chief, PM mourn demise of Mr. Edhi

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif said Pakistan has lost one of its most respected figures. The whole world is mourning his demise, he said in a statement issued by ISPR.

He prayed to the almighty Allah to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant patience to his family to bear this irreparable loss.

He said Edhi was the figure who had unflinching sympathy for humanity.

In a separate statement, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has offered condolences on the death of Mr. Edhi. He said the space left after the demise of Mr. Edhi can’t be filled.

Day of mourning

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced one-day mourning countrywide and declared Edhi’s demise as national tragedy. He also announced to award Nishan-e-Imtiaz to the revered Pakistani figure.

Meanwhile, Chief minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah has declared 3-day mourning on death of Abdul Sattar Edhi. Khyber Pakhtonkhwa government also announced 3-day mourning on the demise of renowned social worker.

Edhi has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize, and appeared on the list again this year.

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Edhi’s journey to serve humanity

Edhi, born to a family of Muslim traders in Gujarat in British India, arrived in Pakistan after its bloody creation in 1947.

“He thought that this new Muslim nation would be a social welfare state,” his son Faisal said in a recent interview.

But, when they got to Pakistan, he found “it was the exact opposite”.

In this photograph taken on February 15, 2016, Abdul Sattar Edhi, the head of Edhi Foundation, waves as he journeys to his office in the port city of Karachi.  He created a charitable empire out of nothing, masterminding Pakistan's largest welfare organisation. Today Abdul Sattar Edhi is revered by many as a national hero. / AFP PHOTO / ASIF HASSAN / To go with " Pakistan-Social-Health' FEATURE by Caroline Nelly Perrot

The state’s failure to help his struggling family care for his mother — paralysed and suffering from mental health issues — was his painful and decisive turning point towards philanthropy.

In the sticky streets in the heart of Karachi, Edhi, full of idealism and hope, opened his first clinic in 1951.

“Social welfare was my vocation, I had to free it,” he says in his autobiography, “A Mirror To The Blind”.

Motivated by a spiritual quest for justice, over the years Edhi and his team have created maternity wards, morgues, orphanages, shelters, and homes for the elderly — all aimed at helping those in society who cannot help themselves.

Edhi‘s response has been hard work and an obstinate asceticism, a bid to leave his enemies with no ammunition.

The annual budget of 1.5 billion rupees ($15 million), mainly from donations by middle- and working-class Pakistanis, continues to grow, according to Faisal.

News Source ARY News

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