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Carrying forward Edhi’s mission — best way to pay tribute to nation’s saint

Published on 18th July, Edition 29, 2016

 

Mr. Abdul Sattar Edhi is the world’s great humanitarian, who led a life dedicated to serving others, and his determination to provide equal treatment for all regardless of nationality, ethnicity and religion makes him a revered humanitarian.

Edhi’s name had become synonymous with charitable causes and because of his services he had achieved an almost saintly status in Pakistan. He devoted more than 60 years of his life to sleepless nights and stale bread breakfasts, helping the poorest of the poor. He bathed mentally challenged, picked up the rotten, buried the abandoned and reached out to victims of natural calamities, violence and disaster.

Mr. Abdul Sattar Edhi does not have a second set of clothes for him but has 750 million rupees to spend on welfare of other people. He is the man who does not own a car, but holds the world record of largest voluntary ambulance organization. He does not own a house but has 350 shelters for the homeless all over the country.

Saving innocent lives

The biggest change that Mr. Edhi has brought to our society is by saving illegitimate babies who people preferred to throw in garbage dumps to be eaten up by stray animals. Mr. Edhi has placed cots all over the country at different places where such infants can be left without being asked any reasons. These babies are taken care at Edhi orphanage, where they are given food, shelter and education. This way he has been able to save thousands of innocent lives in the last 20 years. Besides this, he runs old homes, women shelters and hospitals for those who cannot afford medical treatment.

His humanitarian activities are not limited to Pakistan. He has sent out help to Africa, Middle East, the Caucasus region, Eastern Europe and even to US, where his trust provided aid to the victims of the New Orleans hurricane in 2005.

Today, there are 335 centers with 1,800 ambulances in the country, hundreds of volunteers and thousands dependent on him for their free food, water, medicines and shelter. His centers are abroad too, in the US, Canada, Afghanistan, Nepal and the Middle East.

For Edhi, humanity was above everything. His philosophy was ‘love human being, serve the humanity’. He believed that no religion was higher than humanity. And that is why Edhi became the savior.

 

Man of strong principles

Edhi was a man of strong principles. Yes, he was a follower of Islam but was against extremists and preaching mullahs. Edhi had read about Marxism and Lenin when he was only thirteen.

He would dislike going to social engagements as he believed it is wasting time, but would attend mass marriages of Hindus every year in a bid to show his love for people belonging to other faiths.

Now when Mr. Abdul Sattar Edhi is no more in this immortal world, the best way to pay tribute and respect to him is carry forward his mission of helping the needy and strive for bringing real change by amending mind set. We must give respect to others and promote tolerance at all levels. The need of the hour is to continue Edhi’s mission without any hindrance.

There are many other social workers, volunteers, philanthropists and fundraisers across Pakistan who belongs to different communities and backgrounds. They have done remarkable work in their fields and they belong to different parts of the country. But there was something unique about Abdul Sattar Edhi – different from all others including his own community – which turned him into an icon of social service and humanitarian work in Pakistan, someone most Pakistanis trusted with their lives.

Promise of educationists

Educationists give much regard to Mr. Abdul Sattar Edhi and his death was condoled by education circles.

Punjab University Law College administration has decided to name recently restored old College Auditorium after renowned philanthropist late Abdul Sattar Edhi. In this regard, a ceremony will be held soon to pay tribute to the unmatched services of Abdul Sattar Edhi to the humanity.

While University of Engineering & Technology (UET) Lahore named the newly built boys hostel after Abdul Sattar Edhi Hall while presenting tribute to Abdul Sattar Edhi, the famous social worker.

The vice-chancellor UET said that Mr. Edhi was social icon of the era and was very determined that’s why his services at national and international level would be remembered. The enthusiasm and efforts are required for continuation of his mission successful which he demonstrated throughout.

The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore arranged a condolence reference for Abdul Sattar Edhi. Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha chaired the reference in which a large number of UVAS employees from various departments were participated. They prayed for eternal peace for the departed soul and paid rich tributes to Abdul Sattar Edhi’s indiscriminate services for grieved humanity.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Pasha said that Edhi was a great man and a true torchbearer of humanity and philanthropy following the teachings of Islam of brotherhood, tolerance, simplicity and equality. He said Edhi was a national hero of the country who devoted his whole life to serve humanity, the poor and marginalized communities. He said Abdul Sattar Edhi was not only very caring for the welfare of the needy human beings but also made arrangements for the treatment of sick weak injured animals and birds. The vacuum created by his death would hardly be filled, he added.

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