“People have become educated, but have yet to become human.”
Abdul Sattar Edhi (Memoni, Urdu: عبدالستار ایدھی; 1 January 1928 – 8 July 2016) was a prominent Pakistani philanthropist, social activist, ascetic, and humanitarian. He was the founder and head of the Edhi Foundation in Pakistan and ran the organization for the better part of six decades. He was known as Angel of Mercy and was considered Pakistan’s “most respected” and legendary figure.In 2013, The Huffington Post said that he might be “the world’s greatest living humanitarian.”
“PAKISTAN’S MOTHER TERESA”
In a nation often riven by social, ethnic and religious strife, Edhi won respect from every strata of society for an ascetic lifestyle that was devoted to helping the poor regardless of their background.
Edhi lived in a bare room in Karachi, alternating between his two suits of black clothes and occasionally listening to recordings of Quran verses on a battered old tape recorder.
“When my ambulance takes a wounded person who is in pain to the hospital, when people reach the hospital, I find peace in knowing I helped an injured person who was in pain,” Edhi told Reuters in an interview in 2013.
Edhi was well-known for berating Islamist groups such as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for their attacks on civilians, criticizing the government for incompetence and corruption and denouncing the elites for dodging taxes.
His wife, Bilquis, a nurse, oversees the women’s shelters and the adoption of orphans. They have found homes for about 25,000 children.
Edhi’s foundation has provided relief in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Croatia, Indonesia and in the United States after Hurricane Katrina.
Pakistanis took to Twitter to mourn the death of a national hero many call a “living saint” and “Pakistan’s Mother Teresa”.
“In his death he has united all of Pakistan, across all affiliations, in mourning. That in itself is a measure of his greatness,” said a Twitter user named Imran Khan.
Revered by many as a national hero, Edhi created a charitable empire out of nothing. He masterminded Pakistan’s largest welfare organisation almost single-handedly, entirely with private donations.To many, Edhi was known as the “Father Teresa” of Pakistan.
- 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 (1998)
- 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
- Wolf of Bhogio Peace Award (2005), Italy
- Gandhi Peace Award (2007), Delhi
- Peace Award (2008), Seoul
- Honorary doctorate from the Institute of Business Administration Karachi (2006).
- UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize (2009)
- Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize (2010)
- 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 1980’s by Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Government of Pakistan (1989)
- Pakistan Civic Award from the Pakistan Civic Society (1992)
- Shield of Honor by Pakistan Army (E & C)
- Khidmat Award by the Pakistan Academy of Medical Sciences
- Human Rights Award by Pakistan Human Rights Society
Abdul Sattar Edhi with Bilquis Edhi
Source: Huffington Post, Wikipedia, Google Images