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Edhi, the man, the idea

KARACHI: He created a charitable empire out of nothing, masterminding Pakistan's largest welfare organisation. Abdul Sattar Edhi is revered by many as a national hero.

Content with just two sets of clothes, he slept in a windowless room of white tiles adjoining the office of his charitable foundation. Sparsely equipped: it had just one bed, a sink and a hotplate.

Abdul Sattar Edhi sits in his office. – AFP
Abdul Sattar Edhi sits in his office. – AFP
Abdul Sattar Edhi waves as he journeys to his office in Karachi. – AFP
Abdul Sattar Edhi waves as he journeys to his office in Karachi. – AFP
Bilquis Edhi, wife of Abdul Sattar Edhi, sits at her charity office in Karachi. 
 – AFP
Bilquis Edhi, wife of Abdul Sattar Edhi, sits at her charity office in Karachi. – AFP
Orphaned children study the Holy Quran at the Edhi Foundation in Karachi. 
 – AFP
Orphaned children study the Holy Quran at the Edhi Foundation in Karachi. – AFP
A staff member plays with an abandoned child at a welfare office of the Edhi Foundation in Karachi. 
  – AFP
A staff member plays with an abandoned child at a welfare office of the Edhi Foundation in Karachi. – AFP
Orphaned children play at the Edhi Foundation in Karachi. 
 – AFP
Orphaned children play at the Edhi Foundation in Karachi. – AFP
Faisal Edhi, son of Abdul Sattar Edhi, speaks in his office in Karachi. 
 – AFP
Faisal Edhi, son of Abdul Sattar Edhi, speaks in his office in Karachi. – AFP
A motorcyclist (R) pays his respects to Abdul Sattar Edhi (2nd L), as he travels to his office in Karachi. 
 – AFP
A motorcyclist (R) pays his respects to Abdul Sattar Edhi (2nd L), as he travels to his office in Karachi. – AFP
Abdul Sattar Edhi speaks with his wife Bilquis Edhi in his office in  Karachi.  – AFP
Abdul Sattar Edhi speaks with his wife Bilquis Edhi in his office in Karachi. – AFP
An orphaned child pays her respects to Bilquis Edhi(R) at her charity office in Karachi.  – AFP
An orphaned child pays her respects to Bilquis Edhi(R) at her charity office in Karachi. – AFP
Faisal Edhi speaks on the telephone in his office Karachi.  – AFP
Faisal Edhi speaks on the telephone in his office Karachi. – AFP
Abdul Sattar Edhi sits with his wife Bilquis Edhi outside his office in Karachi. 
 – AFP
Abdul Sattar Edhi sits with his wife Bilquis Edhi outside his office in Karachi. – AFP
Abdul Sattar Edhi(2nd L) is assisted by staff as he arrives at his office in Karachi.
 – AFP
Abdul Sattar Edhi(2nd L) is assisted by staff as he arrives at his office in Karachi. – AFP

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Comments (54) Closed



Khan Apr 22, 2016 06:18pm

Our politicians should learn from him few things.

Dr Riffat Jabeen Apr 22, 2016 06:22pm

May we understand the reality of life and the purpose behind creation of human beings. God bless this selfless man with the best of happy, healthy long life. Amen.

Harmony-1© Apr 22, 2016 06:24pm

People revere him and respect him immensely no doubt and he deserves it for his great humanitarian work.

Khan Apr 22, 2016 06:29pm

@Dr Riffat Jabeen May be we should call him Pride of Pakistan ?

MSD Apr 22, 2016 06:29pm

He is no doubt a national hero and role model in this greedy world.

Dr Riffat Jabeen Apr 22, 2016 06:32pm

In fact Edhi Sb is the richest person in Pakistan...not those having offshore companies. Human needs are very limited but 'wants' know no bounds. Why don't we understand this simple thing.

Dr Riffat Jabeen Apr 22, 2016 06:34pm

@ Khan No doubt he is proud of Pakistan.

Ebrahim Apr 22, 2016 07:38pm

PM Nawaz to take some lessons on how to serve the Nation. What a shame that the one serving the nation is without any security guards and the one on the helm, doing nothing, has security all around him. How one can expect the Country to prosper.

Rahat Apr 22, 2016 08:14pm

Surely our national hero, lots of respect for him.

Hasan Apr 22, 2016 08:38pm

One of the few people next to Quaid-e-Azam who should be represented on Pakistani banknotes. God bless you Edhi Sahab, you have the love of the entire nation at your feet.

Hasan

Ali Apr 22, 2016 08:41pm

Edhi sahab, simply a legend!!! Something for the new generation to look up towards!!!

Ghaznavi Apr 22, 2016 09:03pm

Edhi, the man is way bigger then the Nobel prize. I wish the myopic west may have looked beyond the politics

SyedChaudhryGangaDinKhan Apr 22, 2016 10:14pm

@Ghaznavi : Nobel Prize? Well if Obama and Malala can get it , why not Edhi?

HAMZA Apr 22, 2016 10:24pm

Verily, he is a hero of Pakistan

Abdulla Hussain Apr 22, 2016 11:03pm

What a great man & humanitarian if he was born in west he would have received all major international awards including nobel peace award. Anyway he is loved across the board where it matters.

Hassan Apr 22, 2016 11:19pm

@Ghaznavi Why should the West notice, when we ourselves do not show him love. We know him, we respect what he does, but ask yourself what have done in return? Maximum dropped some coins in a charity box. We should emulate him, be a mere shadow of what he has accomplished, but we should atleast try. We do not deserve him and his Wife, his equal in every regard.

Khan Apr 22, 2016 11:22pm

I have wondered for many years now that why Edhi Sb has not been awarded the Nobel prize, not that he needs one. Probably the government has not made a case for him?

Freeman Apr 22, 2016 11:47pm

Thank you Dawn for covering my hero, Eidhi the great.

The Voice Apr 23, 2016 12:05am

Edhi Sahab is way above noble prize or any other worldly awards.He has achieved what few good men dream of. God has blessed us with this man.

TruthOnly Apr 23, 2016 02:36am

An example to follow!

Rabz Apr 23, 2016 03:00am

He is my hero.

NASR Apr 23, 2016 06:07am

@Hasan I loved that Idea. Only yesterday here in US a woman named Harriet Tubman was honored to appear in $10 bill

vasudevan Apr 23, 2016 08:31am

"Serving mankind is serving God". What a man! Day in and day out, doing the great service selflessly. It is because of few people like him it still rains. Hats off to a great person, may God give him long life

Kiran Apr 23, 2016 09:36am

alot of respect, Pakistani Hero forever.

Islamabad Calling Apr 23, 2016 10:12am

Despite not having any offshore company, personal bank accounts in 7 and 8 figures, or fleet of shining air conditioned limousines, he is the richest man of Pakistan because of the wealth that he has collected over his lifetime, unmatched respect and trust of 200 million people. Edhi Sahab, your life is so important for this nation that I, and I am shore many other people, will not mind if their remain lives are taken away by God and given to you. May you have a long life.

asad yousuf Apr 23, 2016 11:04am

He is our National Hero.

Afsana Apr 23, 2016 11:40am

My hero and ideal...

Anees Apr 23, 2016 12:43pm

GOD send angels in different form and shape to the humanity. The great Edhi sahib is quite rightly The Pride and Jewel of Pakistan. There are no words to describe his services to mankind regardless of religion,race or tribe. A true Muslim.

ak Apr 23, 2016 02:39pm

I have always regarded him as an Ideology. An ideology that no one else but him can understand. Sure there are a lot of guys who do charitable things and I respect them but this guy is like the idea behind all them. A paragon of selflessness and sacrifice. Not only is he the Pride of Pakistan but I think that he is the pride of Humanity altogether. I am proud to be living in the era of of the Great Edhi. God bless him and give him a Long and healthy life. Ameen.

ak Apr 23, 2016 02:39pm

@Ebrahim Good point.

Asad Apr 23, 2016 04:55pm

Imran Khan & Nawaz Sharif, please learn some humility from this man.

Abbas Naqvi Apr 23, 2016 06:31pm

He is a Devine gift to Pakistan. Blessed to serve humanity, he has crossed all boundaries of sacrifices that a human being can transcend. He is a perfect reflection of nobility and character. Following the motto " Do for others what little you can ", he has become an icon of humanitarian service.It is achievable only when you negate your own self and devote your life for the needy. So you need to have a big heart capable of generating love and affection for your fellow beings. This is the basic lesson of humanity so remarkably learned by Edhi and spread through his noble and charitable deeds. May God bless him.

bitter truth Apr 23, 2016 06:36pm

salute to this man from across the border . who took care of Indian Hindu girl geeta even her true parent could not. Abdul Sattar Edhi sahib many in this world say about religion and humanity and many pretend to be scholars of these thing but you are all above by doing true selfish service of humanity . Humanity is still alive in this black and dark world because of few man like you. Hats off to you.

RASHID RIZVI Apr 23, 2016 06:52pm

Great human by heart , may God make all of us a Practical Muslim and better human.

Zaeemuddin Apr 23, 2016 07:53pm

@ bitter truth Remarkable

Hari Har Apr 23, 2016 09:20pm

Most Honourable Abdul Sattar Edhi is an equivalent of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Everyone from the subcontinent salutes him most reverently. His other counterpart in India was Saint of Pingle Warra in Amritsar. May God bless him eternally.

Ali Shah Apr 24, 2016 04:30am

What a man, what a legend.

Simons Apr 24, 2016 09:26am

he should be the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Full stop.

Ahmed Wm Apr 24, 2016 10:02am

My Edhi Sahib. Proud of Pakistan.

SAQIB UK Apr 24, 2016 11:33am

A true servant of god in our midst. If only more Pakistanis emulated him we would prosper to no end. god bless

SAQIB UK Apr 24, 2016 11:37am

Pakistan should introduce an Edhi award for recognising achievements of Pakistanis serving the nation

Malik Apr 24, 2016 12:52pm

What an inspiration he is ... What a man he is .... He is real face of humanity n all religions

Zia Apr 25, 2016 02:42am

He is a great human. One of the greatest, if not THE one, Sub Continent has seen. There is no ambulances, disaster relief, orphanage or any social work infratsructure in Pakistan except Edhi. Government of Pakistan does nothing for people in those areas as Edhi alone took the burden for a long time and now some other organizations have stepped up to support his efforts. Edhi has showed us the purpose of life. Oxygen to the people specially poor of Pakistan.

hasan Apr 25, 2016 08:25am

Please award him with the most deserved Noble peace prize. He is the most deserved !!

mesotwisty Apr 25, 2016 08:27am

What a remarkable human being. Edhi sahab is a true contrast to any leader in Pakistan. A true saint.

KB Apr 25, 2016 08:48am

Mighty Edhi. Sir; you are the true son of soil.

Qureshi Apr 25, 2016 09:30am

May God bless him. He is a legend

khanm Apr 25, 2016 11:28am

He deserves all the respect... indeed most humble man...his philosophy that a person's a person, no matter how small, no matter what religion, cast or creed he/ she belongs to... Respect is what he owes; love, what he gives.

mohib Apr 25, 2016 12:15pm

SALUTE TO U MR.ABDUL SATTAR EDHI.. If he was a non-Muslim and non-Pakistani working against Pakistan he has surely get a Nobel Peace prize by now.

Khalid Apr 25, 2016 12:47pm

He is the best Pakistani I ever saw in my life.

Omar Sadiq Apr 25, 2016 03:07pm

@SAQIB UK An excellent idea Saqib, as no other individual in Pakistan deserves to have an award named after them, except for Dr Abdul Qadeer; But the irony of the fact is that the individuals handing out the award (Govt) will give it to their chosen hand picked mureeds. Example, Rehman Malik given an honary degree by the University of Karachi.

Muhammad Apr 26, 2016 12:38pm

For Mr Edhi, The true love for mother in him, feeling her pain, finding out not much can be done despite doing all he could, left an impulse that would last decades. That impulse would bring a change to many, abandoned newborns would be given a hand to start their life, runaway would be provided shelter,hungry would be provided food, homeless a shelter, the injured a transport to reach hospital, the dead a coffin and a place on earth to lay in. :,( And with the pure intention to serve the humanity. Still living in the simplest of dwelling makes me cry :,( :,( :,( But I wipe my tears as the thought comes in my mind '... it is in the simple living that gives a good night sleep which is unavailable to many sleeping in the cozy luxurious bed, a contentment to heart which is due to , and less means less to be reckoned upon on the DAY...'

Our prayers are with him

Shah Karez Jul 08, 2017 10:57am

His Noble Prize was in the heavens, neither he asked for it from the mortals, nor the so called champions of humanitarianism cared when he was living. His compassionate life is an example and a lesson for all of us.

an observer Jul 11, 2017 02:44am

We should introduce his good noble deeds as a subject in KG and primary schools and make him immortal by having a national holiday in his name.

Pakistan deserves to be honored by keeping his tradition going forever. What a legacy Edhi Sahib has left.