Yousaf Hussain Lala with the children at his orphanage in Parachinar. — Dawn
Yousaf Hussain Lala with the children at his orphanage in Parachinar. — Dawn

PARACHINAR: Social worker Yousaf Hussain Lala is known as the Edhi of Kurram Agency.

Lala, 63, got inspired by late Abdul Sattar Edhi back in 1973 when he met the noted social worker in Lahore, and spent hours with him while he was collecting donations on road. Afterwards, he made his mind to dedicate his life in the service of suffering humanity.

Talking to Dawn, Lala mentioned that after meeting Edhi he returned to his hometown where he found body of an abandoned infant whom no one was ready to bury. “I took the responsibility and buried the infant in the graveyard of the orphans, thus starting the social work. So far, I have found bodies of 49 abandoned infants and laid them to rest in the graveyard,” he explained, pointing out that he also saved 136 abandoned infants and kept them in his home.

Lala said he established an orphan house where hundreds of children were staying and getting free education. “I have also managed to marry off five poor girls.”

Yousaf Lala explained that his philanthropic work was supported entirely with private donations. He said he also got established a small blood bank at Parachinar, which has now been turned into a welfare hospital, providing free blood for patients suffering from thalassaemia as well providing medical help during emergencies.

In 2016, Lala established Dewar-i-Mehrabani ‘wall of kindness’ to encourage people to donate miscellaneous useful things such as winter clothing with the motto ‘leave if you don’t need, take if you need’.

He also established Naseem Welfare Trust by the name of his wife, who supported him from the day one like the way Bilquis Edhi did to Abdul Sattar Edhi.

In 2017, Lala established a shelter home for the abandoned mentally-ill individuals with the support of Pak Army in Parachinar.

However, Lala is suffering from cardiac problems and will be undergoing a heart procedure in PIMS Islamabad.

Doctors say it is possible that Lala will undergo an open heart surgery to deal with his heart condition. People from different walks of life are visiting him and lauding his services for mankind, calling for collective prayers for his health.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2018

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