KARACHI, Nov 11: Renowned social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi received an honorary doctorate degree on Saturday in recognition to his dedicated and indiscriminate long work towards the betterment and welfare of humanity across the globe.
The Institute of Business Administration, the first business school of the country, conferred a honoris causa degree of Doctor of Social Service Management, amidst over its 400 out-going graduates of regular programmes, saying that the great national hero and all time legend Abdul Sattar Edhi deserved that for his unparalleled services to mankind.
Before he was handed over the degree scroll by Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad, who is also the patron of IBA, it was said in a citation that Edhi had won the trust of millions as a person of integrity, a person with deep sympathies, unmatched capacity for leadership and enterprise and unsurpassed ability to organise and manage. He at 78 is a movement, promise, hope and has become a legend and an example.
Abdul Sattar Edhi, born in Bantva village of Gujrat, India, in 1928, after migrating to Pakistan in 1947 involved himself in charity work at some later stage and established a welfare trust as Edhi Foundation and then never turned behind as a firm believer in practical work and caring for everyone regardless of religion, caste or creed.
As the citation included, the Edhi Foundation has grown to have a fleet of 1,200 ambulances, three aircrafts, one helicopter, 20 emergency medical service ambulances with 40 emergency medical technicians and 30 rescue boats. The foundation annually handles over one million dead bodies, provides shelters to about 25,000 men, women and children and extends healthcare facilities to over 400,000 patients, serves free meals to over 125,000 poor, trains over 200 nurses and imparts free education to over 5,000 youngsters.
The IBA has decided to award the honorary degree to Mr Edhi last year, but he could not come to receive that accordingly at the then convocation as he was personally supervising relief efforts to help survivors of the devastating earthquake in the north of Pakistan.
Reciprocating to the compliments and sentiments of IBA management and gatherings at the convocation, Edhi Foundation chief Abdul Sattar Edhi, who has been awarded honrary degrees by two educational institutions at Karachi and Peshawar, said that unlike the other graduates of IBA he had to learn and work for over 60 years for the degree.
However, he noted that the other graduates too could add colour to their joyous moments if they realised the hardship of the poor and destitute and involve themselves in some practical works aimed at bailing them out of their sufferings.
He noted that the educational system somehow lacked in the purposes of making graduates the fellows who could feel and respond to the issues of humanity. “You must work for human rights as well, otherwise your degrees will be useless,” he said.
Abdul Sattar Edhi, who always like to wear militia and speak with all sense of modesty and openness, said that though he could not read the Holy Quran and his school education remained confined to two Gujrati books only, he personally felt that those who cared for the human rights, worked honestly, stood against exploitation of the poor and ensured payments of taxes and zakat would finally come out as successful and satisfied persons in all respects.
He said that people called him maulana which he did not like very much as he did not qualify for that and moreover this limited him to some particular group, while he wanted to work for humanity. “Hopefully, now people will also call me doctor and pray for me that I could serve the needy persons more vigorously,” he added.
In his address, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad also congratulated Abdul Sattar Edhi, saying that he was one of the greatest legends of our country whose passion to serve the suffering humanity was boundless.