|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (July 2010)|
|Founder||Abdul Sattar Edhi|
|Focus||Emergency Services, Orphans, Handicapped Persons, Shelters, Education, Healthcare, International Community Centers, Blood & Drug Bank, Air Ambulance Services, Marine And Coastal Service|
|Social Welfare, Humanitarianism|
|Method||Donations and Grants|
|Abdul Sattar Edhi, co-founder and co-chair
|Slogan||"Live and help live" |
The Edhi Foundation (Urdu: بنياد ایدھی) is a non-profit social welfare program in Pakistan, founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1951. Edhi is the head of the organization and his wife Bilquis, a nurse, oversees the maternity and adoption services of the foundation. Its headquarters are in Karachi, Pakistan.
The Edhi Foundation provides 24-hour emergency assistance across the nation of Pakistan and abroad. The Foundation provides, among many other services, shelter for the destitute, free hospitals and medical care, drug rehabilitation services, and national and international relief efforts. Its main focuses are Emergency Services, Orphans, Handicapped Persons, Shelters, Education, Healthcare, International Community Centers, Blood & Drug Bank, air ambulance services, Marine And Coastal Services.
Edhi established his first welfare center and then the Edhi Trust. What started as one man operating from a single room in Karachi is now the Edhi Foundation. The foundation has over 300 centers across the country, in big cities, small towns and remote rural areas, providing medical aid, family planning and emergency assistance. They own air ambulances, providing quick access to far-flung areas.
In Karachi alone, the Edhi Foundation runs 8 hospitals providing free medical care, eye hospitals, diabetic centres, surgical units, a 4- bed cancer hospital and mobile dispensaries. In addition to these the Foundation also manages two blood banks in Karachi. As with other Edhi services, employed professionals and volunteers run these. The foundation has a Legal aid department, which provides free services and has secured the release of countless innocent prisoners. Commissioned doctors visit jails on a regular basis and also supply food and other essentials to the inmates. There are 15 " Apna Ghar" ["Our Home"] homes for the destitute children, runaways, and psychotics.
The foundation also has an education scheme, which apart from teaching reading and writing covers various vocational activities such as driving, pharmacy and para-medical training. The emphasis is on self-sufficiency. The Edhi Foundation has branches in several countries where they provide relief to refugees in the USA, UK, Canada, Japan, and Bangladesh. In 1991 the Foundation provided aid to victims of the Gulf war and earthquake victims in Iran and Egypt. With its fleet of more than 500 ambulances the organization has held the Guinness record for world's "largest volunteer ambulance organization" since 1997.