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Abdul Sattar Edhi

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Abdul Sattar Edhi
Abdul Sattar Edhi.jpg
Born Abdul Sattar Edhi
(1928-01-01) 1 January 1928 (age 88)
Bantva, Bantva Manavadar, Western India States Agency, British Raj (Present day Bantva, Gujarat, India)
Nationality Indian, (1928-1947) Pakistani 1947-Present
Ethnicity Bantva Memon[1][2]
Known for Social Work
Simple lifestyle
Spouse(s) Bilquis Edhi
Awards Lenin Peace Prize
Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize
Website Eidhi Official Site

Abdul Sattar Edhi, NI (Memoni, Urdu: عبدالستار ایدھی‎) is a prominent Pakistani philanthropist, social activist, ascetic and humanitarian. He is the founder and head of the Edhi Foundation.

Together with his wife, Bilquis Edhi, he received the 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. He is also the recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize and the Balzan Prize. In 2006, Institute of Business Administration Pakistan conferred an honoris causa degree of Doctor of Social Service Management for his services. In September 2010, Edhi was also awarded an honorary degree of Doctorate by the University of Bedfordshire.[3] In 1985 Edhi received the Nishan-e-Imtiaz from the Government of Pakistan.[4] On 1 January 2014, Edhi was voted Person of the year 2013 by the readers of The Express Tribune.[5]

Abdul Sattar Edhi has been running the Edhi Foundation in Pakistan for the better part of six decades. The foundation owns and operates a large ambulance service, free nursing homes, orphanages, clinics, women’s shelters, food kitchens, and rehabilitation centers for drug addicts and mentally ill individuals all across the country.

Edhi has remained a simple and humble man. To this day, he owns two pairs of clothes, has never taken a salary from his organisation and lives in a small two bedroom apartment over his clinic in Karachi.[6][7] He has been recommended for a Nobel Peace prize by the Prime Minister of Pakistan with more than 30,000 signing a petition by Ziauddin Yousafzai, the father of Malala Yousafzai for his nomination.[8] On 25 June 2013 Edhi's kidneys failed and it was announced that he will be on dialysis for the rest of his life, unless he finds a kidney donor.[9] The Guardian called him 'a legendary charity worker known for his asceticism'.[10] He has been called the greatest living humanitarian in the world.[11]

Early life

Edhi was born in 1928 in Bantva in the Gujarat, British India.[12] When he was eleven, his mother became paralysed and her brain veins smashed[clarification needed] and she died when he was 19. His personal experiences caused him to develop a system of services for old, mentally ill and challenged people. The partition of India led Edhi and his family to migrate to Pakistan in 1947. He then shifted to Karachi to work in a market at a wholesale shop. His mother would give him 1 paisa for his daily eat and another to give to a beggar. He initially started as a peddler, later became a commission agent selling cloth in the wholesale market in Karachi. After a few years, he established a free dispensary with the help from his community. He later established a welfare trust, "Edhi Trust".[13]

Abdul Sattar Edhi was married in 1965 to Bilquis, a nurse who worked at the Edhi dispensary.[14] The couple have four children, two daughters and two sons. Bilquis runs the free maternity home at the headquarters in Karachi and organizes the adoption of illegitimate and abandoned babies.

Charity work

He was born in 1928, he was a dungaar in the city of Bantva in what is now Gujarat, western British India. Edhi's first interaction with human suffering occurred at the age of eleven, when his mother was physically paralysed and later suffered from mental illness. Edhi spent his waking hours caring for her, and her worsening health and eventual death left a lasting impact on his life. In 1947, at the age of 19, Mr. Edhi's family was forced to flee their hometown and relocate to Karachi. Finding himself in a new city without any resources, Edhi resolved to dedicate his life to aiding the poor, and over the last sixty years, he has single handedly changed the face of welfare in Pakistan. Edhi founded the Edhi Foundation, with an initial sum of a mere five thousand rupees. Regarded as a guardian for the poor, Edhi began receiving numerous donations, which allowed him to expand his services. To this day, the Edhi Foundation continues to grow in both size and service, and is currently the largest welfare organisation in Pakistan. Since its inception, the Edhi Foundation has rescued over 20,000 abandoned infants, rehabilitated over 50,000 orphans and has trained over 40,000 nurses. It also runs over three hundred and thirty welfare centres in rural and urban Pakistan which operate as food kitchens, rehabilitation homes, shelters for abandoned women and children and clinics for the mentally handicapped.[6]

Edhi Foundation runs the world's largest ambulance service and operates free nursing homes, orphanages, clinics, women's shelters, and rehab centres for drug addicts and mentally ill individuals.[15] It has run relief operations in Africa, Middle East, the Caucasus region, eastern Europe and US where it provided aid following the New Orleans hurricane of 2005. In November 2011, Edhi was recommended for a Nobel Peace prize by the Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.[16] Abdul Sattar Edhi suffered renal failure as announced on 26 June 2013 at SIUT and needs kidney donation.[17]

Travel issues

In the early 1980s he was arrested by Israeli troops while entering Lebanon. In 2006, he was detained in Toronto, Canada, for 16 hours. In January 2008, US immigration officials interrogated Edhi at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York for over eight hours, and seized his passport and other documents. When asked about the frequent detention Edhi said "The only explanation I can think of is my beard and my dress."[18] In January 2009, Edhi was refused entry to Gaza by Egyptian authorities.[19]

Honors and awards

International awards

National awards

See also

  • Edhi Foundation
  • Half of Two Paisas: The Extraordinary Mission of Abdul Sattar Edhi and Bilquis Edhi[24]


  1. ^ "The day I met Abdul Sattar Edhi, a living saint". The Daily Telegraph (London). 10 April 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Tribune person of the year 2013: Your vote, our hero
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Campaign for Abdul Sattar Edhi to receive Nobel Peace Prize by Malala's dad". birminghammail. Retrieved 2016-01-13. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ 'They call him an infidel': Pakistan's humble founder of a charity empire
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b Ala, Mustard; T.A.N.S. (12 November 2006). "awards doctorate to S attar Ed hi". DAWN Internet Edition. Retrieved 4 May 2010. [dead link]
  13. ^ Covington, Richard (12 May 2004). "From Humanitarian to a Nation". IslamiCity. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  14. ^ Richard Covington (2 September 2008). "What One Person Can Do". In David Elliot Cohen. What Matters: The World's Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of Our Time. Sterling Publishing. pp. 309–323. ISBN 978-1402758348. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "Pakistan's saviour of the desperate". BBC News. 15 March 2001. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "Gilani Nominates Abdul Sattar Edhi for Nobel Peace Prize". The Express Tribune. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "Abdul Sattar Edhi needs kidney donation". Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  18. ^ Khan, M Ilyas (29 January 2008). "Pakistan aid worker stuck in US". BBC News. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  19. ^ "Edhi not allowed to visit Gaza". The International News. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2010. [dead link]
  20. ^ "The 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service from Phiippines: Citation for Abdul Sattar Edhi and Bilqis Bano Edhi". Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. 31 August 1986. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Awards". Edhi Profile. 8 August 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  22. ^ "UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize – Laureates". UNESCO. 
  23. ^ "UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence (2009)" (PDF). UNESCO. 2009. 
  24. ^ Lorenza Raponi – Michele Zanzucchi (2013). Half of Two Paisas: The Extraordinary Mission of Abdul Sattar Edhi and Bilquis Edhi. Translated from Italian by Lorraine Buckley. Oxford University Press, Pakistan. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-19-906852-4. 

External links

  1. ^ Noble Pakistan: 10 Pakistanis honoured with Ramon Magsaysay Award