Wednesday, February 28, 2018

12 Things About Abdul Sattar Edhi

  1. Abdul Sattar Edhi founded the world's largest volunteer ambulance network in Pakistan, the Edhi Foundation.
  2. Unlike wealthy individuals that fund charities in their names, Edhi dedicated his life to the poor from the age of 20, when he himself was penniless in Karachi.
  3. Edhi was born before partition in Bantva, Gujarat, India on February 28, 1928.
  4. He is also well-known for the aphorism: “People have become educated... but have yet to become human.”
  5. Edhi was born into Islam but never allowed faith to interfere in his humanitarian endeavors. Once asked why he helped non-Muslims, he answered simply: “Because my ambulance is more Muslim than you.”
  6. In light of the new US President’s “Muslim travel ban”, it is worth remembering another of Edhi’s remarks, after being detained and interrogated by immigration officials at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport in January 2008 under Bush administration terror laws. Questioned by reporters as to the reason for his detention, the philanthropist wryly offered: “The only explanation I can think of is my beard and my dress.”
  7. Abdul Sattar Edhi died of kidney failure, leaving behind his wife of 52 years, Bilquis, a former nurse, and four offspring. By the time of his death on July 8th 2016,  Edhi was registered as a parent or guardian of nearly 20,000 children.
  8. The Edhi Foundation's slogan is: "Live and help live".
  9. With more than 1,800 ambulances stationed across Pakistan, the Edhi Foundation is Pakistan's largest welfare organization. 
  10. In 1997, the foundation entered the Guinness World Records as the "largest volunteer ambulance organization" (operating 1,500 vehicles) and Edhi ambulances are welcomed as friendly neighbors throughout Pakistan. If you call 115 in the South Asian nation, the Edhi Foundation will answer.
  11. After the nominations in 2014, the hashtag  #NobelPrizeforEdhi was created; many said he should have been recognized instead of Malala Yousafzai, who is also from Pakistan. In an interview with the Express Tribune newspaper, Edhi said: "I don't care about it. The Nobel Prize doesn't mean anything to me. I want these people, I want humanity." 
  12. It was announced that the State Bank of Pakistan would issue a commemorative coin of 50 rupees (38p) in memory of Edhi as a small token of appreciation for his selfless services for the country.