Abdul Sattar Edhi,” Angel of Mercy”

Abdul Sattar Edhi

Abdul SattarEdhi was a  great Pakistani humanitarian and  philanthropist who built a nationwide network of ambulances and  humanitarian centers,,and mission of life saving services of people in Pakistan and as well whole world.Edhi began his humanitarian work in 1947. Over the next decades, he helped to save the lives of at least 50,000 babies and created a fleet of 1,800 ambulances, 28 rescue boats and two airplanes to help in emergencies.Edhi, who, died on 8 July 2016 at 89. He was given a state funeral, attended by tens of thousands of people.

Early life.

Abdul SattarEdhi was born in 1928 in a small village of Bantva near

in the Gujarat into a Memon family.. In his biography, he said his mother would give him 1 paisa for his meals and another to give to a poor child. When he was eleven, his mother became paralysed from a stroke and she died when Edhi was 19. His personal experiences and care for his mother during her illness caused him to develop a system of services for old, mentally ill. At 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. He initially started as a peddler, and later became a commission agent selling cloth in the wholesale market in Karachi.he left the ..After a couple of years, he left this occupation and with the support of some members of his community decided to establish a free dispensary. He became involved in this charity work. However, soon his personal vision of a growing and developing system of multifarious services made him decide to establish a welfare trust of his own and named it as “Edhi Trust”.

Appeal for public funds

An appeal was made to the public for funds. The response was good, and Rs.200,000/- were raised. The range and scope of work of Edhi Trust expanded with remarkable speed under the driving spirit of the man behind it. A maternity home was established and emergency ambulance service was started in the sprawling metropolis of Karachi with a population of over 10 million. More donations were received as people’s confidence in the activities of the Trust grew. With the passage of time, masses gave him the title of the” Angel of Mercy””

Marreid life

Abdul SattarEdhi was married in 1965 to Bilquis, a nurse who worked at the Edhi dispensary. The couple have four children, two daughters and two sons. Bilquis runs the free maternity home at the headquarter in Karachi and organises the adoption of illegitimate and abandoned babies. The husband-wife team has come to share the common vision of single minded devotion to the cause of alleviation of human sufferings and a sense of personal responsibility to respond to each call for help. Edhi involves himself in every activity at Edhi Foundation from raising funds to bathing corpses. Round the clock he keeps with him an ambulance which he drives himself and makes rounds of the city regularly. Inspite of his busy work schedule with the Foundation, Edhi finds enough time to spare with the residents of the orphanages called “Edhi Homes””.

Modest life style

Despite his enormous fame and the vast sums of money that passes through his hands, Edhi adheres to a very simple and modest life style. He and his family live in a two room apartment adjacent to the premises of Foundation’s headquarter. Neither Edhi nor Bilquis receives any salary. They live on the income from government securities that Edhi bought many years ago to take care of their personal needs for the rest of their lives,Although Edhi has a traditional Islamic background, he has an open and progressive mind on a number of sensitive social issues. He strongly supports the notion of working women. Of the 2,000 paid workers of the Edhi Foundation around 500 are women. They work in various capacities in-charges of Edhicentres, heads of maternity homes and dispensaries and office workers.

Travel issues

In 1980s, Edhi was arrested by Israeli troops while entering Lebanon. In 2006, he was detained in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for 16 hours. In January 2008, U.S. immigration officials interrogated Edhi at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City 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.”As he was a Muslim and he was trying to help people as he had a beard the “authorities” thought of him as a terroris


On 25 June 2013, Edhi’s kidneys failed, it was announced that he would be on  dailylysis for the rest of his life unless he found a kidney donor.Edhi died on 8 July 2016 at the age of 88 due to kidney failurte,His last wishes included the request that his organs were to be donated but due to his ill health, only his corneas were suitable.


Reaction and funeral

Reactions to his death came from several high-ranking Pakistani officials. Prime Minister  Nawaz sharif said “We have lost a great servant of humanity. He was the real manifestation of love for those who were socially vulnerable, impoverished, helpless and poor.” Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif , called him a “true humanitarian”.Prime Minister Sharif declared national mourning on the day following Edhi’s death and announced a state funeral for him. He became the third Pakistani to receive historical state gun carriage funeral after Muhammad Ali Jinnah and zia ul haq. At the time, he was the only Pakistani without a state authority or a state role to receive a state funeral. In  2016 Defence housing authority announced its decision to rename 5 km long Beach Avenue  of  seaview as ‘Abdul Sattar Edhi Avenue’ in recognition of the welfare services by Edhi,On 28 February 2017,google  celebrated Edhi witith  google doodle hailing his “super-efficient” ambulance service.On 31 March 2017, a ₨. 50 cupro-nickel commemorative coin was issued upon the recommendation of the state bank to the Prime Minister Sharif, who decided to commemorate Edhi’s services on the national level,Edhi became the only social worker and the fifth Pakistani personality to have been honoured with a commemorative coin.



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