Most Promising Leader of the Era, Abdul Sattar Edhi
A tribute to great humanist, Abdul Sattar Edhi from Youth Times
His religion is Humanity, His vision is Welfare, His Education is compassion and selflessness, He is the golden-hearted man, Abdul Sattar Edhi, the greatest welfare institution in his own self.
Edhi began his voyage penniless but with a faith in humanity. He invoked compassion in the hearts of dead souls to extend a helping hand to others.
Edhi, a philanthropist, humanitarian and social activist, was born in 1928 in Bantva in India. He was morally educated by his mother who shaped the great man out of him.
Edhi was taught, in his childhood, to share his money i.e. “two paisas” equally with the needy fellow at school. His mother scolded him, if he did not share, saying that if you cannot share now then you will be snatching tomorrow. His mother suffered from mental ailment and paralysis. He took the responsibility of cleaning, bathing, feeding his mother during her ailment. She unfortunately died when he was only 19. Her death left a deep mark upon Edhi’s mind and softened his heart for the sufferer.
During the times of partition, Edhi witnessed sea of inhumanity and faithlessness. Poverty and hunger were prevailing and sufferers were dying. Such helpless condition of the destitute moved Edhi’s heart to serve humanity.
Edhi decided to devote his heart and soul for the welfare of the poor and destitute. He decided to light up a torch against darkness of poverty, misery, sorrow and ignorance.
Edhi believed solely in humanitarianism which could restore faith in people. Man has his first duty towards fellow human beings. Edhi, the most selfless man, states in his autobiography “Durrani” that:
“Not for the atonement of sins, nor in any attempt to reach heaven, but as an essential and practical obligation towards mankind. As the responsibility of one who has become aware of his needs.”
Edhi begged for alms himself to help the poor and down-trodden. He proudly earned the title of “FAQIR” in the name of humanity. Sympathy and compassion are his lessons of life and helping others is his reason of living. He is truly an “Angel of Mercy” for the needy and the unfortunate.
“Edhi” is an embodiment of religion of humanity. As mentioned in Durrani, Edhi says,
“Humanitarianism is my religion and that is the purpose and meaning of all religions”
Edhi foundation is the first non-profit welfare organization that extends it’s services beyond caste, color and religion. Edhi’s network of ambulances, relief centers and welfare centers creep “like a web at the grass-root level, covering the entire length and breadth of Pakistan” (Durrani).
Edhi believes in humanity beyond boundaries and his offices are established even in foreign countries of Britain, Japan, America and Germany. Welfare camps are erected during the times of crisis like T-sunami, flood, epidemics, earthquakes etc. and the services work internationally.
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Edhi received Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service as well as Lenin Peace Prize. He earned Nishan-e-Imtiaz from the government of Pakistan. Few years back his name was mentioned in Guinese Book of World Record for having the highest numbers of ambulance service in the world. He was honored with many more titles and awards.
Edhi’s father advised him once,
“honest people should avoid taking favors and entering into partnerships”
Edhi is a self-made man who was taught by his father to work independently. He refused to join hands with Imran Khan and other political figures. He never took help from them.
Edhi resides in a two-room apartment attached to Edhi center with his family. He married a nurse, Bilquise, who equally joined hands with him in his struggle against poverty. He lives simply enough that he takes stale bread as food and keeps only a pair of dress to wear.
Edhi is truly a role-model for all of us. Bilquise defines his character in five words, “Hardwork”, “Simplicity”, “Austerity”, “Honesty” and “Graciousness”.
According to Edhi “Politics” in its true definition is public service and “Leadership” is not about seeking power but about bringing about of a psychological change. Edhi visualized Pakistan as a modern welfare state and he finds it the only way to handle myriad of socio-economic problems of the country.
We really need to think now about the fact that who our true leaders are. Are we losing our legend of the era? Are we going to lose another great leader without even realizing the true importance of the great man?
People lost faith in humanity and Edhi revived the faith in humanity. He single-handedly made a huge difference in the world because of his will, determination, perseverance and commitment. He unified the world with the simplest act of kindness.
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Edhi’s motto was to eradicate poverty from the face of earth. Unfortunately, Edhi claims,
“I failed! I could not eradicate poverty”
Do we want to fail another leader after Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal?
Article by Samina Fazal, Sub Editor Youth Times
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