Sunday, August 18, 2013
One Out of Few
Here is another blog entry that was submitted for my blog contest. After reading this, I must say it encouraged me in my faith that there is more good people doing amazing things for others out there. May this entry give you the same hope it gave me for humanity:). Enjoy!
One Out of Few
He would sleep on the concrete outside the clinic so that he was available to anyone who needed help anytime at night.
He is seen in his ambulance, collecting dead bodies, taking them to police station, if the bodies were not claimed then washing and burying them himself.
He or his people are the first people to reach the place whenever and wherever there is a terror act, accident or natural calamity.
He has donated all his organs so that even after death his organs continue his mission of serving humanity.
A board in front of his organization has the following wordings:
“Do not commit another sin: leave your baby in our care.”
Who is this person?
He is an old man with a frail structure wearing a very ordinary dress and looks more like a person in need himself. A man who has no formal education, but whose philosophy of life is a beacon of hope for the suffering humanity. Who has a firm belief that the rights of humans over fellow humans are more important than any other right in this world. He is the most respected man in Pakistan.
He is Abdus Sattar Eidhi. The owner/ chief organizer of Edhi Foundation world’s largest ambulance service according to Guinness book of World Records.
Edhi Welfare Foundation is the largest welfare organization of Pakistan and one of the largest and most successful health and welfare networks in Asia.
It operates worldwide providing services ranging from free nursing homes, orphanages, clinics, women’s shelters to rehab centers for drug addicts and mentally ill individuals. It has run relief operations in Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe and US where it provided aid following the New Orleans hurricane of 2005.
Eidhi is eighty five years old himself at present suffering from many diseases, but has an iron like commitment and determination. He was born on January 1st 1928 in Gujrat, British India. According to Edhi he grew up taking care of his mother who suffered from paralysis and diabetes. She daily gave him two paisas (minimum unit of currency at that time), one to spend on himself, and one on someone in need. The message her mother gave was one of caring for those in need. His personal experience imbibed a feeling of concern for people suffering from ailment with no one to take care of them. This laid the foundation of his character.
In 1948 Edhi and his family migrated to Karachi, Pakistan.
To earn living he started as a hawker, then a commission agent selling cloth, but he soon realized that there was a lack of medical care in the nascent state and he must do something about it. He saved some money to open a charitable clinic. Although he did not have formal education, he learned basic medical care from a doctor friend. Year 1957 was a defining moment in his life. There was a major flu epidemic
in the city of Karachi. He went wholeheartedly in providing relief to people by setting up tents and distributing free immunizations. He won the heart of people, they opened their hearts and there started a stream of donations that continued to increase with every passing year. A great bond of trust was created between people and Eidhi that remains unshakable. He purchased the entire building where his small clinic was located. He then established the Edhi foundation, which continues today, and is run completely by public support.
According to Eidhi’s official record Edhi Foundation has over 300 centers across the country in cities, towns and rural areas. Services provided by Edhi Foundation include: baby cradles, destitute homes, welfare centers, highways projects, warehouses, field ambulance services, air ambulance services, marine and coastal service, blood and drug banks, cancer research hostel, missing persons service, home for sheltering animals, graveyard services, Edhi emergency posts, prisoners aid, refugee assistance and international community centers. Foundation is a home for over 6,000 destitute, runaways and mentally ill, and it provides transportation to over 1,000,000 persons annually to the hospitals, in addition to other wide ranging services.
And all this is directly supervised by Eidhi and his wife Bilqees.
Abdul Sattar Edhi, Bilquis Edhi and their family lead a simple life. They live in a two room small quarter near Eidhi Trust building. Abdul Sattar Edhi is known to own only two pairs of traditional Shalwar Kameez (Pakitani dress). “We have never really thought of who we are or what status we have. We just consider ourselves ordinary human beings and we work like common folk. Allah (swt) has saved us from arrogance and ostentation” says Bilquis Edhi.
Eidhi is the recipient of a large number of national and international awards. Ramon Magsaysay Award, Lenin Peace Prize, International
Balzan Prize, Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Human Rights Award are a few of them. He had been a nominee for the Nobel Peace.
Eidhi says: “No religion is higher than humanity and People have become educated, but have not become human.” This is a reminder of our mindless quest for power and money, abdication of our responsibilities towards those in need and having an education system that teaches everything, but importance of basic human values.
Eidhi had the trust that he could do it, he cultivated people’s trust in himself and went on to build Eidhi Trust.
Eidhi has proved that there is always opportunity whatever the challenges and he is one out of the few who started from nothing and achieved everything that can make anyone proud. There is the man whose life is an inspiration for those who feel the pain of the suffering humanity, but are constrained by lack of financial resources. He has proved that those who want to do something, but wait for something or someone to do something will not be able to do anything, nothing.
Read more about the author here: