By Farah Jamil
‘Edhi is not just a name, he is a phenomenon’
A man who devoted more than 60 years of his life to sleepless nights and stale bread breakfasts, helping the poorest of the poor is no more among us. The news of his death left humanity in shock.
Soon after the news of the death broke, people started gathering at Edhi centers around the world where hundreds of people were seen crying endlessly on the death of their Messiah.
Edhi Sahab was indeed a national hero whose cause was beyond creed and castes, religion and race. He always showed equality towards humanity and mankind. The white and the black, the pious and the sinner, the fanatic and the atheist; every human being was equal in his eyes.
He bathed mentally challenged and reached out to victims of natural calamities, violence and disaster.
He had an immense love for his country and its people. When former president Asif Ali Zardari offered him treatment abroad, Maulana Edhi insisted on having treatment at home, particularly in a government hospital saying he did not want to die in a foreign land. In his last act of kindness, he donated all of his body organs. Because of his condition, only his cornea was donated, and he gave light to two blind persons.
Edhi was that the country’s greatest humanitarian who loved God’s creations –human beings. The simplicity of Edhi Sahab can simply be defined in simple words, ‘White beard, slate-coloured shalwar kameez, struggle, benevolence, selflessness’, and we can’t find the other sole like him. We have lost an altruist and a father.
I must say that Abdul Sattar Edhi played his part right till the end. He should rank among the greatest exponents of humanity.
It was in 1974 when a formal institution by the name of Edhi Foundation was set up. What the foundation is today, and how it is depended on the shoulders of this single man is no less than a miracle.
Just because of Edhi’s struggle, an eight feet dispensary in Mithadar transformed into the country’s largest charitable organisation, comprising mobile dispensaries, ambulances, orphanages, shelter homes, animal hostel, maternity homes, morgues and graveyards.
Currently, there are 335 centres with 1,800 ambulances in the country, hundreds of volunteers and thousands dependent on him for their free food, water, medicines and shelter. His centres are abroad too, in the US, Canada, Afghanistan, Nepal and the Middle East.
No doubt, Abdul Sattar set the biggest and greatest example of a social activist.