Eminent Pakistani philanthropist, social activist, ascetic and humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi on 8 July 2016 died at a hospital in Karachi. He was 88.
He was the founder and head of the Edhi Foundation in Pakistan and ran the organization successfully for over 6 decades.
He was known as Angel of Mercy, Pakistan’s ‘Father Teresa’ and was considered country’s most respected figure.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid tribute to him as “a great servant of humanity,” and announced posthumous presidential medal to commemorate his services.
About Abdul Sattar Edhi & Edhi foundation
• Abdul Sattar Edhi was the Chairman of the Edhi foundation which is celebrated for its humanitarian work in Pakistan, South Asia and across the World.
• The foundation provides a range of services including ambulance, hospitals, children services, old-age homes, orphanages, educational services, refugee assistance, morgues, food banks, de-addiction centres, etc.
• The foundation runs one of the world's largest ambulance service, with a fleet of over 1500, providing land, air, and marine ambulance services for the needy.
• Its services are spread across the major cities of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka,
Indonesia, Bangladesh, Japan, the UK and the USA.
• Edhi lived in a bare room in Karachi, alternating between his two suits of black clothes and occasionally listening to recordings of Quranic verses on a battered old tape recorder.
• For his contributions to the humanity, he received numerous accolades including Nishan-e Imtiaz (highest civilian honour), Pakistan Civil Award, etc.
• International honours include Ramon Magsaysay Award, International Balzan Prize, 2007 UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize and 2011 London Peace Award among others.
• He wrote the book - Abdul Sattar Edhi, an autobiography: A mirror to the blind.
• In October 2015, the Union Government coordinated with the Edhi foundation to bring back Geeta, a hearing and speech impaired girl who strayed across the border 15 years ago.
• As a gesture of goodwill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a contribution of 1 crore rupees to the foundation but Edhi denied to accept his charity.
• Edhi was born at Bantvain Gujarat to a family of memon traders in 1928.
• During partition, Edhi migrated to Karachi and started his welfare mission in 1951 opening his first home for homeless and sick in the Kharadar area.
• In 2007, he was conferred with the Gandhi Peace Award in New Delhi.
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