On Saturday thousands of people turned up at the National Stadium to pay their last respects to country’s most revered person.
This was the first ever state funeral for a common man in the 69 year history of the country.
The death of 88-year old philanthropist has saddened 200 million Pakistanis especially the workers of Edhi Foundation, the social work system established by him about 6 decades ago.
For Zameer Ahmad, who is in charge of Edhi Foundation’s Lahore office, the death of great humanitarian , Abdul Sattar Edhi’s death is like passing away of his own father.
Baba Edhi could not visit Lahore and other upcountry towns of Pakistan after 2009 due to his failing health but the social work carried out by late Edhi is at par with the one done by Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Kolkata) that helped her win a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, he says.
Millions of Pakistanis note that Edhi has not been given the prize despite his lifetime social welfare commitment and work in Pakistan and other parts of the world. They have showered praise on Edhi as an angel of mercy and even a living saint.
Big Loss for Humanity…May Allah rest his soul in heaven. Ameen
Ại̹nãạ lil̃hi wāi̹nãạ ại̹laẙhi rājiʿwna
Big Loss for Humanity…May Allah rest his soul in heaven. AmeenThe Richest Poor Man! May ALLAH Grant Edhi sb high ranks in Jannah. #edhi you are pride of this nation. Hazaron Saal Nargis Apni Benoori Pe Roti Hai
Bari Mushkil Se Hota Hai Chaman Mein Didahwar Paida
Born on January 1, 1928 in the Indian State of Gujarat, young Edhi migrated to Karachi after the establishment of Pakistan in 1947.
It was his mother’s ailment during his young age that inspired Abdul Sattar Edhi to develop a system of services for the old, mentally ill and disadvantaged people.
Beginning his career as a cloth vendor, he stepped into the field of social work by setting up a free dispensary in downtown Karachi with the financial help of the Gujarati community.
Later, he founded the non-governmental organization Edhi Foundation that has its offices almost in all the 106 districts of Pakistan and Kashmir over the last 6 decades.
Besides providing shelter to the homeless and the poor , mainly abandoned by their own families, Edhi Foundation has been instrumental in rehabilitating over 50,000 orphans.
It has also an ambulance service to shift the injured to the hospitals and the dead to the mortuaries. Cradles are available outsides Edhi centres to receive abandoned and unwanted infants.
According to estimates, the Edhi Foundation has rescued over 20,000 infants from being killed by their own parents.
Outside Pakistan, Edhi had also been active in serving the suffering humanity in the world.
Edhi , the son of Pakistani nation presently facing all sorts of ethnic, religious, linguistic and religious fault lines, was a symbol of honesty and bankable financial integrity.
There are many other NGOs in Pakistan but the people preferred to give donations to Edhi Foundation as they had compete trust in the person of Abdul Sattar Edhi.
The philanthropist had been offered the top slots in various political parties but he subtly refused offers as this was not his cup of tea.
After the death of Edhi, Pakistanis have come up with a number of proposals to acknowledge the services of the philanthropist including the naming of new airport of the Federal Capital as Edhi International and posthumous awards and medals for him.
But the best award may lie in continuing his mission to serve disadvantaged humanity without any discrimination on the basis of color, creed and religion. Edhi has departed from this world but the tremendous humanitarian work he did must go on.