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The Express Tribune

Published Date: Aug 2, 2016

Edhi’s service to humanity lauded

Due to faith in humanity, which he inspired in the entire nation, Edhi’s legacy is unmatched and incomparable.
This was said about the late humanitarian by the Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN) Chairperson, Shoaib Sultan Khan, at a condolence reference held here on Monday.
The reference was organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), and was held to pay homage to, and to discuss Abdul Sattar Edhi’s ideology of social service and charity.
“Though people often describe the humanitarian as Pakistan’s Mother Teresa, she had the support of the church, while Edhi set up his entire organisation on his own,” said Khan.
I see no parallel, — an example, which is remotely equal to the model of charity, which he built single-handedly, he said,
Khan said that, “The phenomenon of Edhi is incomparable. Even though people try to describe and label him in different ways, no words can do him justice.”
He did, however cite Indian producer AR Rahman’s description of Edhi as a “social reformist” as a befitting title.
“Living for others was the philosophy of Edhi’s life,” Khan said.
“He sought happiness by helping others and as Leo Tolstoy put it, the only certain happiness in life is to live for others,” he said.
Edhi Foundation (Islamabad Zone) Deputy Chief Javed Dar said that people trusted Edhi because of his honesty.
“Due to this, he could collect millions of rupees in a number of hours,” he said.
Despite that the provision of emergency services responsibility of the state, Rescue-1122 only has 16 ambulances for both the cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, while the Edhi Foundation has 180 ambulances for the twin cities, Khan said.
Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy Executive-Director Shazia Maqsood said her organisation had reached an understanding with Quaid-i-Azam University, to introduce philanthropy and Edhi’s story as a part of the curriculum in the subjects of Sociology and Anthropology.
SDPI Executive-Director Dr Abid Qayum Suleri said that as per numerous studies, Pakistan had constantly been proven to be one of the most charitable nations; however, in the past these donations were sometimes given to anti-social elements and religious extremists.
In line with Edhi’s ideology, “service to all” without biases of religion, caste and creed is important.
They suggested that the government initiate a humanitarian award, named after Edhi.