Abdul Sattar Edhi

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Abdul Sattar Edhi, NI (Urdu: عبد الستار ایدھی, Gujarati: અબ્દુલ સત્તાર ઇદી), or Maulana Edhi, http://www.edhi.org/ is a Pakistani philanthropist known for international humanitarian work. He is the founder and head of Edhi Foundation, a non-profit social welfare program in Pakistan. Together with his wife, Bilquis Edhi, he received the 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. He is also the recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize and the Balzan Prize. In 2006, Institute of Business Administration Pakistan conferred a honoris causa degree of Doctor of Social Service Management for his services. In September 2010, Edhi was also awarded an honorary degree of Doctorate by the University of Bedfordshire.

Edhi was born in 1928 in Bantva in the Gujarat, British India.

When he was eleven, his mother became paralyzed and later grew mentally ill and died when he was 19. His personal experiences caused him to develop a system of services for old, mentally ill and challenged people.

Edhi and his family migrated to Pakistan in 1947. He initially started as a pedlar, later became a commission agent selling cloth in the wholesale market in Karachi. After a few years, he established a free dispensary with the help from his community. He later established a welfare trust, “Edhi Trust”.

Abdul Sattar Edhi was married in 1965 to Bilquis, a nurse who worked at the Edhi dispensary. The couple have four children, two daughters and two sons. Bilquis runs the free maternity home at the headquarter in Karachi and organizes the adoption of illegitimate and abandoned babies.

Edhi Foundation runs the world’s largest ambulance service and operates free old people’s homes, orphanages, clinics, women’s shelters, and rehab centers for drug addicts and mentally ill individuals.[3] It has run relief operations in Africa, Middle East, the Caucasus region, eastern Europe and US where it provided aid following the New Orleans hurricane of 2005.

In November 2011, Edhi was nominated for a Nobel Peace prize by then Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.

International Awards

  • Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service (1986)
  • Lenin Peace Prize (1988)
  • Paul Harris Fellow from Rotatory International Foundation, (1993)
  • Largest Voluntary Ambulance Organization of the World – Guinness Book of World Records (2000)
  • Hamdan Award for volunteers in Humanitarian Medical Services (2000) UAE
  • International Balzan Prize (2000) for Humanity, Peace and Brotherhood, Italy
  • Honorary Doctorate degree from the Institute of Business Administration Karachi (2006).
  • UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize (2009)[9][10]
  • Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize (2010)[11]

National Awards

  • Silver Jubilee Shield by College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan, (1962–1987) [8]
  • The Social Worker of Sub-Continent by Government of Sind, Pakistan, (1989) [8]
  • Nishan-e-Imtiaz, civil decoration from Government of Pakistan (1989) [8]
  • Recognition of meritorious services to oppressed humanity during eighties by Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Government of Pakistan, (1989) [8]
  • Pakistan Civic Award from the Pakistan Civic Society (1992) [8]
  • Shield of Honor by Pakistan Army (E & C) [8]
  • Khidmat Award by Pakistan Academy of Medical Sciences [8]
  • Human Rights Award by Pakistan Human Rights Society [8]