Abdul Sattar Edhi is a public figure that not just known among Pakistan but he is a renowned personality of the world. He is a social activist and humanitarian. He established a foundation named Edhi Foundation and running it with the help of his wife, Bilquis Edhi. This is a nonprofit social welfare organization of Pakistan. Not just in Pakistan, this organization is working all over the world to serve and help humanity. Edhi foundation operates free orphanages, women’s shelters, clinics, nursing homes and rehab centers for drug addicts and mentally ill people. Edhi foundation has world’s largest ambulance service. It runs relief operation not only in Pakistan but in many other countries of world as well.
Abdul Sattar Edhi was born in Bantva that is now a part of Gujrat, western India, in 1928. His first experience with suffering human occurred when he was eleven years old and his mother became paralyzed and then mentally sick. He used to serve his mother with very care and he was nineteen when his mother died from illness.
In 1947, Edhi and his family migrated to Pakistan and were settled in Karachi. He started working here and after few years he with the mere sum of five thousand rupees he founded the Edhi Foundation. Edhi started working for poor as guardian and started receiving donations from people and now Edhi foundation is Pakistan’s Largest and one of the world’s largest nonprofit welfare organization. Abdul Sattar Edhi is heading this foundation. It is said that since the establishment of this foundation over 20,000 abandoned infants are rescued, and over 50,000 orphans are rehabilitated. This foundation provided training to over 40,000 nurses. Three are over three hundred and thirty welfare centers running by this foundation in the rural and urban area of Pakistan.
Edhi never wants the appreciation for his work. He is a simple, humble and a noble man who does not receives pay from his organization. He lives in a small two bed roomed apartment with his wife Bilqis Edhi who also supports him in his welfare and charity organization. He received many national and international awards. In 1986, he together with his wife received Ramon Magsaysay Award that is often considered the Noble Prize of Asia for public service.
He was awarded with Lenin Peace Prize in 1988. For the services in the American earthquake disaster in 1998 he received the Peace Prize from USSR former. He received Peace and Harmony Award, Dehli in 2001, Peace Award (Mumbai) in 2004, Wolf and Bhogio Peace Award (Italy) in 2005, Gandhi Peace Award (Delhi) in 2007, Peace Award (London) in 2011. Some of his national awards are Silver Jubilee Shield by College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan (1962-1987), Nishan-e-Imtiaz from Government of Pakistan in 1989, Shield of Honor by the Pakistan Army and many more international and national awards. The Pakistani President Yusuf Raza Gillani in 2011 recommended him for the Noble Prize as well. Edhi also received honorary degree of doctorate by the University of Bedfordshire.