Pakistan’s Father Teresa

Google honors Abdul Sattar Edhi‘s birthday on their homepage. He would have been 89. When I saw it, I felt very sad and nostalgic for the man we have lost.

Often dubbed as “Angel of Mercy” and also known as “Pakistan’s Father Teresa,” Edhi Sahab (Mr. Edhi) lived a modest and monkish life since his early youth. He founded the world’s largest volunteer ambulance network in Pakistan, the Edhi Foundation. And his death last year on July 8, 2016 deeply saddened me. Although my family and I donate to his foundation a lot, I feel sad that I never even bothered to meet him. However, I can honestly say that he is my biggest inspiration and I aspire to be more like him.

I am really glad Google is commemorating him today and showcasing his philanthropic work for the whole world to see. I know that Edhi Sahab (Mr. Edhi) very much disliked being in the spotlight, but I believe he deserves recognition and praise for being the humanest human in a world struck by hate and cruelty.

Truly, this world is in dire need of kindness, selflessness and humanity. It needs more people like Edhi Sahab, because our world is stricken by war, religion, color and hate. Especially now, with the news of the travel bans and talks of building walls to divide us all.

Here are 7 things you didn’t know about Abdul Sattar Edhi:

  1. He created his exceptional foundation out of nothing when he was only 19 years old and penniless. (Slogan: Live and help live)
  2. He lived a modest and humble life from his childhood till his death. (He worked for free, didn’t take a salary, and only owned two suits of clothes)
  3. His humanitarian work didn’t just limit to Pakistan. In 2005, he raised $100,000 for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. (He was always actively involved in International affairs)
  4. He was offered treatment abroad, but he insisted on being treated in a government hospital at home.
  5. He left behind 20,004 children. (He only has 4 biological offspring, but he adopted 20,000)
  6. His parting words were: “Take care of the poor people of my country.”
  7. Many have debated time and again that he has been overlooked for the Nobel Peace Prize and he should have been awarded in his lifetime, but Mr. Edhi never showed any interest in it.

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The Richest Poor Man

In Journalism class, many many moons ago, we were asked to select a living influential person, or a celebrity, and write an obituary on them. While my classmates preferred to write on actors and singers, I chose Mr. Edhi. I have always been inspired by him to be a better human. I hope I always am.

Around 2 weeks ago, we lost him. A very remarkable human being, arguably one of the biggest social worker, humanitarian and philanthropist of his era, left behind a whole nation in mourning. What a terrible, terrible blow for us.

The nation’s hero, in the truest sense. He was probably the only good thing (of a few) to come out of this place we call Pakistan. He gave up everything to help the poor, devoted his entire life for the destitute. I feel ashamed, for I am not even half as great, selfless and modest as he was. I hope I always would be encouraged to be more like him.

His passing away is a huge loss for humanity indeed, not just for Pakistan, but for the whole world. One thing I know for sure. Angels do walk on this earth amongst us.

Here is a link to his exceptional foundation that acts as a safety net for the poor, needy and helpless that he created basically out of nothing.

May he rest in peace. Amen. 💔❤️