Pakistan is a country notorious for corruption, extremism, gender inequality, poor rankings on human development index (HDI) and bad governance. Seeing this, a random thought knocked one’s mind. How could a country survive for 68 years in the midst of the malpractices by civil military leadership and a general apathy of people towards the state of affairs in the country? Perhaps, the most appropriate answer of this question can be deduced from the following paragraph. The charisma, which keeps Pakistan moving along and progressing against all odds, is the unconditional support and determined efforts of people like ‘Abdul Sattar Edhi.

People who serve their country not for monetary benefits, not for votes, not for fame, not for material reward but for the empathy they have for their fellow humans, and to discharge the agony they feel for their less fortunate brothers and sisters suffering from pain and poverty. These are the people who dedicate their lives for the service of humanity. They serve their people and country with the best of their abilities. They act as torchbearers; illuminate the path of success and escort their country on this path. Abdul Sattar Edhi was one of the most celebrated humanitarian, social worker and a saint from Pakistan. His welfare organization ‘Edhi Foundation’ is a well reputed and highly esteemed NGO of the world; famous for its old houses, orphanage, ambulance services, rehabilitation centers for mental patients and drug addicts, clinics, women shelters, and free food kitchens.

Abdul Sattar Edhi led a very simple life, owned just two pair of low-cost sharlwar kameez (national dress of Pakistan), slept on the floors without ACs, ate simple food, got treatment from the ordinary medical hospitals and left the comforts of live for the affection of his fellow human beings. He had a heart of gold and crystal clear eye sight which made him realize that material comforts are ephemeral and what lasts forever is your legacy; a legacy of altruism, a legacy of universal love for humanity without any concerns for geographical borders, a legacy of simplicity, a legacy of kindness and a legacy of honesty. These legacies of Adbul Sattar Edhi have attired the mortal Edhi in an immortal cloak. The serious concerns of this kindhearted humanitarian for the well being of orphans, poor, distressed and needy can be estimated from his last words. ”Take care of poor Pakistanis” History will remember him as a person who sacrificed his personal aspirations for the welfare of others, who begged on the roads, under the scorching sun, to collect funds for oppressed, needy and orphans, who deteriorated his own health to raise orphans and missing children, who left his business to start schools for the orphans and street children, who created the world’s largest networks of ambulances to rescue the victims of natural calamities, terrorist attacks, and road accidents, who traveled to war wretched places to save as many persons as he could, who helped communities afflicted by plagues, pandemics and serious diseases like cancer and aids, and who served the humanity without any ulterior motives but the motive of compassion for the fellow humans.

July 8, 2016 is not only a sad day for Pakistan but also for the whole world as Abdul Sattar Edhi’s work is not limited to Pakistan only. Abdul Sattar Edhi served in Pakistan, India, Africa, Middle Ease, Caucasus Region, Eastern Europe and United States. Government of Pakistan nominated Mr. Abdul Sattar Edhi for Nobel Prize in 2011 for his services. Let’s have a glance at Mr. Edhi’s achievements and learn from his wise words, which will help us bring out our good self, and to subjugate the evils residing in ourselves. Abdul Sattar Edhi wished to be buried in the same clothes he used to wear. In his testator he donated his body organs to the one in need. He was, by all means, a hero and an angel. He taught people that you don’t need fame to bring change. I don’t think anyone care for something more than their own life or health but he, the greatest, Abdul Sattar Edhi when offered by the government to be taken abroad for his treatment, he, at once, refused by saying that he will not leave Pakistan. No words are enough to pay tribute to this great humanitarian. Words cannot define the person of his stature. Not only Pakistan but also the world has lost a great human being. I firmly believe that God will accept him with open arms for all the good he has done while he was on this earth. Besides prayer, thoughts of love, flowers and tears, best tribute anyone can pay to Abdul Sattar Edhi is by continuing his work and joining hands with his foundations.

HAMZA TEMOOR CHAUDHRY,

Lahore, November 21.