The angelic beneficence laid to rest amid moving scenes
By Our Special Correspondent
KARACHI: Internationally renowned social worker, Abdul Sattar Edhi, who breathed his last on Friday
night, was laid to rest amid moving scenes on Saturday evening at Edhi Village, about 33 kilometers
away from here. He was 92.As per his will, he was buried in the same clothes he was wearing at the time of his passing away in a grave that he himself had marked about 25 years ago.Edhi saheb is survived by his wife, Bilquis Edhi, a nurse with whom he worked and then married in 1966,two daughters and two sons – Faisal Edhi being the eldest.Earlier, his funeral prayers offered after Zuhr prayers at the National Stadium was attended by President
Mamnoon Hussain, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul- Ebad, Sindh and Punjab Chief Ministers Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, respectively, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Corps Commander Karachi, D-G Rangers, the IGP,Sindh and a large number of people belonging to different walks of life. A 19-gun salute was presented on the occasion, while the COAS gave a salute to the legend’s body.
There was a sea of people who wanted to participate in the final funeral rites of their iconic social worker, who throughout his life, contributed and struggled to improve the lives of millions of poor and under-privileged segments of the society, irrespective of their caste, creed and religion.Tight security measures were made all around the venue of Edhi’s funeral prayers where large contingents of Rangers and police were deployed. Besides, all the roads leading to the National Stadium were closed for vehicular traffic.
Meanwhile, federal government has announced a day-mourning on the passing away of Edhi and the national flag will fly at half-mast.Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who underwent open heart surgery in London on May 31 and is returning
home today (Saturday) in a special PIA aircraft, has directed Minister for Postal Services to issue a postal
stamp in Edhi’s name in recognition of his grand social and welfare services.Edhi opened his first free dispensary in 1951, and gradually expanded operations of his Foundation from Karachi to other cities of the country and abroad, as well.Today, the Edhi Foundation has around 12,000 ambulances and runs dozens of free dispensaries,
hospitals, nursing homes, shelters for old people, rehabilitation centres for drug addicts, orphanages,
besides placing jhoolas (cradles) outside Edhi centres where children, unwanted by their families for
some reasons, are not only cared for, but many of them find new guardian families.
Edhi saheb was a recipient Ramon Magsaysay Award for public service (the Philippines, 1986) which is
considered as the Nobel Prize of South-East Asia (the other Pakistan who had received the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Prof Adib Rizvi of SIUT), the Paul Harris Fellow (Rotary International Foundation, 1993) and the Peace Prize from the former USSR for services in Armenian earthquake disaster in 1988 and several other prestigious awards.
He is also a recipient of Nishan-i- Imtiaz (1989) and was nominated by the government for Nobel Peace Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2011 Tipperary International Peace Prize.Although Edhi never went to school, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, in 2006, and another from Bedfordshire University, England, in 2010.