The Edhi Foundation is Pakistan’s largest charity foundation known worldwide for its humanitarian work. It serves human beings from all races, religions and nationalities without distinction.
Abdul Sattar Edhi, a well-known Pakistani philanthropist, ascetic, humanitarian, and social activist, the founder the foundation is known as the “Father of the Poor” and “The Angel of Mercy”, and has been constantly nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace.
Abdul Sattar Edhi is highly revered and respected in his country, as he dedicated his life to serving the poorest people. He established a giant charity foundation that sponsored the building of maternity hospitals, morgues, orphanages, shelters and a nursing home. Until his death on July 8, 2016, he dedicated his life and that of all his family members to the service of people.
Edhi was born on 1 January 1928 in Bantva, a small village in the state of Gujarat at British India. When the British were pulling out of India and the country split up, in 1947, his family ended up in Karachi when he was 15 years old.
At the beginning, he worked as a street vendor selling matches and pencils, and then was engaged in his father’s textile trade, but he soon abandoned father’s profession and, with his friends, set up a small one room clinic in the Mithadar District of the old city of Karachi. He owned a small ambulance car and started driving around the city, transporting patients and those wounded in accidents to hospitals.
From this humble beginning in 1951, he succeeded in establishing an organization that attracted thousands of volunteers who donated their time and effort to helping others.
The Edhi Foundation has become one of the major humanitarian charitable organizations in Pakistan, and the services it provides have expanded.
The Edhi Foundation has orphanages attached to primary and secondary schools; homes for the disabled, rejected and displaced children, and drug addicts; and shelters for abused women. There are also maternity centres, family planning centres, training institutes for nurses, blood banks, a tuberculosis clinic and a tumor hospital.
The Foundation runs 330 care centers in Pakistan’s rural and urban areas, providing food, shelter and rehabilitation for abandoned women and children, as well as medication for mentally ill patients.
The Foundation has provided relief work in Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, Eastern Europe and the United States (during Hurricane Katrina in 2005).