Pakistan's own 'Mother Teresa', who helped Indian girl 'Geeta' to return home, dies - Know more about him
Celebrated Pakistani philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, founder of the non-profit Edhi Foundation that provided succour to millions of poor and destitute over the years, has died at a hospital in Karachi. He was 88.
Islamabad: Celebrated Pakistani philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, founder of the non-profit Edhi Foundation that provided succour to millions of poor and destitute over the years, has died at a hospital in Karachi. He was 88.
We bring to you some facts about Edhi that we know so far:
Abdul Sattar Edhi, a prominent Pakistani humanitarian and philanthropist -- died in the country's largest city, Karachi, after a long illness.
Edhi was born to a family of traders in what was then the Bombay Presidency in undivided India on January 1, 1924, and arrived in Pakistan in 1947.
He headed a foundation which supported thousands of needy people and children. He was conferred several national awards for his services to humanity.
The Edhi Foundation is one of Pakistan's largest public welfare organisations and runs one of the biggest fleets of ambulances, dozens of clinics and orphanages in the country.
Indian girl Geeta was sheltered by the Edhi Foundation after she strayed across the border over a decade ago. The Foundation named her Geeta and allowed her to follow the Hindu religion, as per her wish.
The Edhi foundation also played a significant role in helping Geeta to return to India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing gratitude for this, announced a contribution of Rs 10 million for the foundation, which Edhi politely declined to accept.
Motivated by a spiritual quest for justice, over the years Edhi and his team created maternity wards, morgues, orphanages, shelters and homes for the elderly, picking up where limited government-run services fell short.
Edhi had also donated his organs but due to continuous medical treatment, only his corneas could be harvested.
Faisal said Edhi refused to go abroad for medical treatment and preferred to die in Pakistan.
Edhi was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2013 but had been unable to get a transplant due to frail health.
He was so widely respected that armed groups and bandits were known to spare his ambulances.
As news broke of his death, social media lit up with tributes lauding him as "the greatest Pakistani". Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan described Edhi as a 'noble soul', while military chief General Raheel Sharif expressed his 'deepest sorrow and regret'.
He came from humble origins and remained a quiet and modest man all his life.
Edhi has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize and appears on the list again this year -- nominated by teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.
Frail and weak in his later years, he appointed Faisal as the managing trustee in early 2016.
Edhi and his wife, Bilquis Edhi, received the 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for public service. He is also the recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize and the Balzan Prize.
In 1989, Edhi received the Nishan-e-Imtiaz from the government of Pakistan.