Abdul Sattar Edhi - A Living Saint of Pakistan
The day I met Abdul Sattar Edhi, a living saint
Telegraph, April 13, 2011
Sixty years ago, Abdul Sattar Edhi, 82, gave up everything to devote his life to helping Pakistan's poorest. Here, Peter Oborne hails a truly selfless spiritual sage
In the course of my duties as a reporter, I have met presidents, prime ministers and reigning monarchs.
Until meeting the Pakistani social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi, I had never met a saint. Within a few moments of shaking hands, I knew I was in the presence of moral and spiritual greatness.
Mr Edhi's life story is awesome, as I learnt when I spent two weeks working at one of his ambulance centres in Karachi.
The 82-year-old lives in the austerity that has been his hallmark all his life. He wears blue overalls and sports a Jinnah cap, so named because it was the head gear of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
No Pakistani since Jinnah has commanded the same reverence, and our conversations were constantly interrupted as people came to pay their respects.
Mr Edhi told me that, 60 years ago, he stood on a street corner in Karachi and begged for money for an ambulance, raising enough to buy a battered old van. In it, he set out on countless life-saving missions.
Gradually, Mr Edhi set up centres all over Pakistan. He diversified into orphanages, homes for the mentally ill, drug rehabilitation centres and hostels for abandoned women. He fed the poor and buried the dead. His compassion was boundless.
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Edhi Foundation website: http://www.edhifoundation.com/
Aging philanthropist is Pakistan's Mother Teresa - MSNBC
Abdul Sattar Edhi: A Giant Amongst Men by Adil Najam - All Things Pakistan