20/01: Nominate Edhi for Nobel Peace Prize 2007

Edhi is a name synonymous with charity work and self sacrifice in Pakistan. The man is well known throughout the country and is loved by many. He is one of the most active philanthropists in the world. For some, like me, the value and dedication of his work even surpasses that of Mother Teresa (of Calcutta, India) who did a lot of work in her own right for the betterment of humanity.

Here are some excerpts from Wikipedia about the man and his life:

"Dr. Abdul Sattar Edhi (Urdu: عبد الستار ایدھی), or Maulana Edhi, as he is often known, is one of the most active philanthropists in Pakistan and in the whole world. He is head of the Edhi Foundation in Pakistan. Edhi foundation branches are spread all over world. His wife Begum Bilquis Edhi, heads the Bilquis Edhi Foundation. They both received 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. He is also the recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize.


When his mother would send him to school she would give him two paisa, one to spend for himself and the other to spend for another. At the age of eleven he started to take care of his mother who suffered paralysis from severe diabetes. From an early age Edhi learned to help others before himself - this would be crucial to success in his life later on.


In 1947 his family migrated to Karachi, Pakistan after the Partition of India. In 1951 he used the money he saved up while he was looking after his mother to purchase a small shop. It was at this shop where he opened a tiny dispensary with the help of a doctor who taught him basic medical care. He also encouraged his friends to give literacy classes there. Edhi had spent his life a simple man, and would continue to do so, he would sleep on a concrete bench outside the dispensary so he was available at any time to help people.

In 1957 a major flu epidemic swept Karachi, Edhi was quick to react, he set up tents on the outskirts of the city to distribute free immunizations. Grateful residents donated generously to Edhi and so did the rest of Pakistan after hearing of his deeds. With all the donation money he bought the rest of the building his dispensary was located in, and opened a free maternity centre and nursing school, and so Edhi Foundation was born.


Along with hospitals and ambulance services, Edhi Foundation has set up clinics, maternity homes, mental asylums, homes for the physically handicapped, blood banks, orphanages, adoption centers, mortuaries, shelters for runaway children and battered women, schools, nursing courses and soup kitchens. A unique part of every Edhi centre is that there is a carriage outside each one, so that women who cannot afford to keep their children can simply place their baby in the basket and Edhi Foundation will place it into an orphanage and give them a free education.

Not only has the Foundation grown throughout all of Pakistan but it has grown internationally as well. Edhi's charity has been an integral part of every crisis and disaster in the Muslim world, with himself going out personally to other countries to lend his own support and personally manage his charity's operations. The Foundation has been present in Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya, Bosnia, Sudan, Ethiopia and the countries affected by the Boxing Day Tsunami, to name a few.


Today not just in Pakistan, but in the Muslim world, Abdul Sattar Edhi has earned a reputation as being one of the most selfless and honorable human beings today. Despite his fame and reputation he continues to lead a simple life, he wears traditional Pakistani Shalwar Kameez, of which he only owns one or two, and he owns one pair of slippers, which he has supposedly worn for the last twenty years. This is despite the fact the Edhi Foundation has a $10 million budget, out of which he takes nothing for himself. His son Faisal once stated that when the Foundation was setting up in Afghanistan, local staff had purchased chairs for guests and the press when a new center was being opened, when Edhi arrived he was furious because the money that was spent on the chairs could have been used to help people, that night he slept on the clinic floor with the ambulance drivers.

Today Edhi Foundation continues to grow. Edhi, looking to the future, has stated that he aims to build a hospital every 500 km in Pakistan. Although he is given the title Maulana out of respect, he himself dislikes the title. He has never been to a religious school and he is not an Islamic cleric. He prefers being called 'Doctor' as he has received an honorary doctorate from The Institute of Business Administration in Pakistan for services to humanity. He is also famous for being very shy about his popularity and when people personally praise him for his work. He also refuses to accept donations from governments or formal religious organisations, because according to him they set 'conditions'. Both General Zia-ul-Haq and the Italian government sent him generous donations, which he sent back.


According to the Guinness Book of World Records, as of 1997, Edhi Foundation's ambulance service is the largest volunteer ambulance service in the world. He also personally holds the world record for having gone the longest time working without having taken a holiday. As of when the record was set, he still has not taken a day off work."

International Awards
* 1988 Lenin Peace Prize
* 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service
* 1992 Paul Harris Fellow Rotary International Foundation
* In 2000, Edhi was awarded the International Balzan Prize for Humanity, Peace and Brotherhood.
* On 26 March 2005, Edhi was presented with the Life Time Achievement Award by the World Memon Organisation (WMO).

National Awards
* Nishan-e-Imtiaz from Government of Pakistan 1989.
* Human Rights Award " by Pakistan Human Rights Society.
* Khidmat Award " by Pakistan Academy of Medical Sciences.
* Shield of Honour " by Pakistan Army (E & C).
* Silver Jubilee Shield " by College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan.(1962-1987)
* Recognition of meritorious services to oppressed humanity during eighties " (1989) by Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Government of Pakistan. 45 Years Of Selfless Service.
* The Social Worker of Sub-Continent - 1989 " by Government of Sind
* Pakistan Civic Award 1992 - by Pakistan Civic Society.

To read more about the Edhi Foundation, click here.

You might now be wondering why I have put up all the above stuff in this post. The reason is simple. Nominations are being made for Nobel peace prize and this is a part of the effort to get Edhi nominated for the prize. He deserves it for his selfless efforts for the sake of humanity and for trying to reduce the suffering of human kind wherever he possibly can.

The deadline for the nominations is the 1st of February, 2007. If you want to vote, make sure to vote before that and ask other people you know to do so too.

Below is the link to the Edhi Foundation site where you can vote for the nomination using the form on the right side of the page.

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Nominate Edhi for Nobel Peace Prize 2007

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Nominate Edhi for Nobel Peace Prize 2007 - Teeth Maestro
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Nominating Abdul Sattar Edhi for a Nobel Award: Give Us Your Testimonials - Adil Najam/Pakistaniat.com
Help Nominate Abdul Sattar Edhi for Nobel - cubano
Nominating Abdul Sattar Edhi for a Nobel Award: Give Us Your Testimonials - Shirazi