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Edhi sahab, wish you were here!


Hamza Jamil

The entire human race is in a state of war against an unseen, ruthless, and lethal enemy (Corona) marking 2020, a perilous year. There is no remedy found as of yet except adopting some cautionary measures but some people in Pakistan are showing a frivolous attitude towards it.On the other end, health system in many places has become dilapidated.

The toll of infection as well as mortality is rising exponentially. This pandemic has placed our life and health in jeopardy.

Apart from this Pandemic, Pakistan was already in a sorry state of affairs in terms of politics, economics, health, and education. ‘Stable’ and ‘Prosper’ were the words that could only be dreamed of while sleeping. The lackadaisical approach of our society will make us suffer from the greatest depression if not acted wisely.

Some intellectuals names the death of Quaid e Azam, an earlier demise; resulting into leadership crisis in Pakistan. Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam’s dream to make Pakistan prosper in its real sense remains a dream, as we are still in search of a leader who can lead the nation like a leader. The present leadership in Pakistan calls its people illiterate because leadership believes people do not listen to them.

The crisis of leadership in the country is once again visible and this time on account of the coronavirus pandemic. More needs to be done to bolster the nation in times of crises but we are busy in blame games and lampooning each other. What adds insult to injury is that some are demanding premiership to bring Pakistan out of all crisis whereas few recovering from Corona are looking for money to sell their plasma. Humanity is lost and so have we and our leadership.


Pakistan was once blessed by a king without a crown who created a charitable empire out of nothing, and made Pakistan’s largest welfare organization. He is none other than Abdul Sattar Ehdi. Edhi Sahab, we really miss you and wish you were here with us so that people could have listened you.From age 11, he started taking care for his mother after she was paralyzed. When he reached the age of 20, he started something what would become the biggest social services network in our country. But what made Edhi a great philanthropist?

His idea of meticulous care with an unflinching commitment will make him live till doomsday. Many acts of reverence are on his account.From installing cradlesoutside Edhi centers and encouragingpeople not to kill their babiesto taking care of unidentified bodies, Edhi sahab was a beacon of hope in a country too often mired in despair.

Content with just two sets of clothes, he slept in a windowless room of white tiles adjoining the office of his charitable foundation. How he convinced his fellow Pakistanis to give support to their brothers and sisters is something we all should learn from?When he started his work, he was penniless. He sat on the street and asked for donations. People who even had the least, gave him the most. People used to listen to his advices and respected him a lot. His war was against prejudice and cruelty. No politics, no fatwas, no greed. Just humanity for the sake of humanity.

Today PTI leadership accuses people for not cooperating with them and recently Dr. Yasmin Rashid was found calling Lahorites as illiterates in a TV talk show. She allegedly called Lahorites ignorant and held them responsible for spike in cases across the city. The Government should open eyes and push the panic button and impose strict lock down across the country. It should stop acting as if nothing is under their control and they are helpless. We should also act as responsible citizens and follow SOPs announced by Government.

Edhi Sahab wished to be buried in the same clothes he used to wear. He also wanted to donate his body parts, but only his cornea could be donated as rest of the organs were not in healthy condition. Even the two corneas donated by him become source of vision for two blind persons. He never abused anyone and treated all without any discrimination. This is where your personality really matters. Abdul Sattar Edhi rejected Government aid on many occasions and also refused to be treated abroad. He wanted himself to be treated at a Government hospital. People trusted him and never question his integrity. He didn’t belong to any political party. His only aim was to serve humanity. Unfortunately welearnt nothing from him.

Today his son, Faisal Edhi is carrying forward the legacy of his father. It is said that kindness pays you back with kindness. The babies who were left outside Edhi cradles as newborns grew at the organization’s shelter homes. Most of them are now volunteers of the Edhi Foundation and fighting at the forefront of Pakistan’s battle against Corona. Why do they continue risking their well-being for a society that never fully accepted them? Very few among us have a ‘chip’ installed in our hearts that can feel human pain and grief, surely Edhi sahab had that chip.

Hamza Jamil

— The writer teaches students of A levels and IB in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. He can be reached at  hamzajamil1@gmail.com