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Friday, April 12, 2024

Land mafia taking over Edhi properties

Nida Luqman |

The Edhi properties is a non-profit, social welfare program in Pakistan, founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi.

Abdul Sattar Edhi was a Pakistani philanthropist, ascetic and humanitarian who founded Edhi foundation. He was born on 28 February 1928 in Bantva manavadar (British India). His family migrated to Karachi in 1947. He initially started as a peddler, and later became a commission agent selling clothes in the wholesale market in Karachi. After a few years, he managed to establish a free dispensary with the help from his community. He is known as a social worker and a humanitarian.

Read more: Edhi: A noble philanthropist

He married Bilquis Edhi in 1965 who was a nurse at the Edhi dispensary. They had four children, two daughters, and two sons. She runs the free maternity home at Karachi and organizes the adoption of abandoned babies including those born out of wedlock. Edhi was also known for his ascetic lifestyle, owning only two pairs of clothes, never taking the salary from his organization and living in an apartment next to his organization’s office.

His charitable activities expanded in 1957 when an Asian flu epidemic swept throughout Karachi. Donations allowed him to buy his first ambulance in 1957. Later he expanded his charity network with the help of his wife. His method of income was private donations and grants. People trusted him blindly. He owned Pakistan’s biggest network of ambulance services.

The land grabbing mafia have full patronage of some political parties to carry there illegal activites.

Edhi Foundation now has a network of 1,800 minivans ambulances and operate 24 hours emergency services all over Pakistan. Edhi was registered as parent or guardian to nearly 20,000 children. He also rehabilitated over 50,000 orphans and trained over 40,000 nurses. Edhi foundation also runs more than 330 welfare centers in urban and rural Pakistan that operate as a shelter for abandoned women and children in addition to rehabilitation homes and clinics for mentally handicapped. The organization also owns two private jets, one helicopter, and twenty-eight boats.

Read more: Google honors the ‘Angel of Mercy’: Abdul Sattar Edhi

It also hosted relief operations in Africa, Middle East, Caucasus region, Eastern Europe and the US. It provided $100,000 in aid for relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina (2005). Edhi maintained a hands-off management style and was critical of the clergy and politicians.

BBC wrote“That he owned the most respectable figure of Pakistan and was seen by some as almost a saint.”

Abdul Sattar Edhi passed away on 8 July 2016 at the age of 88 due to Kidney failure. His last wish included the request to donate organs but due to his ill health, only his corneas were suitable. He was the third Pakistani to receive the historical state gun carriage funeral after Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Zia Ul Haq.

“Abdul Sattar Edhi was an icon for the Pakistanis and his death left a big void in the hearts of many”

Unfortunately, the treatment that his family is receiving after his death is a sad depiction of how fickle our society is. His wife Bilquis and son Faisal Edhi addressed a press conference last Wednesday where they urged the government to help them out because land mafias are illegally taking over the land of Edhi foundation. According to them, this is happening in several towns of Sindh and other cities of Pakistan.

Abdul Sattar Edhi was a Pakistani philanthropist, ascetic and humanitarian who founded Edhi foundation. He was born on 28 February 1928 in Bantva manavadar (British India).

A recent land grabbing activity has happened in one of the oldest Edhi centers in Thatta (interior Sindh Pakistan) which was built in 1985. It has been taken over by the mafia. Bilquis Edhi and Faisal Edhi are said to have vacated the properties that they legally occupied. She even threatened to shut down the ambulances services if no action is taken to fix the situation.

Read more: Why dark-skinned women often pay a higher dowry?

This illegal mafia is not just grabbing land but also threatening the workers with attacks. The land grabbing mafia has the full patronage of some political parties to carry their illegal activities. Edhi’s have pleaded to the Sindh and Balochistan governments to be vigilant in the matter before the efforts of Abdul Sattar Edhi go to waste.