Edhi Foundation

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EDHI Foundation (Pakistan)
Edhifoundation.png
Founder(s)Abdul Sattar Edhi
Founded1951[1]
HeadquartersKarachi, Pakistan
Key peopleAbdul Sattar Edhi, co-founder and co-chair
Bilquis Edhi
Area servedSocial Welfare, Humanitarianism
FocusEmergency Services, Orphans, Handicapped Persons, Shelters, Education, Healthcare, International Community Centers, Blood & Drug Bank, Air Ambulance Services, Marine And Coastal Service
MethodDonations and Grants
EndowmentRs. 5000 [$100]
Motto"Live and help live" [2]
Websitewww.edhi.org
 
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EDHI Foundation (Pakistan)
Edhifoundation.png
Founder(s)Abdul Sattar Edhi
Founded1951[1]
HeadquartersKarachi, Pakistan
Key peopleAbdul Sattar Edhi, co-founder and co-chair
Bilquis Edhi
Area servedSocial Welfare, Humanitarianism
FocusEmergency Services, Orphans, Handicapped Persons, Shelters, Education, Healthcare, International Community Centers, Blood & Drug Bank, Air Ambulance Services, Marine And Coastal Service
MethodDonations and Grants
EndowmentRs. 5000 [$100]
Motto"Live and help live" [2]
Websitewww.edhi.org

The Edhi Foundation is a non-profit social welfare program in Pakistan, founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi[3] in 1951. Edhi is the head of the organization and his wife Bilquis, a nurse, oversees the maternity and adoption services of the foundation. Its headquarters are in Karachi, Pakistan.

The Edhi Foundation provides 24-hour emergency assistance across the nation of Pakistan and abroad. The Foundation provides, among many other services, shelter for the destitute, free hospitals and medical care, drug rehabilitation services, and national and international relief efforts. Its main focuses are Emergency Services, Orphans, Handicapped Persons, Shelters, Education, Healthcare, International Community Centers, Blood & Drug Bank, air ambulance services, Marine And Coastal Services.

Contents

Origin

Edhi established his first welfare center and then the Edhi Trust with a mere Rs. 5000 {Approx. $55.56}. What started as one man operating from a single room in Karachi is now the Edhi Foundation, the largest welfare organization in Pakistan. The foundation has over 300 centers across the country, in big cities, small towns and remote rural areas, providing medical aid, family planning and emergency assistance. They own air ambulances, providing quick access to far-flung areas.

In Karachi alone, the Edhi Foundation runs 8 hospitals providing free medical care, eye hospitals, diabetic centers, surgical units, a 4- bed cancer hospital and mobile dispensaries. In addition to these the Foundation also manages two blood banks in Karachi.

20,000 abandoned babies have been saved.

40,000 qualified nurses have been trained

50,000 orphans are housed in Edhi Homes

1 million babies have been delivered in Edhi Maternity Centres

Born in 1928 in Bantva, Gujarat, India, Edhi’s family belonged to the industrious Memon community. From a young age his mother taught Edhi to be kind towards others and to help the poor. In the partition of India in 1947 the family migrated to Pakistan and settled in Karachi. That was a time of great emotional trauma and social and political upheaval. Edhi became involved in social work and began working with welfare organizations and soon started his own dispensary, providing medical aid to the poor. He bought his first ambulance, an old van which he called the "poor man’s van" and went around the city providing medical help and burying unclaimed bodies. His van became his advertisement and soon he came to be known for his work with the poor. As a consequence, donations started pouring in and his operations expanded, employing additional nurses and staff. It was here that Edhi met his wife Bilquis who was a trainee nurse at the dispensary. They were married in 1966. Bilquis became an ideal partner in life and work for Edhi.

The Edhi Foundation grew as people began to recognize its humanitarian aims. In 1973 when an old apartment building collapsed in Karachi, Edhi’s ambulances and volunteers were the first to reach the scene and start rescue operations. From then, on, through the troubles in Karachi and all over the country, Edhi’s ambulances have been rescuing and taking the injured to hospitals and burying unclaimed bodies. They go to places where even government agencies hesitate to venture.

The Edhi Foundation is the first of its kind in South Asia that owns air ambulances, providing quick access to far-flung areas. Whether it is a train accident or a bomb blast, Edhi ambulances are the first to arrive. The foundation relies on the support of its 3,500 workers and thousands of volunteers who form the backbone of the organization.

Despite the growth of the foundation, Edhi remains a very down-to-earth person, dressed always in grey homespun cotton local clothes. He has a hands on approach to his work, sweeping his own room and even cleaning the gutter if need be. Apart from the one room, which he uses for his living quarters, the rest of the building serves as his workplace in Mithadar, a locality of old Karachi that is full of narrow streets and congested alleyways. Adjoining their living room is a small kitchen where Bilquees usually prepares the midday meal. Next to it is a washing area where bodies are bathed and prepared for burial.

When Edhi is not traveling to supervise his other centers, a typical day for him begins at five in the morning with morning Fajr prayers. His work starts thereafter answering any calls for help, organizing and meeting people in need while afternoons are spent at various centers and hospitals all over the city. In the evening he dines with hundreds of poor at his "free community meals common among South East Asia" at another Edhi centre in the city. His Fridays are invariably spent at homes for the destitute children where Edhi personally helps bathe the ones who are physically handicapped, before joining them for Friday prayers. Occasionally, when he is able to, he also takes them out for picnics.

In Karachi alone, the Edhi Foundation runs 8 hospitals providing free medical care, eye hospitals, diabetic centres, surgical units, a 4- bed cancer hospital and mobile dispensaries. In addition to these the Foundation also manages two blood banks in Karachi. As with other Edhi services, employed professionals and volunteers run these. The foundation has a Legal aid department, which provides free services and has secured the release of countless innocent prisoners. Commissioned doctors visit jails on a regular basis and also supply food and other essentials to the inmates. There are 15 " Apna Ghar" ["Our Home"] homes for the destitute children, runaways, and psychotics and the Edhi Foundation states that over the years 3 million children have been rehabilitated and reunited with their families thorough the Edhi network.

The foundation also has an education scheme, which apart from teaching reading and writing covers various vocational activities such as driving, pharmacy and para-medical training. The emphasis is on self-sufficiency. The Edhi Foundation has branches in several countries where they provide relief to refugees in the USA, UK, Canada, Japan, and Bangladesh. In 1991 the Foundation provided aid to victims of the Gulf war and earthquake victims in Iran and Egypt.

Edhi plans mass campaigns against narcotics, illiteracy, population control and basic hygiene. Edhi’s wife Bilquees works in the areas of maternity centre management. She runs 6 nursing training schools in Karachi, which provide basic training courses. These centres have so far trained over 40,000 qualified nurses. Some 20,000 abandoned babies have been saved and about a million babies have been delivered in the Edhi maternity homes. Bilquees also supervises the food that is supplied to the Edhi hospitals in Karachi. The total number of orphans in Edhi housing is 50,000 and Edhi’s two daughters and one son assist in the running of the orphanages and the automation of these institutions.

Edhi’s vision is to create an institution that will carry on his life’s work and survive for a long time to come. His dream is that of a Pakistan as a modern welfare state, which provides a safety net for the poor and needy while providing basic health and education with vocational skills. A welfare state Edhi feels is the only way to tackle Pakistan’s myriad social problems. He hopes that one day, Pakistan will be a model for other developing countries.

In 1985 Edhi received the Nishan-e-Imtiaz from the Government of Pakistan and in recognition of their services the Government of Philippines awarded Edhi & Bilquees the Magsayay award.

The Edhi Foundation has also saved Mohammad Humzah Paracha's life, a boy from Karachi, who is fifteen years old. He suffered from lip problems. He is now fine, thanks to Abdul Sattar Edhi's persistent and determination to heal the boy.

Programs

Note The Edhi Foundation is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the largest volunteer ambulance organization in the world.
  • Field Ambulance Service provides 1800 ambulances (the largest ambulance fleet in Pakistan and the largest private ambulance service network in the world).
  • Air Ambulance Service provides two airplanes and one helicopter.
  • Marine and Coastal Service provides weather warnings, air-drops food supplies, and recovers dead bodies.
  • Emergency Checkposts provides immediate, emergency care.

Edhi Adoption center phone number is 0092-21-32443158.

Edhi Service Expansion

Edhi Homes for the Destitute

The establishment/extension of additional Edhi Homes for the destitute during next three years is planned for all major cities. Peshawar Quetta, Muzaffarabad, Chitral, Gujranwala and Lahore. The estimated cost of the above facilities is over Rs.100 million.

Rehabilitation Centre for Heroin Addicts

Rehabilitation and associated training centres are planned for learning skills. A ball point manufacturing plant will be established at Super-Highway, at a cost of Rs.2.5 million. This is in addition to the drug abuse rehabilitation programme already in Operation Ambulance Centres And Associated Ambulances The number of ambulances will be increased from existing 400 ambulances to 650 ambulances over the next two years. The total cost of ambulance Centres and associated ambulances will be approximately 56 million.

Rural Centres

Rural Welfare Centres will be established to organise medical and other aids to the poverty and drought stricken areas of Utthal in Baluchistan, and Thar and Cholistan in Sindh. These centres will supplement the Foundation’s relief centres already in Operation.

Edhi Community Centres

In its next phase of development, Highway Centres, which are mainly located in rural areas, shall be converted into community centres to create awareness regarding literacy, health, sanitation, safe drinking-water and immunisation. The programme will also support the community for solving their problems on self-help basis. Small loans will be granted for poultry farming and cattle breeding through Edhi Community Centres. Establishment of Specialised Centres for Treatment For treatment of renal problems and poor cancer patients, the Foundation hopes to build specialised hospitals and surgical units in Pakistan.

Ambulance aircraft

Five additional ambulance aircraft will be acquired within the next three years. This will include two helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft.[citation needed]

Construction of Hospitals at Every 100 Kilometres

During accidents on highways, deaths occur due to non availability of timely medical treatment. The Foundation hopes to build traumatology centres during the next three years at every 100 kilometers to save precious lives.

Edhi Public Kitchen

Edhi Foundation hopes to build public kitchens in major cities of Pakistan and in Third World countries during the next three years for basic food supplies to the poor, needy and drought-stricken areas.

Establishment of Reserve Funds

In order to run Edhi services and meet recurrent expenditures on long-term footing, the Foundation hopes to raise Rs.400 million within the next five years as a reserve fund which will act as a fixed deposit base. These funds will be generated through community efforts.[5]

References

External links