Stories about Edhi Foundation

A single cowhide can fetch around $50 in the open market, but where does that money go?

Eidul Azha is finally here. Just the mere thought of it fills my mind with vivid images of beef and lamb stews, korma and pulao. But let’s not forget Eidul Azha also means rejoicing with our family and friends and understanding the concept of sacrifice. Though let’s be honest, that is secondary in the face of the scrumptious food we get to enjoy. Growing up in Pakistan, Eidul Azha also meant spending time at the bakra mandi (cattle market), picking out the best sacrificial animal. It also involved spending Eid morning with the butcher in the yard as he slaughtered, skinned and ...

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Gratitude in itself does not honour legacies, and so it is time for Pakistan to give back to Dr Ruth Pfau

This week, Pakistan lost one of its most modest, humble and underappreciated national treasures. Dr Ruth Pfau, after having dedicated her entire life to the service of this country, left us a few days short of the nation’s 70th birthday at the age of 87. In a country where the phenomenon of brain drain is quite common and talented men and women consistently depart in their pursuit for greener pastures, Dr Pfau was a breath of fresh air. At the age of 30, the German doctor was sent by the Order to India, but due to visa issues, she landed in Karachi, Pakistan. Touched by ...

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#IStandWithEdhi: Making a video defaming the Edhi Centre is easy, but can you be as selfless as Edhi?

I recently came across a distressing video on Facebook where a woman with perfect makeup and a dupatta pinned to her head was going on about something she felt strongly about. I wasn’t bothered by her appearance as such; I was actually concerned about what she was saying and who she was saying it about. The woman was standing outside the Edhi Centre and talking about the filth and cruelty she had witnessed there. She said it was better to kill people rather than keep them in such conditions. After giving an emotional speech for around three minutes, she showed a room with inadequate bedding and some children sitting inside. ...

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She is six and her name is Sarima

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there was a little princess called Sarima*. But wait, this is not a fairy tale. This is a slap in the face of a society that greatly lacks humanity. In this tale of woe, Sarima is a 6-year-old girl whose body was found in a dirty drain in Karachi’s Korangi Crossing area. She had been raped, mutilated and left for dead. When her lifeless body was located and taken to the Civil Hospital, it was a miracle she was still breathing. No one thought she would make it, but she did. God ...

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Remembering Edhi Sahab

The banks of Neelum River, surrounded by the mountains of Kashmir Valley, may seem like an incongruous place to mourn Abdul Sattar Edhi – but I had little choice. That is where I received the news of his demise thanks to a lady who, after finding out that I am from Karachi, immediately asked me if I was going to his funeral. Shocked, I retired to a lonely spot and then the location didn’t seem so strange after all. Like the eternally flowing waters and high mountains Edhi Sahab was inspiring. His life, like these living natural monuments was gigantic, deep and ...

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No, Edhi is not ‘Pakistan’s Mother Teresa’

Abdul Sattar Edhi was a great man. He was one of the greatest men Pakistan – and perhaps even the whole world ­– would probably witness in our lifetime. For, in a country ridden with much despondency, Edhi’s existence served as a beacon of hope for those who bore first hand witnesses to injustice and inequality. His founding of the Edhi Foundation – a momentous philanthropic organisation dedicated to serving the poor and the destitute in the country for over six decades – provided light where there was incessant darkness. He saved lives, time and time again, lives that weren’t ...

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Edhi from a French point of view

Abdul Sattar Edhi has passed away. And it’s safe to say that he was no less than a hero to the nation, a legend that can never be forgotten. He was a humanist, philanthropist, and a man with a big heart who took care of the poor regardless of their religion, race or culture.  “No religion is higher than humanity” was the key tenet of Edhi, and those working with him. And this was apparent from what I saw as I visited the different centres of the foundation. A country that is defined by its religious ideology, where fundamentalists try to ...

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Why I refuse to mourn Abdul Sattar Edhi

After I got to know of Edhi’s demise, I couldn’t sleep at night. My mind kept going back to the work he carried out and the people he left behind. I kept scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed which was full of posts by people mourning this great loss and saying that no hope was left for Pakistan anymore. For some time, I repeated the same things inside my head but then it hit me that it would take a lifetime for the world to see another like him. There was literally no one to walk the earth the way this ...

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Take that, India: Edhi and Pakistan don’t need your money

“You Indians, your country is the rape capital of the world.” “All the minorities should just move out of Pakistan.” “You people don’t even have access to toilets, what are you talking about?” “At least we are not killing people in the name of religion.” The vitriol spewed against Pakistan by an Indian or vice versa is nothing new. Working for a local newspaper in Pakistan, anti-India statements from Pakistanis and vice versa is an everyday norm now. In fact, if you were to quickly browse through this very website and pick any news story or blog, even the ones that don’t remotely ...

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Is your bakra a terrorist?

A week ago or so you were perhaps meandering in the bakra mandi; looking for the perfect specimen to take home. You inspected 20 plus bakras, clutched each animal’s jaw to find out if your bakra-to-be has two or four teeth and sturdy horns – sharp enough to butcher other bakras in the mandi. You inquired about the weight of half a dozen cows, and went to check out that one camel in the neighbourhood also. After loitering around, you finally got down to business, put on your crafty airs and negotiated a deal. You walked out of the mandi with a strong looking, cinnamon dusted bakra. As you ...

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