“Money is often a matter of chance or good fortune and is not the mark of a successful life. It is not the thing that brings a throb of pleasure or a thrill into my life.”
- Charles M. Schwab
Born in the village of Bantva near Joona Garh in the state Gujrat in Pre-partition era in 1928. His philanthropic roots were laid down in his initial childhood when his mother will give one paisa to buy his lunch and one paisa to give away. After partition, he with his family came to Karachi and began their small business of clothes. His mother died when he was 18 years old after a long illness of eight years. He saw suffering through his own eyes in a very tender age, which made him sensitive towards the sufferings and miseries of others. This sensitive nature urged him to develop an organization of his own. In 1951, he started a free dispensary with his money. Later on, with the help of public funds he was able to establish the centre named as Eidhi Centre. He began all this singlehandedly and then some kindred souls joined him in this noble act. The centre that was initially a small dispensary with only one ambulance is now serving the humanity with about 400 centres all around the country with 1800 ambulances, two small planes and helicopters as air ambulances.
He fought bravely against religious extremism and gave place to the orphans and illegal children. A cradle is placed out the centre to reduce the infanticide. Because his take was, “No religion is higher than humanity.” This saved almost twenty thousand infants from death. This act is not only giving life to thousands but also helping those who do not have the blessing of children. He established orphanages and gave his name to innumerable children officially. He is now regarded as “Father Teresa” of Pakistan. By the time of his death, Eidhi was registered as father of nearly twenty thousand children. He fought for the rights of orphans and won a case for national identity cards for orphans. The children are well taken care of in these orphanages and get quality education. Those kids are now serving their country in best possible ways making world a better place to live.
Eidhi foundation is not just a foundation but also, a completely humanitarian world serving billions of people. It has the largest morgue where dead bodies are taken to their final destination with full respect and care. In the month of Ramadan, food is supplied to hundreds and thousands houses. Only in the city of Karachi about forty -fifty lac metres of cloth is given to people. Food, shelter and Cloth, Eidhi tried to provide basic needs to every human as it is right of everyone to live a proper life and he successfully succeeded in his aim. Foundation also has marine ambulances to rescue victims from flooded areas. The child adoption centre saves millions of life and provide childless couples with the blessing of child. It is then checked by and then that the adopted child is well taken care of. The description of Eidhi centre is incomplete without Bilqees Eidhi School where children are provided with free education from class one to five. Eidhi knew that due to increasing population, heightening inflation and joblessness, many children could not go to school. Therefore, he established school in under developed areas and now these schools are making individuals who matter to society.
His services are not limited to human beings but extend to animals. His animal hospital has facilities of food and care for all species of animals. These centres have all sorts of animals and now the almost portray the picture of a zoo.
He supported and promoted earning opportunities for women. Out of the 2,000 paid workers of his Eidhi Foundation, around 500 are women. They are working in all areas from nursing in maternity homes to raising funds for foundation. Without any discrimination, his love and care was for everyone. Eidhi saw charity as a central tenet of Islam and lived humbly with his wife, Bilquees, in the same building as his organisation's offices.
He is often compared with Mother Teresa but unlike her, he faced many obstacles in his way including death threats. His ambulances, his volunteers, his centres were attacked. He was saving lives and instead he was threatened for his own life. In October 2013, Islamists occupied one of his Karachi facilities and stole £400,000 (it was quickly replaced with a flood of donations), and the baby cradles he and Bilquees set up to accept unwanted babies were criticised as “encouraging out-of-wedlock births.” "They call him an infidel, saying that he does not say his prayers," Bilquees told the Guardian. "What we are doing should be done by the government and should be appreciated, but instead we are blamed." This certainly is an utterly inhumane act.
As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want in the world”, Abdul Sattar Eidhi presented his nation with a practical example. He is known as “Angel of Mercy” as he served, without discrimination, all the abandoned, sick, destitute and the ostracized. The nation can never forget his selfless services to humanity. He did what he said and we never saw a difference between his words and his acts
“My religion is humanitarianism, which is the basis of every religion in the world. Empty words and long praises do not impress God. Show Him your faith by your deeds”