The humble Abdul Sattar Edhi has served as a beacon of hope for millions in the country over the last many decades. His is the name that brings the highest level of pride to one when discussing heroic Pakistani figures. Mr Edhi has suffered through uncertain health in recent times, which has saddened the nation and Pakistanis stand united in praying for his health. The nation also hopes that Mr Edhi, a true national treasure, will also be honoured for his selfless dedication to humanitarian causes by being awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, an honour that he should have been bestowed with a long time ago.
However, the humility of the man hailing from a small village in Bantva, Gujarat, is so immense that he would respond to such wishes by saying that he is a human first and serving mankind is simply the purpose of his life. Mr Edhi has said in the past that he does not need any award for his work and that he has received enough in the way of contentment and life satisfaction. In a country where greed, connivance, selfishness and the ‘survival of the fittest’ are often seen in practice, Mr Edhi’s work counters this stereotype. Pakistanis from every background will have only praises to sing of the man as his work exceeds any man-made divisions such as nationality and class. Whether it is his orphanages, world-class ambulance service, homes for the elderly, shelters for various vulnerable groups or clinics, Mr Edhi and his crew have come to citizens’ rescue regardless of their religious, cultural or ethnic affiliations.
Mr Edhi deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for his devotion to humanity — spanning six decades — unmatched by any other Pakistani and few individuals worldwide. For Pakistanis, he ranks among the world’s greatest heroes, such as Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi. Indubitably, it would be the biggest regret for Pakistanis and all those who have any knowledge of Mr Edhi’s feats, if he does not win the Nobel Prize, which he so richly deserves.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2016.
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