By: AR Sajid
Google on Monday paid a tribute to Late Abdul Sattar Edhi with its Doodle by portraying him with Edhi ambulance, a mother with two kids, hospital home, pet dog and a book.
Abdul Sattar Edhi founded the world’s largest volunteer ambulance network in Pakistan, the Edhi Foundation.
Unlike wealthy individuals that fund charities in their names, Edhi dedicated his life to the poor from the age of 20, when he himself was penniless in Karachi .
The reach of Edhi’s foundation grew internationally, and in 2015 the organisation raised $100,000 in aid relief for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Edhi was born before partition in Bantva Gujarat, India on February 28, 1928.
He died last year in Karachi due to renal failure. He was offered treatment abroad, but preferred treatment in a government hospital at homeland.
The Edhi Foundation’s slogan is: “Live and help live”.
Tuesday would have been his 89th birthday.
In his honour, Google changed its logo in the United States; Japan; Portugal; Australia; Iceland; New Zealand; Denmark; Estonia; UK; Ireland and Pakistan to a doodle, or illustration, of Edhi.
Google hailed Edhi’s “super-efficient” ambulance service.
“In celebration of Abdul Sattar Edhi, let’s all lend a hand to someone in need today,” it said.
“The doodle selection process aims to celebrate interesting events and anniversaries that reflect Google’s personality and love for innovation,” the company says.
With more than 1,800 ambulances stationed across Pakistan, the Edhi Foundation is Pakistan’s largest welfare organisation. In 1997, the foundation entered the Guinness World Records as the “largest volunteer ambulance organisation”.
If you call 115 in the South Asian nation, the Edhi Foundation will answer.
Throughout his life, Edhi emphasised the humanitarian, rather than religious, motivation for his work.
His foundation receives “zakat” (Islamic charity) donations, which he used to help Muslims, Christians and Hindus.
Asked why he helped non-Muslims, he said: “Because my ambulance is more Muslim than you.”
He also famously lamented: “P eople have become educated … but have yet to become human.”
When he died, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said: “Edhi was the real manifestation of love for those who are socially vulnerable, impoverished, helpless and poor. We have lost a great servant of humanity.”