Essay on Our Greatest Social Workers

“You are helping heroes, you provided unexampled help to the sufferers and appealed to the conscience of the nation.”

Maulana Abdul Sattar Edhi and his wife, Bilquis Edhi, are perhaps the most famous and important social workers in Pakistan. The husband and wife work day and night for the welfare and progress of poor people in distress. Maulana Edhi migrated to Pakistan from India soon after Partition and, though quite young, he established small social welfare centers one after another. In 1966 he married a nurse who herself was devoted to the service of human beings. Mrs. Bilquis Edhi, a woman of great courage and strong determination (firm aims), co-operated with Maulana Edhi in the establishment of the Edhi Foundation. Both the husband and wife continued, and are continuing, their social welfare work with renewed effort through this institution.

The Edhi Foundation of Maulana and Mrs. Edhi maintains (keeps) free ambulance and helicopter service and mobile dispensaries for use by the whole nation. The Trust has more than 200 centers across the country, and some even in Eastern Europe and other parts of the world, to help ill and injured poor people with free medical care, food, clothing and shelter.

The Trust runs an orphanage where Mrs. Edhi looks after about 40,000 parentless children to be offered to childless parents for adoption. In addition to this Maulana and Ms. Edhi have treatment and rehabilitation (resettlement) centres for drug addicts. Homes for very poor women where they can knit or work for money are also kept. Bilquis Edhi was only a schoolgirl when she started working at an Edhi Centre with Maulana Edhi. After marriage she had children, but she became more interested in social service. She started having nursing and vocational (professional) training schools for helpless women where they get scholarships during training.

The life mission (purpose) of Maulana and Mrs. Edhi is, firstly, to help people who get injured in accidents, floods, earthquakes, wars, disturbances, etc. and to help those who need food, clothing and shelter, in famines (long periods of dry weather). Their organization provides people with medical treatment and monetary support. Secondly, they aim at helping poor and helpless men, women, children and students to start working and earning honorably. Thirdly, they desire to help in the establishment of a society free from injustice, inequality, poverty, hunger and violence (use of force). They get funds for the achievement of their aims mostly through donations. They want to tell the poor that, without government help and through self-help, they can establish themselves in life. Maulana and Mrs. Edhi live very simply and spend most of the money they collect on the wellbeing of the suffering humanity.

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