Book Review – A mirror to the blind

An autobiography of Abdul Sattar Edhi As narrated to Tehmina Durrani

It is an autobiography of a very unusual person. Someone who dedicated his entire life to the service of humankind without any prejudice against caste, color or creed. Although we all know Maulana Edhi but after reading this book one realizes how little we know this person, who appears dishevelled in his slippers and worn out clothes but inside he is a revolutionary, a fighter, a champion of human rights and above all a person whose life work flickers faith in humanity.

Edhi tells us who he started his career in social service. It started in a charity clinic started by his Bantva Memon community. But very soon young Edhi had serious disagreements with the trustees over the treatment of non-community members. Edhi demanded equal treatment for all. In his own words:

"Non-community members had to undergo hectic and long procedures to get free medicines, for me, this was absolutely unacceptable. Although my colleagues respected my efficiency and hard work, I was not appreciated for my views and they turned cold towards me. It did not take me long to notice that those I had thought strong had weaknesses of character."

This eventually led to the parting of ways. Edhi went against the elders of his community and started his famous clinic in Mithadar in 1951. He purchased a eight foot square shop for two thousand and three hundred rupees for this clinic and put a donation box outside with the name 'Memon voluntary Corps. This dispensary was never shut. Despite the opposition from his community he went on doing his charity work with complete dedication.

From this humble beginning his network has spread across the entire length and breadth of Pakistan and has extended his services internationally. The system he has established is a model for a welfare state that he hopes will one day be adopted the Third World.


 

 

 

 

An Autobiography
As narrated to
Tehmina Durrani
A.Sattar Edhi
Foundation, Mithadar,
Karachi
2001

 

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