Pakistani Philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi Passes Away At 92

09/07/2016 10:33 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST
ASIF HASSAN via Getty Images
In this photograph taken on February 15, 2016, Abdul Sattar Edhi, the head of Edhi Foundation, waves as he journeys to his office in the port city of Karachi. He created a charitable empire out of nothing, masterminding Pakistan's largest welfare organisation. Today Abdul Sattar Edhi is revered by many as a national hero. / AFP / ASIF HASSAN / To go with ' Pakistan-Social-Health' FEATURE by Caroline Nelly Perrot (Photo credit should read ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images)

KARACHI -- Pakistan's celebrated philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi who dedicated his life to humanity and social services today passed away at the age of 92 after a prolonged battle with different ailments.

His son, Faisal Edhi said that earlier in the day, Edhi was admitted to the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation and put on a ventilator after complaining of breathing problems.

"He passed away few hours ago due to kidney failure. He had been facing respiratory problems during dialysis due to his frail health," Faisal said.

The well-known and popular philanthropist who dedicated his life to humanity and social services was seen as the saviour of the poor and needy.

Edhi who formed the famous Edhi village 25 years ago which was home to the homeless, destitute, street children, elderly, abandoned babies and addicts was Chairman of the Edhi foundation which was celebrated for its humanitarian work.

Faisal said his father's kidneys had failed in 2013 and he was on dialysis treatment but he couldn't get a transplant due to his frail health.

In June, former President Asif Ali Zardari had offered to send Edhi abroad for treatment but he refused saying he would prefer to get treatment in Pakistan at a government hospital just like the poor an needy people of the country.

"Before his death he had donated his coronaries and body organs," Faisal said.

"We can assure you that the Edhi foundation and village will continue his legacy in humanitarian work," Faisal said.

Nominated several times for the Nobel peace prize he was again in this year's list. He has won a host of international awards in recognition of his work.

"My father's dream was to turn Pakistan into a welfare state and he single-handedly started the Edhi foundation which till today carries on its operations through private donations," Faisal said.

"Till today my father didn't own a house and the pair of shoes he died in were brought 20-years ago," he said.

Belonging to a family of memon traders who came to Karachi in 1947, Edhi who was born in Gujarat started his welfare mission in 1951 opening his first home for homeless and sick in the Kharadar area in Karachi.

Soon after news of his passing away was flashed on the television channels, hundreds of people started gathering outside the hospital and Edhi village as announcements were made Sattar Edhi would be buried on Saturday.

"He had confirmed burial space 25-years ago near Edhi village and will be buried there as per his wishes," Faisal said.

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