5 Individuals Pakistan Is Proud Of
Abdul Sattar Edhi
“My religion is humanitarianism, which is the basis of every religion in the world.”
An unparalleled servant of humanity, Edhi’s seeds in the service of mankind were sowed by the tragic passing away of his paralysed, ill mother due to state neglect. The loss propelled him forth into becoming Pakistan’s most loved humanitarian, whose services are spanned over his life time, from the tender age of 19 to the weathered age of 88. Edhi’s service for mankind was vast, starting off as a pharmacist in Jodia Bazaar, he played an active role in the Asian epidemic, saw and dealt with the tumultuous and abhorrent aftermath of 1965 war, organising 45 funerals, burials and provision of medical care.
Edhi didn’t only hold regard for the living, he was unmatched in his service of the dead, washing and burying unclaimed bodies himself. He was a foster parent to abandoned babies, condemning taking away of innocent lives, and setting up cradles all over Pakistan. In a country marred by violence and negligible health care, Edhi’s ambulance service is an asset, having 1500 ambulances in number, and a dedicated service mindful of time and money.
Pakistan’s richest poor man built an empire in the name of humanity, governed by the attributes of simplicity, punctuality, hard work and honesty. He won awards at a national and international level, such as the London Peace Award, Peace Award Seoul, Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Khidmat Award, Silver Jubilee shield, etc. Abdul Sattar Edhi’s awards may be numerous, but the extent of his servitude and compassion for humanity was infinite.
Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan
A development activist, social scientist, literary personality are a handful of words to describe Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan. A friend to the poor, he was attuned to the needs of the lower strata due to his keen observation and his ability to pierce the superficial cloak of servitude and go beyond it. Khan enabled the poor through visionary projects aimed at improving life chances, such as the Orangi Pilot Project and the Comilla Model, participatory community development initiatives reflective of his philosophy of enabling the poor to help themselves when given the resources.
The projects benefitted the socio-economic development of the lower strata in spades; within a decade of the initiative, local residents had established schools, health clinics, women’s work centres, cooperative stores and a credit organisation to finance enterprise projects. Khan pioneered development programmes ranging from micro finance, family planning to housing provision for rural areas. His dedication, brilliance and understanding shone on the lives of the needy like the warm sun on a cold winter’s day.
He was honoured with several awards, such as the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, Magsaysay award and a honorary doctorate from Michigan State University and was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.
“She was a courageous and brave lady. She was a true pupil of Akhtar Hameed Khan who worked in an environment where most people will avoid to work.”
These are the words which encompass Perveen Rehman’s soul in its entirety. She was a woman of power who took on the challenge of the unknown, the danger that came with it, head on. Rehman was an engineer who had been lured to the life of serving humanity as a result of her own compassion and love for humanity, and so she served as the director of the Orangi Pilot Project, becoming a hero to the masses served by the initiative.
Rehman was responsible for the research and training institute, and managed education, youth training, water supply and secure housing programmes. Her work wasn’t limited only to OPP, she founded her own NGO, Urban Resource centre, which aimed to identify and promote research and documentation on major issues in Karachi and remedy any issues that rose. She was also a member of the board of Saiban. Furthermore, she fought for those who were victimised by the land grabbers, as a result of which she gambled her life.
Her life was spent in the servitude of the poor, empowering them and lessening their sense of deprivation. For some, she was the light at the end of the tunnel; their elder sister. The Fighter for The Poor won several awards, notably the Sitara-e-Shujaat, Faiz Foundation, Jaycees Award.
Dr. Adeebul Hasan Rizvi
Dr. Adeebul Hasan Rizvi is head of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT). SIUT started as an eight bed ward at Civil Hospital, Karachi, and has grown to be Pakistan’s leading & largest Urology and Transplantation Institute.
Recipient of Magsaysay Award, and lots of respect and praise from patients, community and all stakeholders in the society, Dr Adeeb Rizvi is a pioneer in treating kidney related diseases in Pakistan. He started off very humbly by just a ward in the Civil Hospital Karachi where he treated kidney patients. Dr Adeeb Rizvi worked day and night for decades and has come a long way in developing his institute as a leading urology and transplantation facility in this region. He and his team have worked with dedication to provide complete medical care from treatment to medicine, surgery and post-treatment care complete free of cost.
They have a history of treating the elite in the society and have asked for their support in return for their services. Such is the dedication of this amazing Pakistani that despite all the odds against him, he has been able to provide best medical care to the poor and deserving.
Born in a village infested with notions that women of this world are made for marriage and kids only, Humaira Bachal rose from the trenches, armed with a dream: to educate and empower women who are weighed down by the shackles of patriarchy. Her back bone was her mother, Zainab bibi who suffered at the hands of her illiterate husband, but endured and persevered in order to let the caged bird sing.
The Dream Foundation Trust, is truly built on the bedrock of dreams, blood, sweat and tears. Bachal breathed life into her dream in her home’s kitchen and nurtured it through the hurdles. Her efforts were recognized by the ARM, which enlisted the help of the Rotary Club of Karachi, paving way for the manifestation of Dream Model Street School, the gateway to heaven for 1,200 young children and home to 22 teachers in the slums of Moach Goth. The school caters to child labourers by providing evening classes and adult literacy classes for women who were deprived of education.
Her struggle and service in the name of education won her the Youth Award and the Woman Of Impact Award. Bachal truly is an inspiring woman of today, a hegemon in the cause of education for all.
Written by Zainab Adil