March 10, 2011 Leave a comment
Years ago, when I was asked what would I do if I fail to do anything in Pakistan? My reply was that I will still prefer to live in Pakistan because they have Edhi Centers. From cradle to grave, they take care of everything.
The name “Edhi” in Pakistan is the symbol of humanity, sincerity and trust.
I had to spend the whole day yesterday at the funeral of one of our relative. She died in her nineties. On Tuesday night she was taken to the hospital and an hour later her body was sent to Edhi Center to be kept in freezer until it was ready for burial. The next morning, her daughters and a couple of relatives reached there to wash the body (ghusl) and wrapped it in white clothes (kafn) and brought it home for final procession (i.e. the family members may apologize the deceased person, his/her debts are paid off, pardoned or transferred to another person, final sight and funeral prayer).
Few years ago, Mr. Edhi made an exclusive request to donate for burial services. They needed money to buy land for grave, coffin and clothes for unclaimed dead bodies.
Now I came to know that most of the dead bodies, even of the well off people, are brought to Edhi Center for this purpose. They use electricity, maintain the premises, buy wood to prepare coffins, buy clothes for kafn, pay to workers and drivers, use petrol or CNG, use stationary for documentation. I am not sure if they charge everyone for their services but they should. Why Edhi Centers? Isn’t it the responsibility of government hospitals or private hospitals to provide this facility?
If they can’t, then….
1) people should force government to allocate land and funds to establish Edhi funeral homes all over Pakistan
2) professionals from related fields can sponsor training sessions for their workers
3) rich people can sponsor jobs or the salary of Edhi’s staff on yearly basis or they can finance their own employees to spend few hours a week or month to work at different branches of Edhi Foundation.
4) Schools, colleges and universities can arrange practical workshops for their students to volunteer at Edhi centers on weekends or holidays. The hours of their volunteer services and their progress report should have points to be included in their mark sheets.
There is a lot that people can do for them to maintain and beautify their centers. Their gates , grills and walls need to be painted, their floors need to be leveled, their passages need to be filled with plants and flowers, their slaughter house need to supplied with disinfectants, their children need to be provided with activities, their animal shelter need to be equipped with vet-staff, animal food, grassy patches, trees, flowers, plants, water and handy food for their workers at the shelter.
Edhi Foundation is not a charity anymore. It has become the soul of Pakistan, a trust-building amenity between all Pakistanis. Edhi’s name and services should immediately be made the part of our educational curriculum from Elementary to Ph.D. His photos deserve to be placed right next to Allama Iqbal, Quaid-e-Azam and Ms. Fatima Jinnah. May God bless him and his family and the entire team for symbolizing Pakistan with true spirit of humanity, Ameen!