The Edhi Foundation is one of the largest welfare organisations in Pakistan providing 24-hour emergency services.
The Edhi Foundation is a non-profit social welfare program in Pakistan, founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1951. Edhi until his death on 8 July 2016 was the head of the organization and his wife Bilquis, a nurse, oversees the maternity and adoption services of the foundation. Its headquarters are in Karachi, Pakistan.
The Edhi Foundation provides 24-hour emergency assistance across the nation of Pakistan and abroad. The Foundation provides, among many other services, shelter for the destitute, free hospitals and medical care, drug rehabilitation services, and national and international relief efforts. Its main focuses are Emergency Services, Orphans, Handicapped Persons, Shelters, Education, Healthcare, International Community Centers, Blood & Drug Bank, air ambulance services, Marine And Coastal Services.
In 1951 Abdul Sattar Edhi bought a small shop in Mithadar area of Karachi and opened a free dispensary. From that small beginning Edhi has built up the Edhi Foundation. Edhi established his first welfare center in 1957 and then the Edhi Trust. What started as one man operating from a single room in Karachi is now the Edhi Foundation. The foundation has over 300 centers across the country, in big cities, small towns and remote rural areas, providing medical aid, family planning and emergency assistance. They own air ambulances, providing quick access to far-flung areas.
In Karachi alone, the Edhi Foundation runs 8 hospitals providing free medical care, eye hospitals, diabetic centres, surgical units, a 4- bed cancer hospital and mobile dispensaries. In addition to these the Foundation also manages two blood banks in Karachi. As with other Edhi services, employed professionals and volunteers run these. The foundation has a Legal aid department, which provides free services and has secured the release of countless innocent prisoners. Commissioned doctors visit jails on a regular basis and also supply food and other essentials to the inmates. There are 15 " Apna Ghar" ["Our Home"] homes for the destitute children, runaways, and psychotics.
On 25 June 2013, Edhi's kidneys failed; it was announced that he would be on dialysis for the rest of his life unless he found a kidney donor. Edhi died on 8 July 2016 at the age of 88 due to kidney failure after having been placed on a ventilator. His last wishes included the request that his organs were to be donated but due to his ill health, only his corneas were suitable. He was laid to rest at the Edhi Village Karachi.