If more people thought that way

Many of my friends are mourning the death of Abdus Sattar Edhi. The BBC has details:

Renowned Pakistani philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, who dedicated his life to the poor, has died at the age of 88.

Mr Edhi’s family said he died on Friday at a medical centre in Karachi where he had been having treatment for weeks.

The Edhi Foundation now provides a broad range of free social services, including ambulances, orphanages and support for the elderly and disabled.

His funeral was today. Thousands of people went. The Beeb has photos of the crowd. (Sadly it appears to be pretty much all men.)

Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai described Mr Edhi as a “legendary figure”.

“He lived his life for the lives and happiness of others and that is why he is a role model. I haven’t seen anyone else like him,” she told the BBC.

She also repeated her call for him to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr Edhi came from a family of Gujarati traders and arrived in Pakistan in 1947.

But he decided to take up philanthropy after seeing how the state failed to help his family care for his paralysed and ill mother, Dawn newspaper reported.

He opened his first clinic in 1951 and the Edhi Foundation grew to be the country’s largest welfare organisation, running schools, hospitals and ambulance services across the country, often plugging gaps in services which the state simply fails to provide.

Which is somewhat surprising, given the status of Islam in Pakistan and what we’re always told about Islam’s concern for the poor.

Correspondents say Mr Edhi was Pakistan’s most respected figure and was seen by some as almost a saint.

In 2014 he told the BBC that simplicity, honesty, hard work and punctuality were the cornerstones of his work.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to take care of others, that’s what being human means. If more people thought that way, so many problems could be solved,” he said.

The truth in a nutshell.

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