Coronavirus | Pakistan charity offers help with COVID crisis

Head of Edhi Foundation writes to PM extending 50 ambulances, medical staff

Pakistan-based charity group, the Abdul Sattar Edhi Foundation has offered help to India counter the deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Faisal Edhi, Managing Trustee of the organisation, has extended 50 ambulances and emergency staff to deal with the pandemic that has hit India “exceptionally”.

“Our organisation understands the gravity of the situation, and we wish to lend you our full support, without any inconvenience to you, which is why we will arrange all the necessary supplies that our team needs to assist the people of India. Importantly, we are not requesting any other assistance from you, as we are providing the fuel, food and other necessary amenities that our team will require. Our team consists of emergency medical technicians, office staff, drivers, and supporting staff,” said Mr. Edhi in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The ambulance service of the Edhi Foundation was started by the late Abdul Sattar Edhi, considered the ‘Mother Teresa of Pakistan’. Edhi was born in Gujarat but left for Karachi during Partition. Over more than six decades, he has provided Pakistan with an exceptional private charity initiative in the form of his team which works across the country, including in areas facing conflict such as the Northwest and Balochistan.

Mr. Faisal Edhi proposed that his team would work with local police and administrative authorities of India and expressed his willingness to “deploy” his team wherever the authorities designate.

The Edhi group had helped India earlier in repatriating the orphaned girl Geeta, who was lost in Pakistan, in 2015. Geeta had wandered across the border and was given shelter in the Edhi Foundation’s headquarters in Karachi.

“We look forward to assisting you in managing the current humanitarian crisis, and hope only to provide our help in whatever way that we can, for the benefit of the people of India,” said Mr. Edhi in his letter to Mr. Modi.

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