Updated: April 24, 2021 5:21:26 am
Its founder having roots in India, a philanthropist trust based in Pakistan’s Karachi, has extended a helping hand and written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering a fleet of 50 ambulances and support staff to help India in managing the ongoing second Covid wave.
Having a fleet of at least 1,800 free-of-cost ambulance service currently operational in Pakistan, Abdul Sattar Edhi Foundation of Karachi (one of the largest charity organisations in Pakistan), in their letter to PM Modi, has sought permission to enter India with their ambulances, support staff, drivers technicians and others, to “assist in managing the current humanitarian crisis”.
Speaking to The Indian Express over phone, Faisal Edhi (44), Managing Trustee of the foundation, said that his late father Abdul Sattar Edhi had started the foundation way back in 1951 and currently it is having a fleet of 1,800 ambulances running across Pakistan.
“We have our roots in India but we had migrated to Pakistan during Partition. My father Abdul Sattar was born in village Bantwa of Manavadar in Gujarat. During partition, my grandfather migrated to Pakistan. Right now, what the world is facing is a humanitarian crisis and for the sake of humanity, we thought we should extend a helping hand to our neighbouring country. We are ready to provide a fleet of our 50 ambulances along with support staff to assist the volunteers in India on the ground. We can only try to save as many lives as possible. We saw in the media reports that India has been badly hit by the second Covid wave and the situation is alarming. In Pakistan, the Covid situation is still better as of now so we decided to write to PM Modi so that we can help in whatever way we can,” said Edhi.
The foundation had also come into limelight when they had given shelter to Geeta, a deaf and mute girl from India who had accidentally crossed the border and was later repatriated in 2015.
“My mother, Bilquees Edhi, and son, Saad Edhi, had also met PM Modi and then foreign affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in 2015 when they had gone to India to repatriate Geeta. He knows us very well and we hope he will consider our request to help India in these tough times,” said Faisal Edhi.
He said that if they are granted permission to visit India and extend their help, they will also be bearing fuel and other logistic expenses. “In this hour of crisis, every small effort matters and we would be happy if our ambulances and teams can help in saving some lives in India too,” said Edhi.
The letter written by Edhi to PM Modi reads, “…We are very sorry to hear about the exceptionally heavy impact that the pandemic has had in your country, where a tremendous number of people are suffering immensely…As a neighbourhood friend, we sympathise with you greatly and during this strenuous time we would like to extend our help in the form of a fleet of 50 ambulances along with our services to assist you in addressing, and further circumventing, the current health conditions.”
“We wish to lend you our full support, without any inconvenience to you, which is why we will arrange all necessary supplies that our team needs to assist people of India. Importantly, we are not wanting 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,” the letter adds.
The letter concludes that their only request is permission to enter India as well as any necessary guidance from the local administration and police department.
“We have sent the letter to PM Modi and the Indian Embassy in Pakistan. Response is awaited,” said Edhi.
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