Prosocial Leadership 

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Understanding Prosocial Leadership



Abdul Sattar Edhi 

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Abdul Sattar Edhi was Pakistani philanthropist and humanitarian who founded the Edhi Foundation, which runs the world’s largest volunteer ambulance network. In addition, he was also known for providing support for homeless shelters, rehab centers and orphanages across Pakistan. His ability to raise more donations and having medical students as volunteers, resulted in significant humanitarian impacts.

Today the Edhi Foundation is the largest welfare organization in Pakistan and has rehabilitated over 50,000 orphans and has trained more than 40,000 nurses. Other services include outpatient hospitals, a child adoption center and rescue boats. It also helps in the burials of unidentified bodies. There are cradles for "unwanted babies" outside Edhi emergency centers. In 1997, the foundation entered the Guinness World Records as the "largest volunteer ambulance organization". In 2005 the Foundation donated $100,000 to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the United States.  

Edhi dedicated his life to the poor from the age of 20, when he himself was penniless in Karachi. He set up his first simple pharmacy offering drugs and basic medical care, regardless of people’s ability to pay. He later realized that this was not enough. He then went ahead and opened 24-hour emergency medical assistance to the needy and maternity facilities to homeless as well.

He helped without regard to cast, sect or creed, and correspondingly he was labeled atheist for so. However, the public applauded him for his lifelong commitment to humanity. Throughout his life, Edhi emphasized the humanitarian, rather than religious, motivation for his work. He was keen to help humans following other religions and was of the opinion that Religion has nothing to do with cast, sect or creed.


Submitted by, Komal Punjani

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