“No religion is higher than humanity.” — Abdul Sattar Edhi
Abdul Sattar Edhi, one of the World’s most Humanitarian stand out figure in the modern century, is also called as Mother Teresa of Pakistan. Although, his character and personality has no need of introduction but it has and will always be an honor for every common or special individual like me to get once is a while an opportunity to get to say or write a few words in his appraisal. Indeed, why would somebody miss it. Edhi sb., started Edhi foundation out of nothing to serve every race of human and each form of humanity as selflessly as the Sun that burns itself to brighten others’ days, warm others’ body and soul, and enlighten the seven skies.
The same Edhi foundation which served millions of lives is now falling short of funds, which began soon after the department of the soul of Edhi sb. from this World into heavens. The reason is obvious, when Edhi departed away from us, people felt that a strong part of them has gone away and thus, they do not believe that the Edhi foundation will be able work as strongly and genuinely as it used to do in the presence of this Angel. And this is where people are wrong because it is a painful truth that his great soul is not among us but it is also true that his evergreen spirit still is. The people only need to realise this spirit i.e. the Edhi within themselves. And so, for the noble cause of raising funds for Edhi foundation the Amal Academy has taken the initiative and for this reason I would like to thank the Amal family.
As a part of Amal family and more so as a fan of Edhi sb, me and my friends brainstormed ideas to collect as much funds as possible — we did it before Eid — but the most our ideas which we come up with gets washed away due to heavy rain and Eid holidays. Therefore, we wanted to get back on the track to raise funds and then suddenly, I get a call and email that I got a job at my favourite company, IITC. As much as it was a moment of happiness and pride, it was also a moment of sorrow that I would not be able to work for Edhi fund raising over the week as the job days are Monday — Saturday between 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. But like every great friend circle, my circle decided to go on streets to collect funds on Sunday just for me.The problem with Sunday is low audience, especially if you are in Karachi. Thus, we decided to go #extramile, that is to expand the ground area we wish to cover and also got to collaborate with the members of other circle to improve our performance and effectiveness (keeping any competitional behaviour aside for the noble cause). We covered the market of Jauhar near Continental bakery, malls of Millenium and the surrounding markets, and last but not the least we covered different markets at Hyderi without any pause for almost a quarter of the day i.e. 6 hours straight.
Since we start the activity around 1 PM on Sunday so as expected, there were very few people on streets and therefore, almost all the shops were closed as well. But we did not give up, we try our best to cover as much area as possible to look out for any shop open or to approach any person present. Beginning from the continental at Jauhar, I received my first surprise when the very first shop person we ask for fund not just welcome us with open arms but also praises us and in his wisdom advised us to come there again other than Sunday. The second thing that I find most fascinating was that Pathan/ Pashtuns were more willing to give after knowing the cause of funds collection. And now, finally a known yet still shocking and unbelievable fact that Poor peoples have the Richer heart. There was not a single poor or lower middle-class person that turned us down, either having a small shop of electronics or khoka of pa’an, but those who turned us down were the ones with cars or big, modern shops at malls.
Overall, in my experience we end up collecting less than targeted but much more than expected because of usual Sunday in Karachi. I had no fear of being turned down but only afraid was that we wouldn’t be allow to begin with it. It partially went true at some malls when we were stopped in between. But, everytime we faced a failure we just gave another try somewhere else because as Edison said:
“The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
The next day, my group went solely and collected more funds by practicing similar but improved ideas with the help of feedback from the Awam (public) and by following the six steps of #Amalproblemsolvingchallenge. These are:
1. Own the problem
2. Identify and understand the problem
3. Brainstorm as many solutions as possible
4. Ask for help
5. Try the first idea and collect feedback
6. Continue repeating step 5 using different ideas (don’t give up)!
Needless to say, that we were actually following the 6 steps from the start. But this time we settle with 3 ideas i.e. to raise funds on working days, to spread the message across our family and relatives and neighbours as well and to rotate the cause on our social media platform too. Our most potential idea was to conduct a workshop or gaming activity to collect funds which remained unpractical so far due to numerous reasons but again we are not going to give up. So, to all those who read this, wish us Luck!