There are two petitions circulating on social media and they are both for nominating the great social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi for honours he rightly deserves. Both have been a huge success – the appeal for nominating him for the Noble Peace Prize at last count stood at 135,502 signatures and the appeal for naming the new International Airport of Islamabad after him has so far garnered a little more than this amount. Both are still being widely circulated and signed.
The nomination for the Peace Prize is technical and follows certain rules and regulations. According to the statutes of the Nobel Foundation, a nomination is considered valid if it is submitted by a person who falls within one of the following categories:
•Members of national assemblies and governments of states
•Members of international courts
•University rectors; professors of social sciences, history, philosophy, law and theology; directors of peace research institutes and foreign policy institutes
•Persons who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
•Board members of organizations that have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
•Active and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee; (proposals by members of the Committee to be submitted no later than at the first meeting of the Committee after February 1)
•Former advisers to the Norwegian Nobel Committee
Reviewing the above list puts a question on the social media appeal for the Peace prize, which may not be valid unless someone or some group eligible for the process has begun it, but naming the new Islamabad is the prerogative of our government and citizens can appeal for it to be named after a person of their choice. Abdul Sattar Edhi has given his life to serving humanity and needs to be honoured in his lifetime, so the appeal is a genuine desire to see that this takes place. Do sign up if you have not done so already.
Naming important places after political entities takes place on a regular basis and a change in government often means that a change of name of these places takes place as well, as each political party wants to honour its own ‘heroes.’ By naming the Islamabad International Airport after Edhi sahib at least the name will remain permanent and also remind generations to come of what greatness is made of and maybe inspire others to follow in his footsteps. Born on January 1, 1928 in united India, Edhi grew up taking care of his ailing mother who suffered from paralysis and diabetes. She taught him a daily lesson by giving him two paisas, one to spend on himself, and one on someone less fortunate. This simple lesson shaped him into the great man that he is today.