TOKYO – Faisal Edhi of Edhi Foundation received the 22nd Nikkei Asian Award in Tokyo in recognition of the foundation’s longstanding social and welfare activities for the general public.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Edhi emphasised that regional countries must cooperate and contribute towards the solution of the common problems of poverty, education, health, social insecurity and availability of basic amenities of life.

“We are proud to run all of these activities with the local support of the Pakistani people,” said Faisal Edhi, the son of Abdul Sattar Edhi and current head of the foundation.

He added that peace and harmony in the region could bring vital changes in the lives of masses as more resources might be dedicated to social and welfare well being.

He urged countries like Japan to play a significant role due its influence in international politics and scale of development. He also thanked Nikkei for recognising the contribution of Edhi Foundation towards welfare activities aimed at needy people.

The Nikkei Asia Prizes were created in 1996 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of Nikkei’s main Japanese language newspaper. Now in the 22nd year, the awards are given to individuals and groups in Asia that have made significant contributions to the region’s development.

This year, the culture and community prize went to Edhi Foundation in honor of its wide social welfare charity helping people irrespective of religion, race and social class.

Founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1951, what started as a small free clinic is now the world’s biggest non-governmental welfare organization. To avoid political influences, the foundation does not accept funds from government and overseas charities.