This is part of our new series, ‘Khaas Log’, that highlights the extraordinary people within our community who are inspiring with even the smallest acts of bravery, kindness and generosity that they spread around them.
Dr. Ruth Pfau was a German nun who moved to Pakistan in the wake of World War II.
Consequently, she dedicated fifty years of her life to combating leprosy in the country.
The journey she decided to traverse upon was not easy.
She set out to help a community that was heavily ostracized due to the deformities the disease affecting them brought alongside. However, the disease was curable, and that’s all Dr. Ruth Pfau needed to know.
After escaping from West Germany, Dr. Ruth found herself drawn to leprosy patients after visiting a leprosy center in Karachi.
Her immense dedication and devotion to making life easier for her patients eventually led to the inauguration of The Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre. In 2016, it was reported that The Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre alone registers 500 patients every year.
However, on 10th August 2017, Dr. Ruth Pfau passed away at 87 years of age.
Pakistanis were heartbroken that our country’s Mother Teresa had passed away. The fact that she dedicated a large portion of her life towards a social cause didn’t go unnoticed.
Her loss was mourned by prominent leaders…
Saddened to learn of Dr Ruth Pfau's passing. Her spirit of selfless dedication leaves a void that will be difficult to fill.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 10, 2017
She came to Pakistan 56 years ago and spent her life looking after the diseased and dispossessed. We owe u a debt of gratitude Dr Ruth Pfau?
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) August 10, 2017
…and various Pakistani citizens.
An angel left the world
Dr Ruth Pfau 1929-2017
She has, single-handedly, turned the tide of leprosy in Pak.
She was German bt loves Pakistan pic.twitter.com/xGrMBRfkUN
— Shoaib Jatt (@Shoaib_Jatt) August 10, 2017
— Ghulam Abbas Shah (@ghulamabbasshah) August 10, 2017
Dr. Ruth was rightfully conferred with a state funeral when she passed away.
— Zeba Hussain (@ZZebahussain) August 19, 2017
Now, the government has decided to commemorate her life in a special way.
The federal cabinet approved a proposal to issue 50-rupee coins to honor Dr. Ruth’s memory. Around 50,000 pieces of the coin will be issued. The proposal was approved on Wednesday in a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Undoubtedly, celebrating the life and work of such a prominent figure is highly laudable. Dr. Ruth made a home away from home in Pakistan and welcomed those who had been cast aside into her loving arms. It is imperative that someone like her is remembered for years to come.
What do you think about this initiative? Let us know in the comments.
If you know someone around you with an extraordinarily khaas story, share it with us so we can highlight these ‘Khaas Log’ that live within us.
Cover image via: tribune.com.pk