Edhi dedicated his life to aiding the poor, and over the next sixty years, he single handedly changed the face of welfare in Pakistan. Edhi founded the Edhi Foundation. Additionally, he established a welfare trust, named the Edhi Trust with an initial sum of a five thousand rupees which was later renamed as Bilqis Edhi Trust. Regarded as a guardian for the poor, Edhi began receiving numerous donations, which allowed him to expand his services.
he received the 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. He was also the recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize and the Balzan Prize. In 2006, Institute of Business Administration Pakistan conferred an honoris causa degree of Doctor of Social Service Management for his services. In September 2010, Edhi was also awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bedfordshire. In 1989, Edhi received the Nishan-e-Imtiaz from the Government of Pakistan.
On 1 January 2014, Edhi was voted the 2013 Person of the Year by the readers of The Express Tribune. He was recommended for a Nobel Peace prize by the Prime Minister of Pakistan with more than 30,000 signing a petition by Ziauddin Yousafzai, the father of Malala Yousafzai for his nomination.
To this day, the Edhi Foundation continues to grow in both size and service, and is currently the largest welfare organization in Pakistan. Since its inception, the Edhi Foundation has rescued over 20,000 abandoned infants, rehabilitated over 50,000 orphans and has trained over 40,000 nurses.
It also runs more than 330 welfare centers in rural and urban Pakistan which operate as food kitchens, rehabilitation homes, shelters for abandoned women and children and clinics for the mentally handicapped.
The Edhi Foundation, founded by Edhi, runs the world's largest ambulance service (operating 1,500 of them) and offers 24-hour emergency services. It also operates free nursing homes, orphanages, clinics, women's shelters, and rehab centers for drug addicts and mentally ill individuals.
It has run relief operations in Africa, Middle East, the Caucasus region, eastern Europe and United States where it provided aid following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. His son Faisal Edhi, wife Bilquis Edhi and daughters managed the daily operations of the organization during his ill health.
He was referred as Pakistan's version of Mother Teresa, and the BBC wrote that he was considered
"Pakistan's most respected figure and was seen by some as almost a saint."