Mother of nation Bilquis Edhi  Passed away at the age of 74

The renowned philanthropist late Abdul Sattar Edhi’s wife and co-chair of Edhi Foundation, the mother of the nation, Bilquis Bano Edhi on Friday transcended to eternal abode after brief hospitalization facing congestive heart failure and two bypass surgeries.

Bilquis Edhi left thousands of destitute and orphan children aggrieved mourning her sad demise. 

About Bilquis Edhi

Bilquis Bano Edhi was a professional nurse and was born on 14th August 1947 in Bantva, the then British India . She headed the Bilquis Edhi Foundation. She has spent more than six decades of her life in serving humanity in need. Her charity has saved over 42,000 unwanted babies so far by placing “jhoolas” [cradles] at the Edhi Homes and centres across the country.

The cradles placed by her spouse Abdul Sattar Edhi across the country carried the message “Do not kill, leave the baby to live in the cradle” in English and Urdu. It helped parents leave their unwanted babies or those unable to be brought up in that cradle instead of killing them.  

Pakistan’s towering philanthropist and humanitarian Bilquis Edhi was earlier declared the ‘Person of the Decade’, along with human rights rapporteur of the UN Prof Yanghee Lee and the US ethicist Stephen Soldz.

A spokesperson for the Edhi Foundation told APP that as per the domino effect verdict, announced on Friday by the Impact Hallmarks, Bilquis Edhi was declared the most impactful person of the first two decades of the 21st century.

Called the Mother of Pakistan, Bilquis Edhi has already been given various national and foreign awards including Hilal-e-Imtiaz, the Lenin Peace Prize, Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice (2015), and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service, she received along with her husband Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1986.

The Impact Hallmarks, an international web-based organisation that conducted the process, said in its announcement that the three persons – Bilquis Edhi, Prof Yanghee Lee and Stephen Soldz – have “stretched and segmented the top of the decade’s impact hallmarks and the opinion poll’s top ‘triarchy’ as well”.

Bilquis Edhi got married to Abdul Sattar Edhi at the age of 19 where her husband was 28 years old at that time. She remained steadfast with her husband throughout their decades long journey of public welfare. In an interview to a news channel she told, “Once Mr Edhi and I were going to drop the body of a dead girl to a village in Sindh at Edhi ambulance. 

Some robbers stopped the ambulance and the mother of the deceased told them that he was Abdul Sattar Edhi and was going to drop her daughter’s body at her home. They took Mr Edhi off board of the vehicle and kissed his hands. I was astonished to see that why they were kissing his hands. One of them said when they would die he will lay them to rest in graves. They also gave us hundred rupees as donation”. 

A day earlier first lady Tehmina Durrani paid visit to Bilquis Edhi who was under treatment in a local hospital of Karachi. She on her Twitter handle wrote, “Today Bilquise & I wept a river in her hospital room. She cried for Edhi sb & I cried for her. She is So unwell! And when she called me the 1st lady I squirmed. Indeed NO 1st lady can match up to the greatness of ‘Edhi’s Bilquise'”. 

She in another tweet mourned the said demise of the mother of the nation. Durrani wrote, “Today I lost the woman who became my mother when I most needed one. The entire world lost one of its most valuable assets. I had returned from Mithadar believing we would meet again,alas I head back to say a final farewell. #BilquisEdhi was just another woman… but what a woman!”

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