Bilquis Bano Edhi, the wife of renowned humanitarian and philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, passed away at the age of 74 in Karachi on Friday after a brief hospitalisation.
Earlier in the day, her family had said that her condition had stabilised. She was admitted to a hospital for three days after her blood pressure had suddenly dropped. According to an Edhi Foundation spokesperson, Bilquis was ill for the last one month.
“Though she is not in a serious condition, she will remain in the hospital for a couple of more days,” the spokesperson of the Edhi Foundation Muhammad Bilal had said.
Bilal had added that Bilquis had congestive heart failure and she has already undergone a heart bypass twice.
First Lady Tehmina Durrani had also visited her during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s maiden visit to the port city on Wednesday.
Pakistan’s towering philanthropist and humanitarian was declared the “Person of the Decade”, along with human rights rapporteur of the UN Prof Yanghee Lee and the US ethicist Stephen Soldz in January 2021. She was also declared the “Most Impactful Person of the First Two Decades of the 21st Century” by Impact Hallmarks.
Called the Mother of Pakistan, Bilquis Edhi was the recipient of various national and foreign awards, including the Hilal-e-Imtiaz, 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.
Bilquis was a professional nurse and headed the Bilquis Edhi Foundation. Abdul Sattar Edhi had proposed to her and they got married in April 1966.
She spent more than six decades of her life 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.
She leaves behind four children, Faisal, Kubra, Zeenat and Almas from her marriage with Abdul Sattar Edhi.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah expressed deep grief and sorrow over Bilquis Edhi’s demise and lauded her for the philanthropic works she did for the country.
ٹکرز برائے نشر / 15 اپریل 2022
وزیراعلیٰ سندھ سید مراد علی شاہ کا بلقیس ایدھی کے انتقال پر گہرے دکھ اظہار
وزیراعلیٰ سندھ نے مرحومہ کے سماجی خدمات کو سراہا
وزیراعلیٰ سندھ کی مرحومہ کی ایصال ثواب کیلئے دعا
— Sindh Chief Minister House (@SindhCMHouse) April 15, 2022
Renowned author Fatima Bhutto also expressed sorrow and mentioned that Bilquis served Pakistan’s poor and abandoned with great spirit her entire life.
Very sorry to hear of Bilquis Edhi’s passing, she served Pakistan’s poor and abandoned with great spirit her entire life
— fatima bhutto (@fbhutto) April 15, 2022
MQM-P Senator Faisal Subzwari said Pakistanis would remember her for eternity as he prayed for her forgiveness.
إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون۔ بلاشبہ مرحوم ایدھی صاحب اور بلقیس صاحبہ کا قرض ایک ایک پاکستانی رہتی دنیا تک یاد رکھے گا https://t.co/faMCPAPAmm
— Faisal Subzwari (@faisalsubzwari) April 15, 2022
Journalist Hamid Mir also prayed for her forgiveness.
اللّٰہ تعالیٰ محترمہ بلقیس ایدھی صاحبہ کے درجات بلند کرے اور انہیں جنت الفردوس میں جگہ دے آمین pic.twitter.com/LLnaYJ1Wcs
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) April 15, 2022