Women’s Day 2020 is incomplete without acknowledging the efforts of Bilquis Edhi, the woman who dedicated her life to the poor.
In any case of Emergency, You Call 115; Edhi Foundation will Answer.
Conventional Wisdom says that behind every successful man, lies the efforts of woman.
But in Abdul Sattar Edhi’s case, the woman was right beside him and she became equally well known.
Today Bilquis Edhi has a public stature in her own right and not simply as the wife of Pakistan’s greatest social worker and humanist.
Bilquis Edhi is a woman of substance, for sure; and she has come a long way with Abdul Sattar Edhi( Late) who founded Edhi Foundation.
Bilquis Bano Edhi is a professional nurse and one of the most active philanthropists in Pakistan.
Nicknamed as The Mother of Pakistan She heads the Bilquis Edhi Foundation.
Her charity runs many services in Pakistan including a hospital and emergency service in Karachi.
Together with her husband their charity has saved over 16,000 unwanted babies.
Early Life of Bilquis Edhi
Bilquis Bano Edhi was born on the same day as Pakistan, 14 August 1947 in Bantva.
Bantva is the city in Gujrat state of India.
Communal riots drove the family to Bombay from where they migrated a few months later to Pakistan – to Mithadar.
Her father, a trader by profession, died while she was still very young. Her widowed mother was left at an early age to bring up her three children – a girl and two boys.
When she was a teenager she was not enjoying school and managed to join a small expanding dispensary as a nurse in 1965.
At the time the Edhi home was in the old city area of Karachi known as Mithadar where it had been founded in 1951.
However Her life has been one of service and providing safe-havens for the poor and the destitute.
She got married to Abdul Sattar Edhi at the age of 17.
Helping Hand of her Husband
The newlyweds only possessed a broken old car and a small dispensary.
She often relates a story that on their honeymoon that she spent all her time tending to a young girl with head injuries left at the dispensary.
Bilquis Edhi vividly remembers her first major experience at Edhi Foundation, when during the war; the bombings resulted in a number of brutally mutilated bodies which she had to wash for burial.
At times only an arm, leg or head was recovered.
She, along with about 60-70 workers including voluntary workers, collected and then washed these bodies.
Furthermore Bilquis Edhi has spent her life for a noble cause and she continues to do so. She is lucky as a human-being and even luckier as a woman for she got a helping hand in the form of her husband.
The Edhi foundation the largest emergency service in Pakistan, but despite this, Bilquis Edhi lived all her life in a simple two-bedroom home that she owned along with her husband.
However The home is actually a part of an orphanage that the Edhi foundation runs.
Bilquis Edhi as Ray of Hope
Over the years, she visited by many of her orphans who happily adopted,
She often stopped and thanked by people who received much needed aid from the Edhi Foundation, and heard back from abused women whom she sheltered, trained as nurses and helped start a new life.
Awards and Recognition
Although Bilquis Edhi has won many awards, but she often comments that the greatest rewards she receives are the success stories of those helped by the Edhi Foundation.
Bilquis Edhi holds honor of awarded the prestigious ‘Hilal-e-Imtiaz’
Along with her husband, She received the 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service.
Moreover She is also the recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize.
Furthermore In 2015, she received the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice.
Bilquis gives all Credit to Edhi
On her part, Bilquis gives the credit to Edhi who set up the Foundation in the first place and continues to be its driving spirit.
Women’s Day 2020
International Women’s Day 2020 celebrated on March 8 every year.
International Women’s Day 2020 dedicated to honour the achievements of women throughout history and all across the globe.
It is typically a day for women from all different backgrounds and cultures to band together to fight for gender parity and women’s rights.