Prominent philanthropist Bilquis Edhi has been given the title of the ‘Person of the Decade’ by the international organization Impact Hallmarks.
A spokesperson for the Edhi Foundation told the sources that Bilquis has been declared the most impactful person of the first two decades of the 21st century.
Moreover, the Human rights rapporteur of the UN Prof Yanghee Lee and US ethicist Stephen Soldz have also received the title.
According to a statement, issued by the Edhi Foundation Pakistan and SAARC-ASEAN Post-Doctoral Academia Directorate, an online opinion poll for a global audience was carried out currently to vote for the “Person of Decade”, based upon the impact value the person holds.
The finalists are the qualified contenders from well over 190 countries, and Bilquis Edhi stands among them tall.
Bilquis Bano Edhi was born on 14 August 1947 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.
Bilquis Edhi is the most active philanthropist in Pakistan, being the head of the Bilquis Edhi Foundation. She received the 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. The charity, she runs, has saved over 42,000 unwanted babies so far.
She was awarded the prestigious ‘Hilal-e-Imtiaz’, and she is also the recipient of several other awards.