Bilquis Bano Edhi, the widow of renowned humanitarian and philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, died on Friday in Karachi, her son Faisal Edhi confirmed. She was 74.
Bilqis was one of the most active philanthropists in the country and co-chaired Edhi Foundation with her son Faisal after her husband’s passing in 2016.
She was born in Bantwa, India and migrated to Pakistan after the Partition. Together with her husband their charity has saved thousands of unwanted babies.
She had been suffering from cardiovascular disease and was under treatment at a private hospital for the last few days.
Bilquis was reported to be in a stable condition on Thursday after she was rushed to the hospital earlier this week when her blood pressure suddenly dropped.
Spokesperson of the Edhi Foundation Muhammad Bilal had said that though she is not in a serious condition, she will remain in the hospital for a couple of more days, adding that Bilquis had congestive heart failure and already undergone a heart bypass twice.
First Lady Tehmina Durrani also visited her during Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s maiden visit to the port city on Wednesday.
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.’ pic.twitter.com/feet5ZAs24
— Tehmina Durrani (@TehminaDurrani) April 13, 2022
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.
A spokesperson for the Edhi Foundation told APP that as per the domino effect verdict, announced by the Impact Hallmarks, Bilquis Edhi was declared the most impactful person of the first two decades of the 21st century.
Bilquis Bano Edhi was a professional nurse and she headed the Bilquis Edhi Foundation. She spent more than six decades of her life serving humanity in need. Her charity saved over 42,000 unwanted babies so far by placing “jhoolas” [cradles] at the Edhi Homes and centres across the country.
Condolences pour in
As soon as the news of her passing broke out, people belonging to all walks of life including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other political leaders expressed sorrow over the death of renowned philanthropist.
“The passing of Bilquis Edhi is a huge loss for the nation. An incredible woman in her own right, she stood by Edhi sb. like a rock & together they set up an example of human compassion & ran one of the largest philanthropic organisations of the world. May her soul rest in peace!,” wrote the premier on his official Twitter handle.
The passing of Bilquis Edhi is a huge loss for the nation. An incredible woman in her own right, she stood by Edhi sb. like a rock & together they set up an example of human compassion & ran one of the largest philanthropic organisations of the world. May her soul rest in peace!
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) April 15, 2022
Sad to learn about the passing of Bilquis Edhi Sahiba. She had always been shoulder to shoulder with Abdul Sattar Edhi in his philanthropic efforts and continued his work even after his death. May Allah bless the departed soul.
— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) April 15, 2022
From raising orphans to marriages of homeless girls, Bilquis Edhi’s services are unforgettable, said PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari while paying tribute to the services of the departed soul.
بے سہارا یتیم بچوں کی پرورش سے لے کر بے گھر لڑکیوں کی شادیوں تک بلقیس ایدھی کی خدمات ناقابل فراموش ہیں، چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری
بلقیس ایدھی نے جھولا پراجیکٹ کے ذریعے ہزاروں انسانی زندگیوں کو بچایا، چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری
— PPP (@MediaCellPPP) April 15, 2022
“The whole nation is mourning today but millions of orphans will probably feel orphaned for the first time today. May Allah Almighty grant Balqis Edhi Sahiba a place in Paradise,” said PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz in a tweet.
بلقیس ایدھی صاحبہ نے اپنی زندگی ایدھی صاحب کے مشن میں پہلے ان کا ساتھ دینے میں اور ان کے بعد اس مشن کو جاری رکھنے میں گزاری۔ پوری قوم آج سوگوار ہے مگر لاکھوں یتیم بچے اور بچیاں شاید آج پہلی بار یتیمی محسوس کریں گے۔ اللّہ تعالیٰ بلقیس ایدھی صاحبہ کو جنت الفردوس میں جگہ دے۔
آمین 🤲🏼 pic.twitter.com/aHDID23J1g
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) April 15, 2022
He demise also saddened PTI chairman Imran Khan. “Her quiet, selfless work for the poor, the homeless, especially the orphans & abandoned children, made her a role model and a symbol of hope. My prayers & condolences go to her family,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Deeply saddened on hearing of the passing of Mohtarma Bilquis Edhi. Her quiet, selfless work for the poor, the homeless, especially the orphans & abandoned children, made her a role model and a symbol of hope. My prayers & condolences go to her family.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 15, 2022
Former premier and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif also shared same sentiments. “She was a very kind woman who had the pain of humanity. May Allah give her a place in Jannat of mercy and grant patience to the mourners. Ameen,” he tweeted.
محترمہ بلقیس ایدھی کی وفات سے دلی رنج ہوا۔ وه انسانیت کا درد رکھنے والی انتہائی شفیق خاتون تھیں۔ اللہ تعالٰی انہیں جوارِ رحمت میں جگہ دے اور سوگواران کو صبرِ جمیل عطا فرمائے۔ آمین
— Nawaz Sharif (@NawazSharifMNS) April 15, 2022
The United States Embassy in Islamabad also extended deepest condolences to the friends and family of Bilquees Edhi. “As a humanitarian and philanthropist she dedicated over half her life to helping those in need. She was a model of service and inspiration to many,” it said in a tweet.
We extend our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Bilquees Edhi. As a humanitarian and philanthropist she dedicated over half her life to helping those in need. She was a model of service and inspiration to many.
— U.S. Embassy Islamabad (@usembislamabad) April 15, 2022
German Ambassador to Pakistan Bernhard Schlagheck also echoed the similar sentiments, saying, “Heartbroken to hear about the passing of wonderful humanitarian #BilquisEdhi. She was an extraordinary human who dedicated her life to the great cause of helping others—a woman who was truly inspiring. I extend my deepest sympathies to her family & the people of Pakistan for this loss.”
Heartbroken to hear about the passing of wonderful humanitarian #BilquisEdhi. She was an extraordinary human who dedicated her life to the great cause of helping others—a woman who was truly inspiring. I extend my deepest sympathies to her family & the people of 🇵🇰 for this loss.
— Bernhard Schlagheck (@GermanyinPAK) April 15, 2022
First Lady Tehmina Durrani, who recently visited the ailing philanthropist in Karachi said, “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!”
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! pic.twitter.com/4fahl0eQW0
— Tehmina Durrani (@TehminaDurrani) April 15, 2022
Other political leaders, journalists and netizens also expressed grief and sorrow over the demise of Bilquis Edhi.
The loss of Begum Bilquis Edhi is a monumental loss to Pakistan. She tirelessly served the people and leaves behind a legacy of compassion, kindness, and care. May she rest in peace pic.twitter.com/IYQfZCVoyA
— Aseefa B Zardari (@AseefaBZ) April 15, 2022
Grieved 💔to hear of a ministering angel’s passing from our midst. #bilquisedhi was one such soul whose kindness and generosity shall not be forgotten. May she rest in peace, and may her life inspire others to carry the torch forward. Prayers for her bereaved family 🤲🏼
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) April 15, 2022
Mother to so many orphans, a sister to many grieving hearts; the kindest face of humanity. #BilquisEdhi had always been shoulder to shoulder with Abdul Sattar Edhi in his philanthropic efforts & continued his mission even after him May Allah bless her with highest ranks in Jannah pic.twitter.com/mGNbCAWpN6
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) April 15, 2022
Saddened to learn of Bilquis Edhi’s passing. Her dedication to the poor and the dispossessed was unparralled. With her late husband she was a beacon of hope and inspiration. Pakistan is the poorer after her passing.
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) April 15, 2022
Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi Raji’un “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”
One more humanitarian and philanthropist left us…Rest in peace #BilquisEdhi May Allah grant her highest place in Jannah Ameen pic.twitter.com/CALZD3iQiY
— Kamran Akmal (@KamiAkmal23) April 15, 2022
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
Deeply saddened over the demise of Bilquis Edhi. She left behind a legacy of kindness and compassion for humanity. May Allah bless the departed soul. You healed people. You are living in our hearts. The nation salutes you. pic.twitter.com/FYVCxALjje
— Masood Khan (@Masood__Khan) April 15, 2022
Sad to hear of the passing of Bilquis Edhi. With her tireless humanitarianism and philanthropy, she and her family have always embodied humanity at its best. A great loss for Pakistan, and the world.
— Michael Kugelman (@MichaelKugelman) April 15, 2022
Innalillahi wa inna alaehi rajioon
Wife of Sattar Edhi, Bilquis Edhi returned to her Creator.
May Allah grant her Jannah and pour patience upon the family.
May He reward both of them for the exceptional philanthropic work they have done in their lives, which lives on. pic.twitter.com/cY7QCc7Ene
— Dr. Yasmin Rashid (@Dr_YasminRashid) April 15, 2022