A true Leader, Philanthropist and real Architect of Humanity-Bilquis Edhi

Mohtarma Bilquis Edhi was born in 1947 in Karachi. She was the co-chair of the Edhi foundation, a charity organization that provided many services in Pakistan including emergency services and hospitals in Karachi. She was the wife of Abdul Sitar Edhi. She was a professional nurse, social worker, humanitarian and an active philanthropist in Pakistan. She was known as Mother of Pakistan.

Abdul Sattar Edhi and Bilquis Edhi became well-known in Pakistan after spending their entire lives establishing a network of humanitarian, welfare, and emergency relief operations for individuals in need across the country. The late Edhi’s wife provided him with unwavering support and devotion, allowing him to firmly establish his non-profit as a relief organization that comes to the aid of people in need whenever the government fails to fulfil its basic responsibilities.

She and her husband of five decades lived on the premises of their organization’s offices in Karachi’s inner city, where they oversaw a network of services that included ambulances, orphanages, emergency assistance, homeless shelters, unclaimed body burial, animal shelters, and blood banks.

Bilquis Edhi never thought about her own life or her own children during her time with late Edhi, instead serving the needy and homeless youngsters till her final breath. According to the Edhi Foundation’s website, her work has saved the lives of 16,000 unwanted newborns. They run 18 such shelter homes all over the country including 7 in Karachi providing accommodation to 8,500 people.

Despite death threats and attacks on their services, they both husband and wife remained dedicated to their charity work. She ran maternity clinics and set up baby cradles outside Edhi Foundation centers all over Pakistan, where women who gave birth to unwanted babies could anonymously leave their newborns, knowing they’d be cared for. She places posters and little notes on cradles. “Don’t Kill,” said hand-lettered signs above the cradles. “Leave the baby alive in the cradle.” “Do not kill the baby.” “Allow the baby to live.”

With regard to adoption, she ensures that the conditions for approving or disapproving couples who want to adopt a child are met. Bilquis Edhi interviews couples who want to adopt a kid. Her adoption criteria include that the pair is still childless after 10-12 years of marriage, that the prospective father’s salary is reasonable and has no alcohol or drug-related problems. The prospective mother should younger than 50, and that the couple has own a home. Her foundation does not provide children to families that are constantly migrating from one location to another.


She had a special relationship with the countless orphans and homeless girls at the Edhi home, she fulfilled her duty as their “Mother,” ensuring that they were married off like her own daughters after proper upbringing and education.

Prestigious Awards

She has received the prestigious “Hilal-e-Imtiaz” award, as well as the 1986 “Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service” with her husband. She has also been awarded the “Lenin Peace Prize.” She was also honored with the “Mother Teresa Memorial Award” by India. Last year, she was declared the “most impactful person” in the 1st Bidecadal Merit Gazette of the 21st century by the Impact Hallmarks, a Britain based organization. She was the recipient of the “Lenin Peace Prize” too.

When Geeta, an Indian girl who wandered into Pakistan as a kid and was later detained at the Edhi Home, was reunited with her family in 2015, her services were publicly recognized across the border.

After the death of Abdul Sattar Edhi, Bilquis Edhi helped her son, Faisal Edhi, to manage the affairs of their non-profit organization. From now on Faisal Edhi will take care of his parents’ mission.


After remained hospitalized for around a month due to multiple age-related illnesses including heart problem. Bilquis Edhi, a noted Pakistani humanitarian, died in Karachi on 15-04-2022 at age of 74. The Sindh Government declared a day of mourning to recognize her contribution to the humanity.

Rich tributes poured in from across the country soon after her death. We also condoled her death and praised her tremendous services to humanity and commitment for carrying forward the mission of her late husband. Her quiet, selfless work for the poor, the orphans, homeless and abandoned children made her a role model leader and May Allah bless her with the highest ranks in Jannah.

Author: Ms. Mariam
Head of Research & Communication
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