The Florence Nightingale of Pakistan



By Huma Arshad

BilquisBano Edhi an epitome of dedication, wife of Abdul Sattar Edhi was a visionary philanthropist and a dedicated nurse by profession. She devoted her entire life to the services of the poor people of Pakistan.Before her marriage to Abdul Sattar Edhi, she had adopted nursing as a profession by choice.Nursing is a Profession and not just simply a mixture of special skills. The nursing profession is the perfect blend of today’s health care industry with a touch of the traditional past. It is a noble profession and the greatest service to humanity. It is focused on the care of every individual so they can maintain and recover their health and quality of life. “Nursing is the noblest of all professions as it is based on motherly care and sisterly affection.”

She got married to Abdul Sattar Edhi at the age of nineteen and both husband and wife lived their whole life believing the motto “ Making a difference and changing lives forever .”According to sources she had a different personality but she had embraced her husband’s lifestyle and then stood by him until his death.Abdul Sattar Edhi first opened a nursing home and made Bilqis Edhi a co-chair of the Edhi Foundation.As a wife, she accompanied her husband and stood by his side even when his work became more tedious during the 1965 India-Pakistan war when aerial bombardment left dead bodies on the ground, which she and her husband picked up with the help of a team of volunteers.

In a country where government-run services have been glaringly ill-equipped to deal with humanitarian crises, the Edhis’ social welfare system is a trusted household name only because of the Edhis . And though there is a drop in donations since Edhi’s death, Bilquis Edhi tried her level best till her death to carry on her husband’s legacy.

The main milestone in the life of Bilqees Edhi was placing more than 500 cradles across the country with the message ”Do not kill, leave the baby to live in the cradle. “sheacted selflessly throughout her life and tried to provide for orphans and needy utter happiness and the comfort of their homes by establishing shelters homes with her husband. She was kind as a mother and loving as a sister. She worked day and night to serve the people in need.

She died on 15th April 2022; She worked tirelessly for the people of Pakistan. In recognition of her services, she received Mother Teresa Memorial International Award, Lenin Peace Prize, Hilal-e-Imtiaz & Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service.Throughout her life with her husband,she lived modestly and served her entire life for people around her.

“Mankind must make heaven before we can ‘go to heaven’ in this world as in any other.” – Florence Nightingale