Abandoned Baby Girl, Now 28, Eulogizes Bilquis Edhi (1947-2022)

Rabia Bano Osman, a baby girl abandoned by her parents 28 years ago in Karachi, has paid glowing tributes to Bilquis Edhi who died recently in Karachi, Pakistan. Rabia was found by Bilquis Edhi in one of several cradles (jhoolas) placed outside Edhi Foundation's office for parents to anonymously leave babies, mostly girls, they did not want or could not raise. She is now a well-educated and successful career woman working as a lawyer for Nike, the American athletic apparel giant with offices in San Diego, California. In a post on LinkedIn, Rabia who goes by Rabi B.O. writes: "Because of you, a little Pakistani girl orphaned at birth dared to dream. Because of you I am an independent woman with a graduate level education and a place in the world to call my own. You gave me opportunity. You awarded me a chance to dream, and you presented me with freedom".  Rabia has a Master's degree in Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Law from New York's Albany Law School. 

Rabia Bano Osman

Bilquis Edhi dedicated her entire life to Edhi Foundation, a charitable organization she founded with her husband Abdul Sattar Edhi who passed away in 2016. The foundation runs orphanages, shelter homes, langars (soup kitchens), senior care centers, morgues, funeral homes and the largest nationwide ambulance service, all funded by public donations.   

Anatol Lieven, author of Pakistan: A Hard Country, describes Edhi Foundation as follows: "There is no sight in Pakistan more moving than to visit some dusty, impoverished small town in an arid wasteland, apparently abandoned by God and all sensible men and certainly abandoned by the Pakistani state and its elected representatives - and to see the flag of Edhi Foundation flying over a concrete shack with a telephone, and the only ambulance in town standing in front. Here, if anywhere in Pakistan, lies the truth of human religion and human morality."  

Here is the full text of Rabia's LinkedIn post

Twenty-eight years ago I was abandoned in a baby carriage at the #EdhiOrphanage located in Karachi, Pakistan. You found me, you named me after your mother Rabia Bano, you forged my identity, then you gave me a home. Because of you today…I am a somebody, I have an identity, and I have loving parents to call my own. You fought for woman’s rights, you were an activist, a philanthropist, a rebel for the good cause. You taught me the power of woman, to always have an unwavering sense of self and to be unapologetically ambitious.

Because of you, a little Pakistani girl orphaned at birth dared to dream. Because of you I am an independent woman with a graduate level education and a place in the world to call my own. You gave me opportunity. You awarded me a chance to dream, and you presented me with freedom.

To the world you were Bilquis Edhi, but to me you were Bari Amma (Elder mother). Thanks to you I have two loving parents who made sure I had everything a little girl could have ever asked for. I went to a great high school, got scholarships throughout college, did an internship in NYS Assembly, Bronx District Attorney’s Office, U.S Congress, U.S Senate and went to law school to purse a masters in Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Law. All. Because. Of. You.

 For those of you who are reading about Bilquis Edhi for the first time… I want you to know who she was to me, and to all of Pakistan. #BilquisEdhi was a hero, she was a mother to so many orphans (like me) and a powerhouse for humanity.

Losing Bare Abbu (#AbdulSattarEdhi) was tough, but your loss has made me feeling orphaned again today…

 My name is Rabia Bibi Osman, and I will forever be a proud #Edhi baby.

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Riaz Haq said…
3 Babies & One Bilquis Edhi – Read Their Stories Of Triumph Here!


The “Mother of Pakistan,” Bilquis Edhi, left us on Friday, leaving a void in our hearts forever. A nurse by profession and philanthropist and humanitarian by heart, she was a shelter for thousands of abandoned babies in Pakistan. Famous for her ‘jhoola‘ project, she set up 300 jhoolas/cradles outside various Edhi centers for people to leave their unwanted babies. Through this simple action, she was able to save 42000 lives. 42000 lives that are now healthy and have found the loving home they deserved.

She changed the lives of many and changed them for the better. She cared for the children as her own and looked after them until they were sent off to live an even better life with their new parents, in homes they would feel loved and wanted.

Out of the thousands of lives she impacted, these 3 stories struck a chord with us & will move you to tears.

1. Rabia Bano
Named after Bilquis Edhi’s mother, Rabia Bano was left in the Edhi jhoola 28 years ago. Today, she holds a master’s degree in Cyber Security and Data Privacy Law from a law school in the US. She is currently working as a Senior Privacy and Compliance Analyst at Nike.

Bilquis Edhi found her, took her in, and gave her an identity and a home.

Rabia penned a heartfelt note for her ‘bari amma’ as she called Bilquis, telling the world that it is all because of her that she is now an independent woman with a graduate degree. She found loving parents who gave her everything she could’ve ever wanted.

“Because of you, a little Pakistani girl orphaned at birth dared to dream. Because of you, I am an independent woman with graduate-level education and a place in the world to call my own. You gave me an opportunity. You awarded me a chance to dream, and you presented me with freedom,” writes Rabia Bano.

“Losing Bare Abbu (#AbdulSattarEdhi) was tough, but your loss has made me feeling orphaned again today… ” she added.

Rabia concluded by saying she will forever be “a proud Edhi baby.”

2. Geeta
A deaf and mute little Indian girl of age 10 or 11 who accidentally crossed over to Pakistan. She was taken to the Edhi center where Bilquis Edhi raised her as her own. Bilquis Sahiba named her Geeta when she realized the little girl was Hindu. She noticed her gestures, for example, touching feet, etc.

Bilquis Edhi would take her to the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Karachi and later procured Hindu gods posters for Geeta to set up a private temple at the Edhi center.

In 2015, Geeta was finally taken to her country to seek her parents, and several DNA tests later, she found her birth mother. Geeta and Bilquis continued to share the same close bond regardless of being separated by a border.

(Source: Dawn)

3. Naaday Ali
Singer and Actor Hadiqa Kiani, broke stereotypes when she adopted her son, Naaday Ali from Edhi center. Upon Bilquis Sahiba’s demise, the Dobara actress took to Instagram to reminisce the time she found the light of her life, all thanks to Bilquis Edhi.

“She took the world’s burden on her back and stood up to simply help the world become a better place. I believe that Allah (SWT) made her a vessel of aid to people in need, I also believe that Allah (SWT) made her the vessel, my source, to bring me to my son Naaday Ali,” she wrote.

“She trusted me with being a mother and I, like so many others touched by Mrs. Edhi’s grace, will forever be grateful,” the actress added.

Riaz Haq said…
Ayisha Siddiqa, a human rights and environmental justice activist and a youth fellow with the Law School’s Climate Litigation Accelerator (CLX), was named one of Time magazine’s 2023 Women of the Year on March 2.


The award was given to twelve women who are “using their voices to fight for a more equal world,” says Time.

Siddiqa, who is 24 years old, is a co-founder of Polluters Out, a global youth climate advocacy group, as well as a climate activism training course called Fossil Free University. She is the inaugural youth fellow for CLX, a global hub of lawyers and advocates seeking to catalyze legal change to produce action against climate change. CLX is run jointly by the Earth Rights Advocacy Clinic, directed by Professor of Clinical Law César Rodríguez-Garavito, and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, which Rodríguez-Garavito chairs.

The youth fellowship program began in 2022 to support and mentor promising young climate leaders who, like Siddiqa, are interested in pursuing a legal degree in the future. It also provides legal training in areas such as international negotiation and litigation.

“We see intergenerational collaboration as key to making progress against climate inaction,” says Rodríguez-Garavito, who says that Siddiqa has contributed to CLX’s communication strategies since joining in 2022. “Working with Ayisha’s generation as well as with young lawyers–many of whom are NYU Law alumni and are now full-time CLX staff members–we have seen a potency in that kind of collaboration,” he says. “We have learned as much from the youth movement as they have learned from us.”

Siddiqa, who was born in Pakistan, recounted to Time that as a teenager she began to see the impact that unsafe environments have on communities after witnessing the illness and death of her grandparents due to unsafe drinking water. Eventually, she said, she came to see the deep connections between climate change and human rights. In a video on Time’s website, announcing Siddiqa’s selection, she notes the importance of working collectively and globally to reverse the effects of climate change. “We cannot be individualistic anymore. It will not work,” she said. Siddiqa will continue on as a fellow with CLX until 2024, when she plans to start her legal studies.

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