Bilquis Edhi honoured with Mother Teresa Award in India

Published: November 3, 2015
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

Bilquis Edhi, the wife of Abdul Sattar Edhi of Edhi Foundation, has been selected for Mother Teresa Memorial International Award-2015 for sheltering Geeta, a deaf and mute Indian girl who was stranded in Pakistan.

“In view of the noble and humanitarian act of sheltering our dear Geeta, a deaf-and-mute woman who had accidentally crossed into Pakistan, the Harmony Foundation Board has unanimously decided to honour Karachi-based Bilquis Bano of the Edhi Foundation,” the foundation’s chairman and activist Abraham Mathai said.

Faisal Edhi declines Indian PM’s donation of INR10 million

Bilquis Edhi has been honoured along with global humanitarian aid provider Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). The prestigious award, which has earlier been presented to two Nobel laureates, Dalai Lama and Malala Yousufzai, has been instituted by the Harmony Foundation, Mumbai.

The Edhi foundation had looked after Geeta for over a decade and till her recent return to India. “It is indeed remarkable to note Bano’s emphatic gesture of considering her religious beliefs and cultural sentiments through the years, despite Geeta’s disadvantaged situation to demand the same,” Mathai explained.

Geeta identifies her family in Bihar: Edhi spokesperson

Bilquis Edhi and MSF’s representative Leslie Shanks have accepted the Harmony Foundation’s invite to come to India in person and receive the award instituted in memory of the late Mother Teresa at an event scheduled on November 22.

Geeta was 11 or 12 when she crossed one of the world’s most militarised borders from neighbouring India. She became stuck in Pakistan because she was unable to identify herself or say where she came from.

Now believed to be in her early 20s, Geeta remained under the care of Pakistan’s largest welfare organisation, the Edhi Foundation, living in a shelter in the port city of Karachi. Even the name “Geeta” was given to her by Edhi staff.

This article originally appeared on The Economic Times.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Anon
    Nov 3, 2015 - 4:40PM

    Edhi must not accept this award……they should outright reject this..Recommend

  • Rational
    Nov 3, 2015 - 5:15PM

    Wow!
    Thank you jury. God bless Mother Teresa and Miss Bilquis EdhiRecommend

  • Shafaq
    Nov 3, 2015 - 5:17PM

    Great news! Congrats to highly respectable Mrs. Edhi and Edhi Foundation.Recommend

  • kartikey
    Nov 3, 2015 - 5:31PM

    @Anon:
    But should take US Aids. Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Nov 3, 2015 - 5:35PM

    Such Christian awards should not be accepted by Mrs. Edhi.Recommend

  • Haider
    Nov 3, 2015 - 5:56PM

    @Anon
    @karthikey
    ..He shouldnt have accepted and given good care of Geeta like a daughter……..Stop involving politics in this case..He didnt accept aid from modi because he doesnt accept it from any govt..Even Benazir Bhutto tried to help..Japanase govt offered 125 million donation much more than what Modi offeredRecommend

  • Kamal
    Nov 3, 2015 - 7:38PM

    The Edhis are the best humans Pakistan has produced !!Recommend

  • John
    Nov 3, 2015 - 7:40PM

    @kartikey:
    Sorry to burst your bubble mate but India has been identified as the top recipient of US aid over a 66-year period.Indians have minted 65.1 billion in aid from the US through the period of 1946-2012.Pakistan received $ 44.4 billion in economic aid for a population one-sixth of India’s
    Please go back and educate your self before you troll.
    Secondly,its called US Aid not ‘US Aids’.Aids is a disease and I don’t believe it was US which gave India “Aids”,might be the other way around though!Recommend

  • Ram
    Nov 3, 2015 - 8:02PM

    @Iqbal:

    I agree…have all Hindu noble names ended that we have a Christian-titled award?Recommend

  • Irshad Khan
    Nov 3, 2015 - 8:21PM

    Mother teressa award is non-Government award, thus Mrs. Edhi should accept this award. Actually Edhi deserves Nobel Prize.Recommend

  • Jalbani Baloch
    Nov 3, 2015 - 8:43PM

    Award has nothing to do with politics. Belqis should accept this award in her personal capacity as a wife of patron-in-chief of Edhi Foundation.Recommend

  • Romm
    Nov 3, 2015 - 9:10PM

    It’s an honour for Pakistan that Mrs Edhi is being decorated with a prestigious award. However Mr and Mrs Edhi more iconic figures than Mother Tressa. It does not mean that I am trying to Downgrade Mother Tressa.
    Mother Tressa started her Career from well established missionary organisation however Mr Edhi single handedly developed the biggest philanthropist Network in Asia without having any base or organizational patronage. Recommend

  • Pak English teacher
    Nov 3, 2015 - 9:26PM

    @John
    Your English is ok, but math is way off. You may want to work on that.

    If Pakistan has 1/6 the population of India and received 44.4 billion dollars, then India should have received 266.4 (Two Hundred and Sixty Six) BILLION dollars.Thus Pakistan got A LOT more aid per capita than India. Without US aid, we would have collapsed long time
    ago. We are still being floated by USA only.

    No shame in accepting this. In fact, if we don’t accept the facts we’ll never solve our problems. Recommend

  • Milind
    Nov 3, 2015 - 9:32PM

    Its an insult to the Edhis. All through their life the Edhis rose above petty religious considerations (while remaining devoted to their faith) and did service without any expectation.
    They are being honoured with an award named after a fake saint who couldn’t shake her religious prejudices, who had an agenda of religious conversions while doing social work..Recommend

  • Sameer Madan
    Nov 3, 2015 - 11:08PM

    Mother Teresa was a Christian fanatic. Please do not accept this award named after this lunatic Christian nut case Recommend

  • hellboy
    Nov 4, 2015 - 12:28AM

    @John: For a country of population 4 to 5 times more than Pakistan the donation is very less.
    And they are not giving charity.In the name of charity they will take with interest by other means.That aid was given to India when it was much poor.Recommend

  • True Indian
    Nov 4, 2015 - 1:03AM

    @Sameer Madan: Wow.. Looks like you are truly secular and tolerant.Recommend

  • brar
    Nov 4, 2015 - 3:11AM

    @Iqbal: She is not a hater like you we have not seen God but She and respected Eidhi sahib are living legends symbol of love and charity, they are running the world,s largest charity because they are more wise than you, had you been in their place you would have converted at the first instance, they refused the aid from India because it is against the policies of the foundation they even turned down the Aid of 100 ambulances from Japan. Recommend

  • Eric Kumar
    Nov 4, 2015 - 6:10AM

    @Iqbal:
    Mr. Iqbal for your kind information this award has nothing to do with any religious organization. This is being given by government of India and has no connotation with religion. Islam does not say or propagate hate against any religion but only peace and harmony with each other. By accepting this award Edhi organization will help bringing goodwill, peace, and harmonious relationship between two nations and what’s wrong with this and what’s your problem if this award will contribute toward bringing peace in the world.Recommend

  • Sane Khan
    Nov 4, 2015 - 6:34AM

    This award should go to Midi Jee for doing at least something good!Recommend

  • Nov 4, 2015 - 6:52AM

    Good gesture.Recommend

  • Gujesh
    Nov 4, 2015 - 7:31AM

    @Kamal:

    Edhi was born in Gujarat, India.Recommend

  • Nov 4, 2015 - 8:36AM

    Such are great woman and extra-ordinary mother. Proud to have such a human as a neighbor.Recommend

  • Another Indian
    Nov 4, 2015 - 9:06AM

    @John.. Well.. Sorry to burst your bubble too .. US aid for India was received by NGOs and not by the government. Indian government never accepted aid per se from no one. US aid to Pakistan was all received by its government. The difference here is unfathomably huge.Recommend

  • edhifan
    Nov 4, 2015 - 10:04AM

    “Even the name “Geeta” was given to her by Edhi staff.’ …. what if she was muslim indian ..LOLRecommend

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