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.