During the 90s, there were limited medical facilities available for individuals across the country, with the situation being far worse for those living in the rural areas.
The Lions Club of Siliguri were determined to help the sick of the area, and together funded the development of Siliguri’s first blood donation camp on 15th August, 1990.
What seemed as a major milestone at the time, seemed insufficient to cater for patients located at further distances from the centre, especially from North Bengal. The then President of the club, Lion Nirmal Gidra, visited the Lions blood bank at Kolkata and shared his report on its functioning and amenities, and presented his idea to implement a similar centre in North Bengal as well.
In the year 1993, Lion Nirmal Gidra, was appointed as the Project Chairman and Lion Jagdish Agarwal, the Treasurer, to ensure the project is up and running.
However, it was on 19th May, 2002, 10 years after the decision was taken regarding the project, that the blood bank was inaugurated for the benefit of the people of North Bengal.
Initially funded by the members, they were able to purchase land of 6500 sq. ft, the foundation stone of which was laid down by the then International Director, M. L. Tulsiyan.
An 86 member club, of which 40 members joined together as a committee to overlook day to day affairs of the blood bank, supporting the management staff team and organizing blood donation camps along with various other activities, this turned out to be one of largest service projects of the district.
Technical and medical facilities were handled by a team of doctors along with qualified technicians, assisted by Lion members.
The project now known as the Siliguri Terai Lions Blood Bank, was dedicated as a Society on 30th April, 2004. Since then, the project has earned a niche for itself in this part of the country, as a well managed project equipped with modernized technology and facilities, which are available for patients round the clock.
At present, approximately 2000 units of blood are issued per month, with the organization of blood donation camps at regular intervals, supported by other social and religious NGOs, corporate offices, institutions, trade associations, sports and recreation clubs, NCC, BSF, Army, State Police and media houses.
The Bank also has a Blood Component Separation Unit, separating blood into three different components thus benefitting three patients with each unit of blood. The project is supported by LCIF and has received grants twice, once at the time of inauguration, while dedicating the project to society and the second time, for its upgradation, where it received a grant of $ 1, 71,000.
Apart from LCIF, members and generous citizens have also donated towards the project. With the induction of a state of the art Blood Donor Van for collection of blood on 8th August, 2008, by PID Lion Bishnu Bajoria, the club has planned big for future projects with the investment in a Thalassemia day care centre and Apheresis unit.
In the Lionistic year, 2015-16 , the club has issued 24,000 units of blood, with 4700 units in July and August of 2016, alone. The club targets to achieve the issuance of 30,000 units of blood to the people of North Bengal along with its adjacent Indian states and countries of Nepal and Bhutan.