Celebrating 25 years of Achievements in Lucknow !
H N Singh
Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. Its 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs are serving communities in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the globe. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired, championed youth initiatives and strengthened local communities through hands-on service and humanitarian projects. Lucknow Ashirvad Lions Club will be completing 25 years of success and proud moments, as it was established on 19th December 1990. It has been a long journey with promises fulfilled ! More than 10 thousand youths in Lucknow have been taught positive life skills through Lions Quest, our most comprehensive program for youth. Lions Quest unites the home, school and community to cultivate capable and healthy young people through positive youth development programs. More than 200 educators in Lucknow have been trained to implement the programs, which support character development, social and emotional learning, civic values, violence and substance abuse prevention and service-learning.
Lucknow Ashirvad Lions Club organized its first Free Eye Relief camps in 1991 & was inaugurated by Governor of Uttar Pradesh H.E. Sri B. Satya Narayan Reddy & 300 cataract operations were performed by Late Dr. K. C. Garg & his team. Every year Free Eye Relief camp are being organized under Sight First Programme of Lions Clubs International. In subsequent years Dr. Vinay Garg has taken over the charge of Eye surgery from his father Late Dr. K. C. Garg. First time in any Free Eye Camp Phacoemulsification (Pheco) system of ocular Surgery started by Dr. Vinay Garg in Lucknow Ashirvad Eye Camp. More than ten thousand surgeries have been performed by Dr. Vinay Garg in the camp organized by Lucknow Ashirvad Lions Club. At Present Dr. Vinay Garg & Dr. Neeraj Kumar Singh the renowned Eye Surgeons of Lucknow are the members of Lucknow Ashirvad Lions Club & providing their services with their team to organize Free Eye Relief for poor people of Lucknow.
Lions Clubs International President Joe Preston announced a new global initiative to serve 100 million people by 2017 at the association’s 97th annual International Convention held in Toronto. The Centennial Service Challenge is a humanitarian initiative that brings Lions Clubs around the world together in service to celebrate the association’s 100th anniversary in 2017. “This is a special time for Lions Clubs International and our members,” said International President Preston. “For nearly 100 years, Lions Clubs have served their communities and touched the lives of millions of people. The Centennial Service Challenge is an opportunity for Lions to celebrate our 100th anniversary by doing whatwedobest–servingothers.”
Over the next three and a half years, Lions Clubs will work to achieve the goal of serving at least 100 million people by participating in the association’s Global Service Action Campaigns, which support youth activities, vision programs, hunger initiatives, and environmental projects around the world. “Lions clubs are known for their efforts to save sight, but we do so much more,” said International President Preston. “The Centennial Service Challenge highlights the important humanitarian work we do and our impact in communities around the world. It’s an honor to lead such dedicated men and women who are working to make their communities stronger”.
A Brief History of Lions Clubs International
In 1917, Melvin Jones, a 38-year-old Chicago business leader, told members of his local business club they should reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world. After contacting similar groups around the United States, an organizational meeting was held on June 7, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The new group took the name of one of the invited groups, the “Association of Lions Clubs,” and a national convention was held in Dallas, Texas, USA in October of that year. Lions Clubs became international by chartering a club in Windsor, Canada in 1920.
The world’s first eye bank was created in New York City in 1944. Today, most eye banks are Lions-sponsored. In 1945, Lions assisted in drafting the United Nations Charter, starting a lasting bond with the U.N. The Lions Blind Camp on Casper Mountain in Wyoming hosted its first group of blind children in 1946. It had became the world’s largest service club organization at the time with 324,690 members in 19 nations. Lions have been given consultant status with the U.N. Economic and Social Council.
After an international contest among Lions in 1954, an official motto was chosen: “We Serve.” Lions launched youth programs, including the very successful Leo Clubs in 1957. The Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) established in 1968. Since its founding, LCIF has given more than US$826 million in grants to support the humanitarian work of Lions. In February 1973, the association welcomed its one millionth member. Lion Jimmy Carter, a peanut farmer from Georgia, became president of the United States of America in 1977. LCIF awarded its first Major Catastrophe Grant of US$50,000 for earthquake relief in Mexico in 1985. Mother Teresa accepted the Lions Humanitarian Award in 1986. Sight First launched in 1990, eventually raising more than $415 million dollars to help eradicate major causes of blindness. Nilofer Bakhtiar of Pakistan was elected in 1999 as the first female international director of the association. Lions mobilized more than US$15 million for South Asia tsunami relief following the disaster in 2004.
The Financial Times ranks LCIF as best non-governmental organization worldwide to partner with in 2007. Lions launched the Centennial Service Challenge, a global initiative to serve 100 million people around the world in 2014…..and continuing !!!
(Published in The Lucknow Observer, Volume 1 Issue 9, Dated 05 December 2015)