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Lion’s International, Bangladesh

Lion's International, Bangladesh was started in Bangladesh first from Chittagong in 1958 under the initiative of MR Siddiqui who first organised the Lion's Club of Chittagong. At the same time, another Club of the Lion's International was organized at Dhaka called Lion's Club of Dhaka, which was chartered as Lion's Club International on 19 February 1958 and the Chittagong Lions Clubs Chartered on 2 April 1958. At that time, these two Lion's clubs were under Lion's' District 305 (Pakistan).

In the Year 1962-63, District 305 was turned into a Multiple District with sub-district 305 W (West Pakistan) and 305 E (East Pakisan). Ln MR Siddiqi was the first provisional District Governor for District 305 E for a consecutive year 1962-63 and 1963-64. He was also the Chairman of Multiple District 305 in 1963-64.

After liberation, Ln MR Siddiqi again took the initiative to establish Lion's movement in Bangladesh and accordingly he was appointed Provisional District Governor for the year 1972-73 and 1973-74 by the Lion's Clubs International and in 1974-75 fiscal year, Bangladesh Lion's Clubs were upgraded as a full fledged District 315 with constituent 37 Clubs and 1250 members. M. Khaled was elected the District Governor for the year 1974-75. With gradual increase in membership, Lions activities got momentum in Bangladesh and in view of its fast growth, the single District 315 was bifurcated into 2 sub-districts 315 A and 315 B in 1987-88. The first District Governor of District 315 A was Ln Moslem Ali Khan and that of District 315 B was Ln Shafiur Rahman.

In view of the further growth of linism in Bangladesh, District 315 A again got divided into two sub-districts in 1995-96, such as 315 A-1 and 315-A-2. Ln Zaker Ahmed and Ln A.R. Atique was the founder Governors of District 315 A-1 and 315 A-2 respectively. Similarly, 315 B was bifurcated into 2 Districts as 315 B-1 and 315 B-2 in 1993-94. Ataul Karim was elected first District Governor of District 315 B1 and Qazi Akramuddin Ahmed was the founder Governor of District 315 B-2. The District 315-B1 again was divided to form District 315 B-3 in 1996-97. Ahsan Nazir was elected Governor of District 315 B-3. The District 315 B-2 was bifurcated in 1997-98 to form District 315 B-4 and first District Governor of the new District was Ln Abdul Gaffar Dobash. In short, for Lionism, Bangladesh at present has six Districts and one Multiple District with more than 11,000 Lion Members and about 3,000 Leos. In 1978, Leo Clubs were organized as a part of Youth Pogrammes of Lion's Clubs.'

Among the Major Service Project and Activities, the most important is the establishment of the Bangladesh Lions Foundation (BLF), Dhaka by the six Lions Districts of MD 315 in 1974. It manages an 80 bed specialized Eye Hospital in Dhaka. Besides, different Districts and Clubs operate many service projects in different parts of the country. These include Lions Progressive Eye Hospital, Narshingdi; Lions Nazrul Islam College, Tangail; and Lions Ferozur Rahman Residential Academy, Brahmanbaria.'

Other Districts also have their projects to render humanitarian services. For example, District 315 A-1 has Kapatakha Lions Eye and Hospital, Jessore and Khulna Lions High School; District Eye Hospital, Dinajur; Lions Shishu Niketan Orphanage, Lions School and College Rangpur and Syedur Lions High School, Syedpur. District B-1, has Mother and Child Health Care Center (Safa Hospital) in Sylhet and that of District 315 B-4 has their Lion Eye Hospital, Chittagong under Chittagong Lions Foundation (CLF) since 1963. Apart from the Service Project, Lions of Bangladesh for the first time successfully organized the 17th Africa and South West Asia Forum in 1989 in Dhaka under the Chairmanship of. MR Siddiqi.'

As of today, more than eleven hundred men and women with membership in about 460 clubs all around the country are actively involved in materializing the vision of Rotary movement. The clubs collect millions of Taka from their members and the Lyon's mother body by way of donations, which are spent in implementing various projects especially in removing illiteracy and blindness. Lionism in Bangladesh is getting momentum day by day through their numerous humanitarian services. [Shahjahan Khadem]