Sometimes the biggest ideas come by accident and not by deliberation, and so it was with the members of Lions Club of Howrah’s concept of building a Hospital.
It happened on 15th August, 1969, some members had been on a visit to Howrah General Hospital. It was there that they observed overcrowded wards, inadequate staff, hours and hours of queues in the Outdoor Department, long months waiting for Indoor Admissions and probably many other inadequacies which only money could rectify
After that visit, members were convinced that Howrah was urgently in need of another Hospital, the priority being an Outdoor Department.
Going about it professionally, the members had a feasibility report prepared and finalized by the lionistic year 1970 -71.
Obtaining land for the Hospital was an initial problem, but here again people came forward with the goodness of their heart and Howrah Gorakshini Sabha made the dream possible by leasing out their plot of 2200 Sq. ft. for the dreamed project. With every stage of construction excitement grew and deadlines were scheduled to pace the construction.
The great day arrived on 19th December, 1971, when the Outdoor Department was inaugurated by none other than Noble Laurette Rev. Mother Teresa. Operation Theatre equipment and instrument were donated by War-on-Want after the Bangladesh War.
For the next five years, the Outdoor Department was expanded meeting the growing needs of the local populace. Also keeping in view other aspect of medical facilities, Howrah Lions periodically organized Free Eye Operation Camps.
Meanwhile, the need for organizing hospital wards became pressing and on 29th February, 1976, ten beds were inaugurated and ten more added soon after.
However, it was the Outdoor Department on which demands were being made, thus a new Outpatient Department was inaugurated on the Ist. Floor by the then Lions International President (1976-77), Prof. J. F. Sobral on 15th November, 1976. Other related services began to follow and on 13th May, 1977 the Ambulance Service was introduced.
More and more space was required and the Hospital began to grow vertically. Acting on the request of our Past President and Past Dist. Governor Lion R. L. Bathwal, Shri Sita Ram Daga and Smt. Savitri Daga came forward to construct one floor now known as the Eye Infirmary. This ward was inaugurated on 2nd October 1978 by the then Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court Hon’ble Shri Sankar Prasad Mitra. It was an example of how non-Lions can and do get involved with a worth while cause.
This was followed by another housing “pay-beds and cabins” also build by a non-Lion Shri Ram Niwas Agarwal (now deceased). He later became member of the club sponsored by Lion R. P. Awasthi. This new floor also accommodated one residential block inaugurated by Late Shri Nani Bhattacharjee, the then Hon’ble Health Minister on 12th July, 1981.
The Hospital has grown up to 6 story’s and still further required growth with the addition of new related service. On 10th October 82, an X-ray Unit was installed & inaugurated by Dr. Kanai Lal Bhattacharjee, the then Hon’ble Health Minister for Commerce & Industry. The funds for this unit were donated by again a non-Lion Shri Radheyshyamji Chitlangia who saw the need through the efforts of Lioness Sheelaji and Lion Purushottamji.
On 13th May 1984, a Blood Bank was inaugurated at the Hospital by the then Dist. Governor Padmashree Lion Dr. G. K. Saraf. However   we had to close down the Bank some years later due to functional problems.
We have not been able to expand our activities due to paucity of space. We are looking for additional space. Meanwhile we have been upgrading our facilities. During the year 1995 – 96, A new concept to bring patients from far off villages to our base hospital for cataract operation under ‘Sight First- Out Reach Programme’ was started. For the purpose, on 15th October, 1995 we have installed & commissioned the latest High Technology Equipments for Eye Surgery and introduced one Bus for carrying patients from & to villages. This was done with the grant received from Sight- First Committee of Lions Clubs International. We also introduced a computer system in the hospital for day to day working to save the man hours.
On completion of 25 years of service, on Sunday, the 8th June 1997, the hospital celebrated its Silver Jubilee. To commemorate the occasion a beautiful Souvenir with useful health matters was published.
During the year 1997 -98, 2 Nos. of fully modernised Operation Theatres were Inaugurated on 05. 10. 1997. We also added 15 more beds in the hospital. The existing Eye Outdoor dept. was duly renovated & updated. We also received a License for running an Eye Bank in our hospital premises, the 1st NGO receiving this official permission. On 07. 02. 1999 our Eye Bank received first eye donation from the deceased donor Sri C. K. Singhvi. Till date more than 200 corneas have been received by donations and grafted to blind people.
On 26th February 2000, a Phaco Emulsification Machine, a latest and sophisticated equipment for cataract eye surgery was installed and inaugurated by Dr. Suryakant Mishra, the then Hon’ble Minister Land & Land Reform and currently Health Minister, Govt. of West Bengal in presence of Sri Sunil Kumar Gupta, IAS, DM, Howrah, and Sri Subinoy Ghosh, Hon’ble Mayor, Howrah.
 During the Lionistic Year 2002-03, we added some more latest High Technology Equipments for Eye Surgery and added two more Patient Carrying buses in our fleet to upgrade our ‘Sight First- Out Reach Programme’ and to carry out more and more cataract operations every year.
This flow of additions and modernisation of equipments is continuing till date. We have added several equipments in the hospital, renovated patients blocks and office blocks.
Lions Clubs International News
Connect with Us Online