The Sikh Nation is holding its annual blood drive across B.C., including at Tradex in Abbotsford on Nov. 20 and 21. (Submitted photo)

The Sikh Nation is holding its annual blood drive across B.C., including at Tradex in Abbotsford on Nov. 20 and 21. (Submitted photo)

Blood drive in Abbotsford honours Sikh lives lost in 1984 genocide

Event takes place across B.C., including Nov. 20 and 21 at Tradex

The Sikh community in Abbotsford is hosting a blood drive on Saturday, Nov. 20 and Sunday, Nov. 21.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. both days at Tradex, 1190 Cornell St.

Every November, a blood donation campaign titled “Blood Donation by the Sikh Nation” takes place across the world.

In 1984, Sikhs across India were victims of aggression and unprecedented attacks following the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards.

Prior to her death, Gandhi had ordered a military assault on the most significant religious centre for the Sikhs.

The state-sponsored genocide that followed her killing resulted in the deaths of 3,000 Sikhs in New Delhi and an estimated 8,000 or more in 40 cities across India.

The blood donor event is held to not only remember the lives lost by Sikhs in 1984, but also to stand against any acts of violence or hate towards any individual or group of people.

As a tribute to the events of 1984 and with the vision of bringing people together around the world, the Sikhs started the blood donation campaign back in 1999.

The first clinics took place in the Lower Mainland and have since grown to include clinics across Canada, the U.S., Australia and other locations.

The campaign has saved more than 160,000 lives up until December 2020.

The clinics are open to all who wish to donate blood. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, they were done on a walk-in basis, but this year appointments must be made on the Canadian Blood Services website at blood.ca or by calling 604-369-1984.

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