The Sikh community holds a blood drive in Abbotsford this Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 16 and 17). (Black Press file photo)

Blood drive remembers Sikh lives lost in 1984 genocide

Event takes place Nov. 16 and 17 at W. J. Mouat Secondary in Abbotsford

The Sikh community in Abbotsford is hosting a blood drive on Saturday, 16 and Sunday, Nov. 17.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. both days at W. J. Mouat Secondary, 32355 Mouat Drive.

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 130,000 lives up until December 2017.

The clinics are open to all who wish to donate blood and stand in solidarity against genocide or acts of hate of any kind. Visit sikhnation.net for more information or to register.

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