Chatsworth Tabloid (CT): What inspired you to get involved in community activism and to start the Day 2 day foundation?
Bilal Khan (BK): I am a firm believer in the philosophy which states that, “If you see something wrong, you should object and do something.” It is rather unfortunate that many people see injustices being done but choose to remain silent as it does not affect them directly. We need to develop a culture whereby we want to assist in overcoming injustice without fear or favour. I have been involved in various community initiatives over the past 21-years. This has involved assistance with finding sponsorships for community initiatives, assisting feeding schemes and assisting youth development sport programmes.
Inspired by my spiritual guide and mentor, Hazrath Ghulaam Mohiyudeen Kazi RA (grandson of Hazrath Soofie Saheb RA), I decided to start the Day 2 day Foundation. His daily guidance showed me that there is a purpose out there for each of us. The work of the organisation aims to serve humanity, just like my mentor did on a daily basis. The Day 2 Day Foundation was formed with a purpose of assisting all, regardless of race, religion, creed or economic background. One cannot live in the past nor can one live in the future. One has to live in the present and this is a fundamental lesson which I learnt from my spiritual guide by spending time with him.
As part of our Being Human Campaign, our team has assisted successfully in co-ordinating nine funerals and numerous interventions relating to the delayed release of deceased loved ones, from mortuaries across Kwa-Zulu Natal. From Moorton across Kwa-Zulu Natal, Day 2 Day Foundation are in negotiations with R.K Khan Hospital to address various issues including the invasion of monkey’s into the hospital wards. It is our intention to get the hospital back to its former glory days.
CT: What do you think are the main challenges which the community faces today?
BK: We face many issues which stem from crime, drugs, unemployment and poverty. There is also a lack of service delivery from a number of governmental departments and this contributes to problems that we face. There also seems to be many issues which are affecting our youth. The Department of Education lack sufficient power to control students and has negatively impacted the behaviour of many youth.
I have co-founded the Original School Watch Kwa-Zulu Natal (a.k.a OSW). Our team together with the MEC’s and mayor’s office, department of education, law enforcement and network partners assist in various issues affecting schools, learners and parents. A significant number of these complaints and issues relate to: refusal in admission due to outstanding fees, reports not handed across to learners due to unpaid fees, foreign national kids not being accepted into schools and intervention on illegal corporal punishments. Recently, we also made an urgent request to the mayor’s office to intervene with regards to electricity and water disconnection. The notice was sent to six schools in Phoenix and four in Chatsworth.
CT: Please describe your work within the Moorton Alliance?
BK: I serve as deputy chairperson and we aim to improve the quality
of lives for our people. Recently when water was disrupted in our
area, the Moorton Alliance team worked hard to arrange water tankers so that the citizens could be provided with water. We also managed to ensure that the Silvermount Circle, part of our community were supplied with water. This required hard work from us and we worked from the early hours of the morning until the late part of the night.
CT: What advice do you have for fellow citizens on how they can
also make a positive impact in the community?
BK: Excel towards becoming a person of action that can make a difference as opposed to someone that constantly complains. Surround yourself with people that are positive in thinking and more importantly that respect you for being yourself. Always focus on positives, no matter what or how bad the situation. Stay away from gossip, as this will keep you busy and away from doing good in serving the community.
Don’t offend your parents and grandparents, by embarrassing them with their limitations in technology or pronunciations. Always be willing to assist them, is it not them that taught you your first words. Respect your parents and look after them when they become older. Respect
your educators, sick and elderly.
Join or support non-governmental organisations. This includes Community Policing Forums which make our communities safer for all. Love all and hate none.