Datt: Born to serve

Community worker Bissun Datt tends to his garden at his home in Waqadra Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Bissun Datt is an exemplary community worker who believes he was born to serve.

Mr Datt has given 52 years of his life towards community service.

He served in various positions at the district level. His two most notable positions that he held over the years were that of an advisory councillor and Justice of Peace (JP).

“I was always encouraged to work for the people and it is something that has defined my entire life,” he said.

Mr Datt, who was brought up close to Korobebe Village in Sabeto, Nadi, said his passion for community engagement was ignited as a young boy when he would listen to his grandfather discuss matters of social work with his friends.

“I worked as an advisory councillor for the Sabeto area covering 12 settlements for many years.

“During my active years, I was also the president of Nadele, Masimasi, Keolaiya water scheme that helped increased water accessibility for five villages.”

He said he was also actively involved in sugarcane farming in his prime years as he also served in the Sugar Cane Growers Council.

“In 1992, I was also awarded the best cane farmers award.”

Mr Datt said in 2011, he also became the vice-chairman of the Nadi District Advisory Council.

“I have given voluntary and free service to District Office in Nadi for many years as well.”

The 73-year-old Nadi native has now retired from social service and spends most of his time at home.

“I like gardening and I keep myself fit by tending to the vegetable plants in my garden daily and by God’s grace I am fully fit and healthy even at this age.”

Dr Datt said he liked public speaking and he was regularly called on the stage at family and public functions.

“I have learnt a lot in my life just by observing and I believe one can learn a lot of things even from a young child because knowledge and ideas has no limits.”

He said what kept him active was the Hindu poem that “a human is born after 8 million and 400 thousand births” thus one should make full use of it.

“It takes a long period to be re-born as a human, thus our duty is to serve the less fortunate and I believe if I have done well for people then even in my death, people will remember me.”

Mr Datt has urged the younger generations to work hard as Fiji had everything to become a successful person.

“The sad part was that they don’t work very hard and expect everything to be handed easily to them.”

Mr Datt and his wife live with their extended family in Waqadra, Nadi.

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