Harekala Hajabba, an orange vendor from Karnataka was conferred with Padma Shri Award, India’s Second highest civilian award on Monday from the President of India. The 66-year-old sells oranges on Karnataka’s Managaluru road. He received the honour for bringing a revolution in rural education by constructing a school for underprivileged kids in his village. The school currently has some 175 underprivileged children from the village. Hajabba, who is an orange vendor, has no educational background and has not been to school.
The decision to bring education in his village came to his mind in 1978 when a foreigner asked him the cost of oranges. The Padma Awardee told news agency ANI, “”I only know Kannada, not English or Hindi. I got depressed as I could not help the foreigner. I wondered about constructing a school in my village”.
Harekala Hajabba, a fruit-vendor from Karnataka’s Mangaluru, who built a school in his village from his earnings, was conferred with the Padma Shri award today pic.twitter.com/t0lOdiOQpd
— ANI (@ANI) November 8, 2021
Hajabba’s dream of constructing a was not easy. It was realised only after two decades after he approached former MLA late UT Fareed, who sanctioned the construction in the year 2000. The school initially started with 28 students only and now accommodates about 175 students till class 10. The Padma awardee has aimed to build more schools and colleges in his village.
He further informed that he has received money from people and has accumulated prize money for purchasing the lands for building schools and colleges in the village. Hajabba added that he requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to construct a pre-university college (for Class 11 and 12 students) in his village.