Harekala Hajabba (65) Receives the Prestigious ‘Padma Shri Award’ from President of India
Mangaluru: Harekala Hajabba, who has been chosen for the Padma Shri Award 2020, received the prestigious honour in New Delhi this morning (8 November 2021) from President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, at the awards ceremony held at the Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan. New Delhi. This Award will be added to the over 500 awards/felicitations he had received in the past, but this prestigious Padma Shri Award will find a prominent place in his house, as per Hajabba.
It is learnt that Hajabba along with his nephew left Mangaluru on Sunday, 7 November to Delhi, after reaching Delhi, he was accommodated at the Five Star Hotel Asoka. The duo’s trip was handled by Dakshina Kannada district administration and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel. Hajabba, who sold oranges, created a revolution in the field of education by opening a school in his native place, Harekala, from his savings, and contributing to its growth year after year. The Padma Shri award for Hajabba had been announced on January 25, 2020, but the function had not been held due to the Covid pandemic.
Hajabba, 65, an illiterate fruit vendor who is popularly known as ‘Akshara Santa’ (Saint of Letters), was successful in building a school to educate children of his village in New Padpu, Harekala, located about 35 km from Mangaluru city. Deeply pained that he could not study as his village did not have a school, he took it up as a challenge and his journey towards building a school in Harekala began in 1995. He left no stone unturned to get land for the school and for approval from the education department. His dream turned into reality when Dakshina Kannada Zilla panchayat sanctioned a school in 1999.
Initially, Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat Lower Primary School popular as ‘Hajabba avara Shale’ (Hajabba’s school) was functioning in a Mosque. Later, Hajabba built classrooms for the school on 40 cents of land sanctioned by the district administration.