Harekala Hajjaba

Harekala Hajjaba was the Padma Shri award recipient of 2020.Harekala Hajjaba is an Indian social activist and an orange vendor in the city of Mangalore, Karnataka.On 8th November 2021, the President of India Ram Nath Kovind awarded India’s fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri to Harekala Hajjaba for promoting the primary education. The change which he brought was providing the children in his village Harekala Newpadpu with a school.

Harekala Hajabba was born to a Muslim family of modest financial means. He dropped the education at early age in order to support his family financially. The motive that made Hajabba to build a school was an accident that happened in his life. In late 1970s a tourist walked to him and asked the prices for his oranges in English. He didn’t understood what they asked and thus lost a customer. He felt depressed about the situation. He decided that again no children in his village should have such a situation. For several years there were no school in the village. He made up his mind to start a school in his village by saving money from his daily income of Rs150.

It would have been considered as an ambitious dream to build the school with the meagre amount he gets. It took about two decades to fulfil his dream. The school began on June 17, 2000. Later it became a government school and high school section was opened in 2008. The school which started with 28 students now accommodates 175 students. The school which was grown with government support and donations from private individuals is called Hajabba school. He is affectionately called Akshara Santa(letter saint).

Though praises where pouring in from various parts of the world Hajjaba says that he received the award on behalf the village and all those who helped him. He always remembers the people who helped him achieve his dream. He feels that more than his savings it was his perseverance that helped him to realise his dream. He was keeping all his savings for his school.

It was through the extraordinary contribution he made despite the constrained circumstances for the cause of education in his village that he was honoured. Through Hajabba’s life we understand that if we have a dream and believe in that, then the dream will come true.

Image Source: Times of India

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