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Orange Vendor Harekala Hajabba Biography, Wikipedia, Age, Family | Who is Padma Shree awardee Harekala Hajabba?

Who is Harekala Hajabba?

Harekala Hajabba is an orange vendor in the city of Mangalore, Karnataka, India, who saved money from his vendor business to build a school in his village. In 2020, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, for his commendable initiative.

Orange vendor Harekala Hajabba who built a school with his earnings awarded with Padma Shree

Orange vendor Harekala Hajabba who built a school with his earnings awarded with Padma Shree
Orange vendor Harekala Hajabba who built a school with his earnings awarded with Padma Shree

Harekala Hajabba, a 68-year-old fruit seller from Mangalore in Karnataka, built a primary school with his earnings of Rs 150 per day. On Monday, he received India’s fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri, from President Ram Nath Kovind for his efforts.

His motive? Many years ago, when a foreign tourist asked him the price of an orange in English, he did not understand what had been said and felt embarrassed. He had not had the privilege of any kind of formal education. “That day I vowed to make a school,” he said.

According to a report in The Better India, Harekala Hajabba’s village Newpadapu did not have a school for many years. All the village children were deprived of their right to education. Then, in 2000, Harekala Hajabba invested all his life savings and started a school on one acre of land.

“I had never had the opportunity to access education, and I did not want the children in the village to suffer the same fate,” he was quoted by The Better India.

“Today, the school has 175 students with classes up to the 10th standard,” Harekala Hajabba told ANI news agency.

It was announced in January 2020 that Harekala Hajabba would receive the Padma Shri award. However, the ceremony could not be held earlier due to the pandemic.

Harekala Hajabba Biography, Wiki

Harekala Hajabba Biography Wikipedia
Harekala Hajabba

Harekala Hajabba was born in the impoverished rural area of New Papdu.

Hailing from a poor background, Hajabba was forced into rolling ‘beedis’, the mini-cigarette famous in the rural folks of South-East Asia. When a flood destroyed his hut, Hajabba moved to Mangalore and started selling oranges from the money he had saved by rolling beedis.

Forced into labor from a very early age, Hajabba never got a chance to learn. Also, the life of an orange-seller was no better than that of a beedi-roller. The hardships and humiliation that he suffered all through his life made him realize the importance of education and literacy. He was illiterate, but he did not want to see one more from his village to suffer the utmost hardships of life due to lack of proper education.

With an aim to get a school for his village, Hajabba started saving whatever he could from his small earning as a hawker. After much effort, in 1999, Hajabba’s dream took shape in the form of a small school attached to a mosque in his village.

Earlier, there were only a few students. However, as the number of students increased, Hajabba thought to shift the school to a bigger facility. So, he continued to accumulate every bit he earned towards building a proper school and ensuring the education of the poor children.

In 2004, Hajabba bought a small land for the school. However, sooner he came to realize that to build a school would need way more than what he had at his disposal. So Hajabba started approaching people for money. From political leaders to elites, he begged before everyone he found access to. But, nothing much came of his attempts to seek help from others. Many would refuse him at once; some would treat him even harshly. It was a most desperate time.

Following such a terrible experience, most of us would have left the idea and returned to our daily life. But this man, Hajabba, was no ordinary soul that would be disheartened even by such appalling and apathetic responses. The reluctance of so many people to support him didn’t come in the way of his ambition.

After dedicatedly striving for a long time, saving from his small income and collecting little funds from his customers, and after toiling through one government bench to another, he finally saw the foundation of the ‘Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat Higher Primary School’ in 2004.

Harekala Hajabba’s New Mission

Still working as a street hawker, Hajabba is now on a new mission. That is to get a college for the villagers. As there is no college near the village, and most of the students cannot bear the expense of going to the city for higher studies, particularly the girls.

Seeing this, Hajabba is in talks with several officials to establish a college so that the aspiring youngsters of his village can study further and make a career for themselves.

Harekala Hajabba Recognitions and Achievements

  • Social activist and writer Ismath Pajeer has published a book on Hajabba’s life, titled ‘Harekala Hajabbara Jeevana Charitre’ (Life story of Harekala Hajabba).
  • A life history of Hajabba has been included in the syllabus of Mangalore University.
  • The British Broadcasting Corporation published an article on Hajabba with the title “Unlettered fruit-seller’s Indian education dream” in November, 2012.
  • Hajabba wa conferred with the ‘Real Heroes’ award by CNN IBN and Reliance Foundation.
  • Hajabba was named Person Of The Year by Kannada Prabha, a leading Kannada-language newspaper.
  • In 2020, the Government of India conferred the nation’s fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri, on Hajabba.

Harekala Hajabba FAQ’s

Who is Harekala Hajabba?

Harekala Hajabba is an orange vendor in the city of Mangalore, Karnataka, India, who saved money from his vendor business to build a school in his village. In 2020, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, for his commendable initiative.

Why is Harekala Hajabba awarded with Padma Shree?

Harekala Hajabba, a 68-year-old fruit seller from Mangalore in Karnataka, built a primary school with his earnings of Rs 150 per day. On Monday, he received India’s fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri, from President Ram Nath Kovind for his efforts.

How old is Harekala Hajabba?

Harekala is a 68-year-old fruit seller.

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