Watch | Orange seller Harekala Hajabba wins Padma Shri

In the 1990s, Harekala Hajabba was making a living by selling oranges at the Central Market in Mangaluru.

Today, in his 60s, he is a recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri award, the fourth-highest civilian award in the country.

His inspiring story began when one day, a foreigner asked him the price of 1 kg of oranges.

Hajabba could not answer as he did not know English.

Fearing that future generations of the Harekala village would face a similar situation, Hajabba decided to open a primary school. The school was started on June 17, 2000.

Also read: Padma Shri Hajabba felicitated by Mangaluru police

It later became a government school and the high school section was opened in 2007.

The school now teaches classes 1 to 10.

The classrooms in his school are named after different achievers.

The class 9 rooms are named after astronaut Kalpana Chawla, while the class 8 rooms are named after Rani Abbakka. The staffroom is named after Dr. S. Radhakrishnan and the office and laboratory are named after Swami Vivekananda.

Also read: Hajabba wants village school upgraded

Hajabba built the school with grants from the government, companies and from donors.

He initially contributed ₹5,000, which were his savings from selling oranges.

Hajabba’s present goal is to ensure that a Pre-University college is set up in the village

Before Hajabba built his school, students from Harekala had to walk 3 km to reach the nearest aided schools.

Hajabba’s achievements have become a subject of study in undergraduate courses in Mangaluru, Davangere and Kuvempu universities.

Additionally, Kannada-medium schools in Kerala have included him in their syllabus for Class VIII and Class X students.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 6:58:01 AM |

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