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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Meet Harekala Hajabba the orange vendor who won Padma Shri award for building a school

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A fruit seller in rural Karnataka sold oranges for a decade and built a village school. Here’s the story of Harekala Hajabba, who won the Padma Shri for his commendable effort.

68-year-old Harekala Hajabba, a fruit vendor from Mangalore in Karnataka, is an example for the world that shows that the One Almighty God can do wonderful things through whoever He wants. The story of Harekala Hajabba shows that God can do something big like building a school through even those people who are uneducated and downtrodden. The only things you need are motive and determination to do something for the world we live in. 

Harekala Hajabba was bestowed India’s fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri, through the hands of President Ram Nath Kovind for his extraordinary effort of building a primary school with his earnings of Rs 150 per day. 

But, what was the motive behind the school? Many years ago, when a foreign tourist asked him the price of an orange in English, he was humiliated since he did not understand what was stated. He had not had the benefit of any formal schooling.

He stated, “That day, I vowed to build a school.”

According to a source, Harekala Hajabba’s hamlet Newpadapu was without a school for a long time. All of the village youngsters were denied the right to an education.

Harekala Hajabba said, he never got the chance to access education, and he did not want the youngsters in the area to face the same thing that he did.

Then, in 2000, Harekala Hajabba put all of his life savings into establishing a school on one acre of property. The school now has 175 pupils and classes up to the tenth grade.

Harekala Hajabba was due to get the Padma Shri award in January 2020. However, because of the pandemic, the event could not be held sooner.

President Ram Nath Kovind presented Padma Awards at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Monday. The Padma Awards list for 2021 contains seven Padma Vibhushan, ten Padma Bhushan, and 102 Padma Shri Awards, with 29 winners being women and one being a transgender person. 

The Indian government has been offering the Padma Awards in a variety of categories, including art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medical, literature and education, sports, and civil service.

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