On November 8, around 141 people were bestowed with the Padma awards, the highest civilian awards in the country. Their notable contribution in various fields, from social work to sports and entertainment, were given much-deserved appreciation as they were honoured by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Some of the work done by the awardees is extremely remarkable. A shining example of this is a man named Harekala Hajabba. Hailing from Mangaluru, he was awarded the Padma Shri for his exemplary work towards making a primary school in his village using his earnings. He is a fruit vendor and he used all his life savings to make sure the children in his village have a better future than he did.
Used His Life Savings To Open Village's First School
Hajabba comes from a village called Newpadapu in Karnataka. It did not have a single school, leaving generations of people in the village uneducated including the orange vendor. In 1978, an incident on the job made him realise the need for education. An English couple asked him the cost, to which he could not respond as he only knew the local Tulu language. "I was embarrassed that I could not tell the price of a fruit I had been selling for years," He told The Better India.
It was only in 2000 when his dream came true. As reported by NDTV, he approached the local MLA, Late UT Fareed, who gave him permission to construct it. At first, the school gave admission to around 28 students. Today, it accommodates over 178 students till Class 10. Many people have donated money as well, that Hajabba will use to open more schools and colleges.
Dreams Of Opening Pre-University Institution
On getting the Padma Shri, Harekala Hajabba's joy knew no bounds. He thanked President Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the local MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and district manager Kota Srinivas Poojary. "I have requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to construct a pre-university college (Class 11 and 12) in my village," he said. With the recognition he has received now, he wishes to open a pre-university college in the village