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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 27 October 2020 6.40 PM IST

Hajabba was waiting in a queue in ration shop when he came to know about Padma Shri

orange-seller

This year's Padma awards is very special as it included names of many commoners who contributed to the country's progress. One such personality is Harekala Hajabba, an orange seller from Karnataka. What made him special is his efforts to set up a school for the underprivileged students from his village. When asked about being conferred with Padma Shri, the country's fourth-highest civilian honour, he said, "I'm very happy. I would like to dedicate this honour to my school'.


Hajabba is regarded as the saint of letters among the people of Dakshin Karnataka. The man, who did not even get primary education, had set out to sell oranges at a very young age and later turned out to be the one who helped many children step into the world of knowledge through his hard work.

Hajabba was waiting in a queue in a ration shop when he received the call from authorities informing him of the prestigious honour. As he did not know both Hindi and English languages, he handed over the phone to autorickshaw driver Abbas who eventually made him realize the achievement.

Hajabba, who hails from Newpadapu village in Dakshin Karnataka, found the school in 1999 with his small earnings. Later, he sought government loans and used his savings to buy land for the school and improve its facilities. With the increase in the number of students in his school, the government came to know about his efforts to provide education to poor children and this eventually resulted in him getting honoured by the nation.

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TAGS: HAREKALA HAJABBA, PADMA SHRI, PADMA SHRI AWARD, SCHOOL
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