New Delhi: Harekala Hajabba, an orange vendor of Mangalore who saved money from his vendor business to build a school in his village, has won Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, for his commendable initiative.
Harekala Hajabba is known for the extraordinary contribution he made, despite his own relatively constrained circumstances, to the cause of education in his native village.
He kept part of his savings from selling oranges, to start a school in the region he came from so that the children there could get educated.
Today, the school, which has grown with government support and donations from private individuals, is known as Hajabba School. He is affectionately known as ‘ Akshara Santa’ (The saint of letters) in Mangalore city.