Padma Shri: Orange vendor receives award for opening school in village

Harekala Hajabba, a person who used to sell oranges, received the ‘Padma Shri’ civilian honor from the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind on Nov 8 in New Delhi.  

Hajabba got this award for creating a revolution in the field of education by opening a school in his native place which is Harekala. He opened the school from his savings and is also contributing to its growth year after year.  

Hajabba is a 65 years old orange seller and is popularly known as Akshara Santa which means Saint of letters. He was concerned by the fact that he could not study as his village did not have a school. He took this as a challenge and began his journey towards making school in 1995. He got the land for school and got approval from the education department too. His dream turned into reality when Dakshina Kannada zilla panchayat sanctioned a school in the year 1999. 

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