A Fruit seller who built a school and now planning to build a college for village children’s – Harekala Hajabba

A hero is somebody who is selfless, who is generous in spirit, who just tries to give back as much as possible and help people. A hero is someone who saves people and who really deeply cares. –  Debi Mazar

Harekala Hajabba, an uneducated fruit vendor from Karnataka is one such hero who struggled to build a school for the village children from his saving. Hajabba has shown that it always does not need to be a billionaire to do something good for the society.

Before his vendor work, he was forced to sell things like ‘beedis’, mini-cigarette etc. but unfortunately, a flood destroyed his hut and Hajabba had moved to Mangalore and started selling oranges. Hard work and humiliation made him realize the importance of education and literacy.

“The first time I felt handicapped because of my lack of education was when a foreigner asked me the price of the fruits in English. I didn’t know what he meant,” says Mr. Hajabba. “An idea struck me to start a primary school so that the young children of my village would not go through a similar situation,” he added.

In 1999, Hajabba’s dream of building a school took place. He managed to do the same in form of a small school attached to a mosque in his village. In the starting, there were only a few students and till then no of students increased day by day. In 2004, he bought a small land for the school. He started approaching people for money. From political leaders to elites, he begged before everyone he found access to. But, nothing much came of his attempts to seek help from others.  He finally saw the foundation of the ‘Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat Higher Primary School’.

Harekala Hajabba is honored and praised within his state. The school is named ‘Hajabba School’, in respect of its founder. Social activist and author, Ismath Pajeer has published a biographical work on Hajabba’s life and struggle. In a show of admiration, Mangalore University has included in its revised syllabus the life story of Hajabba, to inspire people. Hajabba has received numerous honors, including the ‘Common Persons and Uncommon Works: Real Heroes’ award co-instituted by CNN-IBN. The media, both domestic and international, has paid Hajabba much tribute by publishing several articles on his marvelous endeavor to build a school for village children.

He is still on the same track and working as a street hawker. He is on the new mission to build a college for the villagers. As there is no college nearby area and most of the students cannot pay the fees for going to the city for further studies, especially for girls.

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