Education plays a substantial role in one’s life as it creates employment opportunities. In a modern world, where education is a necessity, many other students in India still face hindrance to finishing their education. According to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, six million students between the ages of 6 and 13 do not go to school in India. By 10th grade, nearly half of all the students backed out of school.
Harekala Hajabb, who is a fruit seller in Karnataka, is well aware of all these scenarios because he gave up education midway owing to financial constraints in his childhood. But today, he has turned the pages of many children’s lives by providing education.
Harekala Hajabb, who is a resident of Dakshin Kannada was surprised when he heard the news of being conferred with Padam Shri.
An Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer had tweeted about how Hajabb got the information about being honoured by the Padma award.
“Harekala Hajabba was in a line on a ration shop when authorities informed him that he got Padma Shri. This fruit seller from Dakshin Kannada is educating poor children in his village of Newpadapu from a decade in a mosque. Doing all the efforts including spending his savings,” tweeted forest officer Parveen Kaswan.
As per a BBC report, Hajabb’s Newpadpu village which is about 350 kilometres from state capital Bengaluru did not have any school. In 2000, Hajabb decided to set up an own school with a decent income. The fruit seller also availed loans to purchase land for the school. Initially, Hajabba started his school at a mosque which housed a madrasa with as many as 28 students.
Hajabba, said his journey of setting up a school for poor children had started after an encounter with a foreigner. “I felt very helpless when a foreigner asked me about the price of fruits in English. I was unable to comprehend what he meant,” the 55-year-old Padma award winner told BBC.
Today, the school houses 130 students. He also plans to set up a college.