Never even dreamed of such an honour: Harekala Hajabba on Padma Shri

Team Udayavani, Jan 27, 2020, 1:02 PM IST

Ullal: Harekala Hajabba, an illiterate Mangalorean man who built a school in his village, one among the recipients of the Padma Shri awards, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour on Sunday said that he never dreamt that such an award would be bestowed on him.

A fruit seller at the Mangaluru city-based Hampankatta market, Hajabba through his own initiative shared the proceeds of his earnings for the maintenance and upkeep of the school that was initially located at a mosque in Newpadapu.

“I never dreamt that such an award would be bestowed on me. It is because of everybody’s cooperation that I could receive it. This pauper is delighted to receive this award. My dream now is to build a pre-university college.” reacted Harekala Hajabba on receiving the Padma Shri.

He further added, ” I got a call on Saturday, January 25 afternoon while I was standing in a queue at the ration shop. It was from Delhi and as I don’t understand Hindi, I requested someone next to me to speak. I was shocked to learn of the winning the award. I could not contact MLA U.T. Khader.”

“After watching the announcement on nighttime news many well-wishers called. I was in the bus, returning home at that time. The Assistant District Commissioner called and informed about the felicitation at Nehru Maidan during the Republic Day celebrations,” Said Hajabba.

Hajabba’s life story is already a part of the undergraduate program at Mangalore University and he has also received several local awards for his nobel work.

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