Mangaluru: Padma Shri awardee Harekala Hajabba’s decade-long dream of starting a pre-university college is almost fulfilled. A PU college has now been finally sanctioned for a New Padpu.
Hajabba single-handedly created an educational revolution in New Padpu village and is known as ‘Akshara Santha’ (Saint of letters). Being illiterate himself, he yearned for educating the children of his village.
The fruit seller, who sold oranges near Hampankatte in Mangaluru, tirelessly toiled for starting a school in the nondescript village in the year 1999-2000. With the help of donors, he successfully started a primary school and later upgraded it to a high school.
His selfless service towards the cause of education earned him several accolades, including the fourth-highest civilian award in India, the Padma Shri.
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However, his dream of PU College had remained unfulfilled.
Hajabba was visibly happy at the news of PU college being granted. He expressed his gratitude to all who helped in achieving his dream. “I have gone to Bengaluru several times. MPs and MLAs have helped me. Journalists have also cooperated,” he added.