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Meet the orange vendor who received Padma Shri Award from President Kovind

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 9 November 2021, 22:09 IST
Harekala Hajabba, an orange vendor from Mangalore, received the Padma Shri award from President Ram Nath Kovind

Padma Shri Award 2021: President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Padma Shri Award to 119 recipients for the year 2020 at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The prestigious award was given in the presence of Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Home Minister Amit Shah, and other attendees.

A 68-year-old fruit seller, Harekala Hajabba from Mangalore in Karnataka has received India’s fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri, from President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday.

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He received the award for building a primary school with his earning of Rs 150 per day. He decided to build a school in his village when a foreign tourist asked him the price of an orange in English and he didn’t understand what the tourist had said to him.


According to a report in The Better India, Harekala Hajabba didn’t have school in his village for many years. Due to this, children in his village were deprived of their right to education.

Then in 2000, Hajabba had spent all of his life savings and started a school on one acre of land.

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“I had never had the opportunity to access education, and I did not want the children in the village to suffer the same fate,” he was quoted by The Better India.

While talking to news agency ANI, Hajabba told, “Today, the school has 175 students with classes up to the 10th standard.”

Notably, it was announced in January 2020 that Harekala Hajabba would receive the Padma Shri Award. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the award ceremony got postponed.

Padma Award 2021:

It is one of the highest civilian awards of India announced on the eve of Republic Day. Padma Awards are divided into three categories:

Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service), Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher-order) and Padma Shri (distinguished service).

Also Read: President Kovind confers Padma Shri to Dwarf Para Athlete KY Venkatesh

First published: 9 November 2021, 18:00 IST