Mangaluru, Feb 27: The ‘unlettered educationist’ Harekala Hajabba, affectionately known as the ‘Akshara Santa’ (saint of letters) among who knows of his praiseworthy efforts to educate the poor children of his village who are otherwise unable to afford school fees, is now unwell and feeble due to his health problems.
Due to lack of a nutritious diet and problems such as asthma, anaemia now plagues him and he has to undertake regular medical treatment. A few days ago he was admitted to Yenepoya Medical College Hospital at Derlakatte, where he is slowly recovering with hopes of getting back to his routine of traveling to Mangaluru from his village Harekala few kilometres away to sell oranges and other fruits and take care of his school.
With the noble cause and single-handed efforts to build a school and provide a good education to poor children from his savings by selling fruit and seeking donations, several organisations and institutions have recognised his efforts and honoured him with felicitations and donations. However, as selfless as he is, he invests the money given to him during felicitations towards building a new structure which will serve as a high school for these students.
He hopes of constructing a building for PUC courses in the same village and strives to save as much money as possible. With a mission to construct a playground adjacent to the existing school, Hajabba had been frequenting offices of the deputy commissioner and elected representatives to seek assistance in sanctioning the land necessary for the playground.
During this while, he was also plagued with his daughter’s ailing condition putting him into a state of mental and physical stress.
In his own words, “I became largely unwell and had to be treated at a hospital for my ailments. For more than a month, I have been receiving medical treatment and also conducted a heart scan free of cost. Yenepoya Abdullah Kunhi also donated free medicines and food supplies to my home during this time. I am still recovering.”
He said that he was unable to come to the city to sell oranges as he was not strong enough to walk as before. As soon as he is able and fit enough, he wishes to go back to selling oranges for livelihood.
Funds for school
According to Hajabba, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel had facilitated a grant of Rs 5 lakh towards construction of a playground. The deputy commissioner himself visited the place and sanctioned a sum of Rs 5 lakh issuing directive for the construction of a compound wall.
The zilla panchayat had provided a sum of Rs 50,000 towards the development of the school. However, the combined sum still falls short since the construction of a proper playground for the school children requires upto Rs 40 lakh.
“It is very difficult for amass this type of huge sum. I have approached and placed a request in front of the chief minister to build a PUC block next to the school,” said Hajabba, with no plans of giving up till his dream is realised.