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Anushka Sharma applauds Padma Shri awardee Harekala Hajabba, a fruit seller who built a school in his village

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Actor Anushka Sharma has lauded the efforts of social worker Harekala Hajabba who was awarded the Padma Shri by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Monday. The 68-year-old fruit seller was awarded for bringing a revolution in rural education by building a school in his village.

Anushka, on Tuesday took to her social media platforms and recognised Hajabba’s contribution to the society. Hajabba is an orange vendor in Mangaluru, a coastal district of Karnataka. Born in a poor family, he had no access to education as there were no schools in his village. He sold oranges to support his family.

Anushka Sharma- Harekala Hajabba- Padma Shri Harekala Hajabba was awarded the Padma Shri by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Monday. (Photo: Anushka Sharma/Instagram)

An incident changed his life. When he could not understand two foreigners asking him in English how much the oranges cost, he realised the importance of formal education. Hajabba vowed that kids belonging to his village will receive the education he never got.

He started saving a part of his earnings for the construction of a school in his village. It took his years but by 2000, Hajabba’s dream came to fruition as he started a school with some 20 students in a building attached to a mosque. He requested for help from politicians, celebrities and businessmen. His efforts were highlighted in the local media and he got a Rs 5 lakh cash award. Finally, a school was built on 1.5 acres of land where more than 100 underprivileged students are studying from Classes 1 to 10.

His efforts of three decades were applauded as Harekala Hajabba received Padma Shri on Monday. Film personalities Kangana Ranaut, Karan Johar, Ekta Kapoor, Adnan Sami and SP Balasubrahmanyam were also honoured with Padma awards.

Anushka herself is an animal right activist and has raised her voice for the cause on various occasions. The actor, and her husband, cricketer Virat Kohli run an animal shelter in Mumbai. The two had also made efforts to raise funds to help Covid-19  victims. The two had also contributed funds for their charity.

On the work front Anushka was last seen in front of the screen in the 2018 Aanand L Rai film Zero. Since then, she has not announced any film as an actor. However, her production company Clean Slate Filmz has been behind some popular OTT projects like Amazon Prime Video’s Paatal Lok and Netflix’s Bulbbul. Her next production Qala for Netflix marks the debut of late actor Irrfan Khan’s son Babil Khan. She is also producing Sakshi Tanwar starrer Mai, which will also premiere on Netflix.

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