Humble achievers turn textbook icons

Never-say-die heroes

It is a rare honour for the undivided Dakshina Kannada district. This land has seen many achievers, but not everyone got an opportunity to become a part of college syllabus as role models for the younger generation.

Harekala Hajabba, an orange vendor in Mangalore, and Gandhian Cherkady Ramachandra Rao are two achievers whose life stories will be taught as lessons to inspire the younger lot by Kuvempu University from 2012 to 2016.

Apart from them, the life stories of S B Eshan (sports), Anupama Niranjan (woman achiever), Sukri Bommegowda (tribal leader) and Salumarada Thimmakka (environment) will feature in the textbook named ‘Sahitya Spandana-2’ in the ‘Yashogathe’ section.

The textbook is for fourth semester students of B Com stream in Kuvempu University, Shimoga and Davangere University. The achievers have been selected by the Textbook Committee purely based on the achievements of and media reports about these personalities.

Harekala Hajabba
Harekala Hajabba hails from a small village called Harekala near Konaje. An orange vendor by profession, Hajabba, who is an illiterate, dreamt of spreading education among children in his vicinity.

He put his heart, soul and income into ‘Neopadpu ZP Higher Primary School’ (now, Composite High School). Whatever the school is today is solely because of Hajabba’s efforts. After living a simple life of an orange vendor for years, his service was first recognised by a Mangalore-based senior journalist who published an article on Hajabba.

From then on, there has been no looking back for Hajabba.  After the District Karnataka Rajyotsava award and a series of felicitations followed.  None of these has changed humble Hajabba. As expected, all the cash rewards have been utilised by Hajabba for his school.

Now that there are several construction works costing lakhs of rupees going on in his school, he is in need of funds to realise his dream of a full-fledged school building and a playground.

Overwhelmed by the new honour of being part of a textbook, he says it all seems like a dream as to how a man like him, wearing shabby clothes, illiterate, poor and unsophisticated, has been given a place in the hearts of so many
­people.

Cherkady Ajja
Cherkady Ramachandra Rao (Cherkady Ajja) was a Gandhian, progressive farmer and Krishi Pandita awardee who passed away in 2010. He lived at Cherkady in Brahmavara for 91 years.

Inspired by Gandhian thoughts, he started spinning the ‘charkha’ at his home and till his death, he lived a simple life.  He did not even take an electricity connection for his house. On his two-and-a-half-acre land, Rao experimented with every possible crop from paddy to vegetables and various fruit bearing trees.

Farming practices
His farming practices named ‘Sarvodaya paddy cultivation’ became popular in the area and the crops produced through thess techniques came to be known as ‘Cherkady crops.’

He was conferred the Krishi Pandita award by the State government in 2002-03. His son Manjunath Rao said it is a great recognition. “There is so much to talk about my father that a book can be written on him. The students are getting to know about him in a small way. This in itself is a worthy appreciation,” he said.

The chapter on Hajabba is based on a book by Na Karanth Peraje, while the chapter on Cherkady is written by Prof Narendra Rai Derla. The textbook has been edited by Professor Anjanappa of the Department of Kannada of the Kuvempu University.

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