Harekala Hajabba is known for the revolution he has brought in rural education within his state. He kept part of his savings from selling oranges, to start a school in the region he came from so that the children there could get educated. Today, the school, which has grown with government support and donations from private individuals, is known as Hajabba School. He is affectionately known as ‘ Akshara Santa’ (The saint of letters) in Mangalore city.
Social activist and writer Ismath Pajeer has published a book on his life, which is titled as ‘Harekala Hajabbara Jeevana Charitre’ (Life story of Harekala Hajabba). Mangalore University has included life story of Hajjabba in its latest syllabus. The British Broadcasting Corporation published an article on him with the title “Unlettered fruit seller’s Indian education dream” in November 2012.
He is the winner of ‘Real Heroes’ award by CNN-IBN and Reliance Foundation. Kannada Prabha, a local newspaper named him their Person Of The Year.