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Karnataka's 'Ajji' Donates Land Worth Rs 1 Crore to Build School for Village Kids

Hunchchamma now works at the same school as a head cook for mid-day meals. (Photo: News18)

Hunchchamma now works at the same school as a head cook for mid-day meals. (Photo: News18)

Huchchamma Chowdri says it's enough that the children remember her, and that she would have no use for all that money.

How far would you go to help those around you? A 75-year-old lady from Kunikeri village, Haveri district in Karnataka, has just willingly given away everything she had so that the kids of the village get to study and play well. Huchchamma Chowdri owned two acres of land on a prime spot in Kunikeri village. She came to this village after marrying Kunikeri Basappa Chowddri several years ago when she was a very young girl. The couple did not have children and worked hard on their field. Thirty years ago, Basappa Chowdri passed away and Huchchamma found herself lonely. She continued to work on her field and led a simple life. When she came to know that government officials were scouting for a space to build a school for the village children, she voluntarily gave away half of her land, an acre. After some time, the school committee was searching for land close by to build a playground for the kids. Huchchamma stepped in happily once again, gifting them the remaining piece of her land.

Hunchchamma now works at the same school as a head cook for mid-day meals. When the school is closed, she works as a farm labourer in others people’s fields. “I didn’t give birth. But all these kids call me Ajji (granny). I feel extremely happy to feed 300 odd kids every single day. Why settle for one or two children when you can call 300 your own?” says a beaming Huchchamma.

Given the number of metal manufacturers, especially iron ore, that have popped up in the area, the value of the land has shot up in Kunikeri. The market value of the land that Huchchamma donated for the school building and playground in the blink of an eye is Rs 1 crore at the minimum, say the villagers. When asked if she knew the value, Hunhchchamma simply asked, “All I need is enough food to satiate my hunger, which I get. What would I do with all that money? These kids will remember me forever, won’t they? That is enough.”

Hunchchamma’s extraordinary generosity might remind one of another elderly lady from Karnataka. A destitute woman who begs outside a temple for her living, donated her hard-saved money to the deity she believed in. Kempajji had said that she had saved the money for a purpose and requested the temple’s head priest to get a silver face mask for the deity Lord Anjaneya (Hanuman).

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first published:January 25, 2022, 09:30 IST