Guwahati, January 29, 2019:
The chaiwala who has been making national headlines, D Prakash Rao, 62 from Cuttack decided to teach slum children at his home near Buxi Bazar in 2000 and this benevolent act of his to contribute towards society earned him the Padma Shri award, the fourth highest civilian award from the government. D Prakash Rao's school, Asha O Aswasana, has 70 odd students who are taught till Class 3 after which Rao helps them to register in government schools to continue their education.
Rao has been selling tea since he was not even nine-years old and funds his school project from the money he earns by selling tea. Rao aspired to become a doctor and football player while growing. However, he ended up selling tea and is now one of the most famous chaiwalas of the country.
The tea seller strongly believes that people need to work for the upliftment of the children coming from lower-income communities to bring about a change in their lives. Rao, expressing gratitude for his Padma Shri, stated that the award is the finest recognition that he could have received for his contribution. The acknowledgement has encouraged him to put in more effort in his work.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Mann ki Baat episode on May 27, 2018, appreciated Rao’s work. A day before the PM delivered the radio address, he visited Rao’s chai stall during his visit to Cuttack.
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