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Tea Seller Wins PadamShri

Education is an extremely important aspect of a person’s life. To be educated means to be cultured. Education enhances the personality of an individual. The Indian Government brings forth reforms and measures every now and then to improvise the situation at the ground level in the field of education. Many amazing initiatives have been brought forth by organizations and responsible citizens of the country also in this regard. Lately, a tea seller in Cuttack took the initiative of teaching slum children. He started this teaching session at his home itself near Buxi Bazaar in the year 2000.

Shri. D Prakash Rao runs a school named Asha O Aswasana. The school consists of about 70 students. The students can attain education in this school till class 3. After they pass out from standard 3, Rao helps the students to register themselves in government schools in order to further finish their education. Rao is 62 years old presently. He has been selling tea for earning his livelihood ever since he was hardly 9 years of age. He runs the project with the money he earns by selling tea. Rao wanted to become a doctor since childhood. When he grew older, he wanted to become a football player. Unfortunately he ended up becoming a tea seller and he utilizes his earnings for the sake of teaching underprivileged young children and for serving humanity to a great extent. Rao believes that there is need for the government, private citizens and organizations to take effective steps for the upliftment of these children who come from low income communities. Any initiative big or small shall definitely bring about a positive change in the lives of these children. For his extraordinary will, determination and contribution to humanity, he has been awarded the Padma Shri award. In an interview with the Times of India, he stated that this is the finest possible recognition that he possibly could get for his work. The recognition has filled him with joy and courage. He stated that the acknowledgment will allow him to make added efforts in the field of education. PM Modi also appreciated his efforts and his work during his Mann kiBaatprogramme that took place on May 27, 2018. PM Modi also met Rao during his visit to Cuttack. Another beautiful initiative by Rao is that he donates blood on a regular basis and renders a lot of help to the attendants of patients at SCB Medical College Hospital. He provides them with boiling water and milk. Till today, he has donated blood 218 times and blood platelets nearly 17 times.

By: AnujaArora