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Story of Devarapalli Prakash A Tea Seller Who Won Padma Shri For Promoting Education

| Published on January 29, 2019

We all know what is a Padma Shri? The fourth highest civilian award in India. Let us meet Devarapalli Prakash Rao, an Odisha tea seller who won Padma Shri and How?

Who is Devarapalli Prakash Rao?

Do your duty, the world will recognize you,” asserts the 59-year-old Padma Shri Awardee Devarapalli Chaiwala.

With this belief, Rao has been doing his duty of contributing towards the society ecstatically. Rao is an elderly man who runs a small tea stall in Cuttack city’s busy Buxi Bazaar area in Odisha.

For as long as 18 years, this man has been contributing half his income towards the education of children of rickshaw-pullers, daily wage earners and municipal drain workers in the city.

On Friday, (January 25th) recieved the call of his life

“Yesterday at I got a call from Delhi saying that I am being conferred with the fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri. I don’t deserve such a big award, but if people want this award for me, it will be an inspiration for others,” he said.

Early Life

Devarapalli Rao is a school dropout, but he is the one who started the ‘Asha O Ashwasana’ school in 2000. Rao took the step of starting the school after he saw the kids in his neighborhood falling for petty crimes or becoming alcoholics. Rao’s shop was started in the 1960s by his father who was a World War II veteran. It was he who encouraged Rao to help him.

How it all started?

While Rao was never encouraged by his father to pursue his studies, Rao made sure that the slum children got their share. It took a lot of energy on Rao’s part to convince the parents to send their children to school. With the help of his earnings, Rao feeds the children with milk and biscuits as midday meal besides providing them with school uniforms and chappals.

PM Talks about an ‘ordinary’ Tea seller

Addressing the 44th edition of his radio broadcast ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on Sunday ,27th January, PM Modi was all praise for Rao and honored him with the title of ‘guardian angel’ for children who hail from underprivileged backgrounds.

PM Narendra Modi shared a post on Twitter and said that he was delighted to meet Devarapalli Prakash Rao during his visit to Cuttack and some of the students whose lives he is transforming.

This person extraordinarily defines that money is never a factor for social work. He proved that if we have a determination of doing great to the society nothing can be a barrier to it.

Salute to Devarapalli Rao for his efforts and initiative to make this world a better place to live in.

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