Devarapalli Prakash Rao


The path from dreams to success does exist . May you have the vision to find it ,the courage to get on it and the perseverance to follow it. -KALPANA CHAWLA

So presenting the story of Devarapalli Prakash Rao, a 59-year-old tea seller who was  awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, for his countless efforts and hard work towards boosting the value of education among the slum children..

Since 2018, Devarapalli , a tea seller in the city of Cuttack, Odisha, has gained  utmost popularity  across the universe. India ‘s  Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited him at Cuttack. Today, Rao is the recipient of Padma Shri which is a matter of great proud for the whole nation. He also mentioned about his works in Man ki  baat  radio broadcast.

He proved that his positive action combined with positive thinking of educating the slum kids  served as a reason behind his success.

Devarapalli Prakash Rao

Above shown are the children of rickshaw pullers, daily wage earners and municipal drain workers who are deprived of getting quality education due to their parent’s inability to afford quality education and making both ends meet.

Now the question arises – What steps did he took so as to promote access of education amongst the weaker section of the society?

He started  a school called ‘Asha O Ashwasana’ in 2000 through which he made sure that these children do not get provoked via negative things  and rather put their entire focus  on enchanting their minds through education. Despite not getting his father ‘s support to pursue his  studies, he never prevented helping the young minds from getting  proper education.

He has also been an active blood donor since 1976. He also provides the children with school uniforms and footwear from his income. Moreover, he also provides milk and biscuits as mid day meal to kids.

It is rightly said that the happiest people are those who lose themselves in the service of others. Unless a person likes him do not take initiative regarding the change he want to see ,no betterment can ever happen.

Moreover education is the best means of making an impact on the lives of people. Our Nation proudly salutes Rao for this noble cause which he carried out.

He encountered numerous hurdles during his journey to success. He  had to quit school after passing Class X due to his family ‘s limited means. His motivation came from the discord he felt when he saw young kids in his neighbourhood getting influenced by the temptations of petty crimes and intoxication that alcohol causes.

Struggling hard, he managed to pursuade parents to send their children to his school, since most of these families couldn’t afford to part with a working member, hence they end up having low income.

 In addition, he has a strong command over eight different languages and helps other children along on their journey to gain knowledge.

Rao is amongst  three individuals from Odisha who received the honour this year. To him,  Narendra Modi’s praise is his biggest achievement of life.He, was at a hospital on Saturday (January 25) when he got the biggest surprise of his life. At around 11:30 pm, he was informed via a phone call from Delhi that the government had conferred him with the fourth-highest civilian award in India, the Padma Shri, for his spirit of service before self and other contributions in the field of serving the humanity. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi met him during a visit to Cuttack in 2018, he was touched by Rao’s initiative.

He  told about this :

“Yesterday at around 11:30 pm, 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.

It was  a huge achievement for a tea-seller who struggled hard and finally became the epitome of success for the generations to come. He has a strong command over 8 different languages which he utilised to educate  poorer sections of the society.

The humble tea-seller,  since 1976, prays that his award will serve as  a lesson for millions of youngsters in the future era.

He concluded, if you put in your best efforts continuously on doing your duty, the world will recognize you one day

Rao’s story is a thought provoking one which gives us a sigh if relief reminding us that every small act of thoughtfulness matters, every very tiny reform could touch and transforms hundreds of lives if we have the courage to become the change we want to see in the world  beyond our personal struggles.

Rao has been setting aside half his income from selling tea for educating 70-plus slum children, aged four to nine from previous twenty years. Cheers to such a great man of wisdom.


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