Vikash Sharma

At a time when the people across the country were eagerly waiting for the 100th episode of the popular radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the opportunity to remember the journey which has been inspirational for many.

While addressing the nation through the monthly radio broadcast, Narendra Modi remembered the ‘Chai Wala’ from Cuttack, late D. Prakash Rao who was no less than a ‘Messiah’ for slum children.

"Once we discussed about Late D. Prakash Rao, a tea vendor in Odisha who was engaged in the mission of teaching poor children. Be it Sanjay Kashyap, who runs Digital Libraries in the villages of Jharkhand, Hemlata N.K., who helped many children through e-learning during Covid. Yes, we have referred to examples of many such teachers in 'Mann Ki Baat'," said Modi

Rao, who used to run a tea stall in Cuttack, was working tirelessly towards providing education to slum children through his primary school called ‘Asha o Aswasana’ in Cuttack.

Also Read: Mann Ki Baat@100: PM Modi salutes silent heroes of nation, shares his inspiration

D. Prakash Rao also received the coveted Padma Shri from the then President of India, Ram Nath Kovind at Civil Investiture Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan held in 2019. Later the noted social worker from Cuttack, D Prakash Rao died after battling long Covid-19-related ailments in 2021.

Rao had become a household name after getting recognition by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his tireless efforts in educating the poor children in slum area.

Apart from Rao, Prime Minister also remembered several silent heroes from the country for their numerous contributions to the society.

"Be it Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, love towards Khadi, nature-related concerns, Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav or that of Amrit Sarovar, whatever issue Mann Ki Baat got associated with, it has ignited a people's movement,” said Modi.

"The Mann ki Baat programme should continue. In the 100th episode today, Minister Narendra Modi remembered my husband late D Prakash Rao. He had set up school and taught poor children. More people should do such works which will help the nation grow," said Bijaylaxmi, wife of D Prakash Rao. 

"My father had taken the initiative and started the school from our home to teach poor children. Later, with the help of people, he had set up two rooms for the purpose. After he was acknowledged by PM Modi, many people got in contact with my father. After his demise, I am running the school. I appeal to people to connect with me and help our school to grow," said D Prakash Rao's daughter Bhanupriya.