New Delhi/Cuttack:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated Cuttack-based tea-seller and social worker D Prakash Rao during his monthly “Mann Ki Baat” programme on All India Radio (AIR) on Sunday.

Lauding Rao's efforts to provide quality education to slum children in Cuttack city, PM Modi said, “D Prakash Rao, from Odisha's Cuttack has been selling tea for the past 50 years. He spends 50% of his income on the education of more than 70 poor children. His life is an inspiration to all.”

Speaking to in an exclusive interview, Rao said, “I am thrilled with such gesture by PM Modi and so are my students. The Prime Minister met us during his Cuttack visit yesterday and spent around 20 minutes with us. He also said that he wants to have Sabzi milaake Daal (Daalma) with us.”

Forced to leave his studies midway in Class 11 due to family constraints, Prakash Rao understands the importance of education and that is why he has been running a primary school ‘Asha o Aswasana’ for underprivileged children from slums in nearby areas in the city.

Rao spends bulk of the earnings from his tea stall in Buxi Bazar for the development and education of the children.

At present, around 70 students are studying in Rao's school here and they are provided with an afternoon meal along with other proper health facilities. The main motive behind this is to ensure proper education to many slum children, informed Rao.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated five tribal students for scaling Mount Everest during the 44th edition of his monthly radio address today.

In his radio address to the nation through "Mann Ki Baat", Modi said: "These Ashram School students began training in August 2017, covering Wardha, Hyderabad, Darjeeling and Leh-Ladakh. These young boys and girls had been selected under 'Mission Shaurya'. True to its name, they brought glory to the country with their brave deed of conquering the Everest."

Modi congratulated the all-women crew of INSV Tarini for circumventing the globe.

The team, led by Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi and comprising Lt. Commanders Pratibha Jamwal and P. Swathi and Lieutenants S. Vijaya Devi, B. Aishwarya and Payal Gupta, had sailed out from Goa in September 2017.

"These six illustrious daughters of India circumnavigated the globe for over more than 250 days on board the INSV Tarini, returning home on May 21," he said.

Travelling across different oceans and seas, they covered almost twenty thousand nautical miles, "this was a first of a kind incident in the world", the Prime Minister said.

"I congratulate these daredevils, especially the daughters from the core of my heart," he added.


(With agency inputs)