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Money is never an excuse if you are willing to do something great for the society. This is what the story of a Cuttack-based tea seller teaches us.

Despite getting a distinction, D Prakash Rao was not able to continue his studies after class-V due to financial problems. Since then, from the age of 6, Rao has been selling tea for the last 54 years.

However, he found a way to fulfill his dream by enriching the lives of 70-75 slum children through education in his school ‘Asha Ashvaasan‘, where he spends 50 percent of his income.

People are touching my feet now,” says Rao to ANI. He was also appreciated by PM Narendra Modi during the 44th edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat‘ over the weekend.

These children from slum feel more comfortable while studying in school rather than sitting idle at home or roaming around in the streets. Rao says, “I don’t want these kids to lack behind in studies just because they don’t have money. So, I divide my time between school, tea shop and going to a hospital to help patients. I started my life as a tea seller. Later on, I became a teacher and now people in hospital think that I am a doctor too.

Apart from changing the lives of slum children, Rao has also donated blood 217 times. He runs the school single-handedly by earning Rs.600 per day during the off-season and about Rs.700-800 in season time. For him, money is not the issue, all he wants is to see them shine in future.

PM Modi met Rao during his visit to Cuttack on May 26. While sharing the insights from the meeting, Rao says, “Modi ji asked me to sit next to him. He spent 18 minutes with us. It’s a coincidence that on May 26, Modi ji met us and the very next day he lauded my efforts on ‘Mann Ki Baat’. After this incident, people have started touching my feet. He said he will surely come to have food in our school whenever he comes to Odisha the next time.

PM Narendra Modi ensured that he will take care of the education, health, and meals for all the children coming to this school.

Salute to heroes like Prakash Rao whose will to make a difference in the society is much stronger and bigger than the adversity he lives with.