Devarapalli Prakash Rao
D Prakash Rao.jpg
Devarapalli Prakash Rao

(1958-11-11)11 November 1958
Died13 January 2021(2021-01-13) (aged 62)
Cuttack, India
Known forSocial Worker
AwardsPadma Shri (2014)

Devarapalli Prakash Rao (known as D Prakash Rao) (November 11, 1958 – January 13, 2021) was an Indian social worker from Odisha. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the then President on the occasion of India's Commonwealth Day in 2014 for the provision of education and blood donation for the poor and orphaned children living in various slums in Cuttack. He owned a tea shop.[1][2]

Early life

De Prakash Rao was born on November 11, 1958, in Cuttack. His father's name was D Krishnamurthy and he was a soldier in the British Army. His mother's name was De Lakshmi. His wife, Vijayalakshmi works as a nurse at Sri Ramchandra Bhanj College of Medicine. The Rao couple has two daughters named Haripriya and Vanupriya.[3][4]

Social work

Rao founded a school called Asha O Ashwasana. He started the school after seeing young children in local slums deprived of education and abstaining from alcohol and petty crimes. He arranged for children from first to third grade to be taught there. Currently, there are 80 students studying there.[5] He spent half of his income from the tea shop on running the school. He has donated blood 214 times.[6] He also decided to donate his body after his death.[7]


Rao died on 13 January 2021, while undergoing treatment at the Cuttack General Hospital. He tested positive for COVID-19 in December.[8]

Awards and honors


  1. ^ "चहावाल्याला पद्मश्री पुरस्कार जाहीर, जाणून घ्या त्यांचा प्रेरणादायी प्रवास". Loksatta (in Marathi). 2019-01-29. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  2. ^ "चाय वाले को मिला 'पद्मश्री', बेमिसाल है इनकी कहानी". Jansatta (in Hindi). 2019-03-16. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  3. ^ Retrieved 2021-08-01. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "From a mere chaiwala, I have become a Padma Shri chaiwala: Devarapalli Prakash Rao - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  5. ^ "Tea Seller Runs School With His Meagre Earnings. This Padma Shri Awardee Is An Inspiration". IndiaTimes. 2019-01-27. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  6. ^ "How Life Changed For Cuttack Tea Seller After PM Modi's Mann Ki Baat". Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  7. ^ "Meet D Prakash Rao: A Tea seller who turned 'Messiah' for slum children". Meet D Prakash Rao: A Tea seller who turned ‘Messiah’ for slum children. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  8. ^ "Padma Shri awardee Prakash Rao dies at 63". The Indian Express. 2021-01-14. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  9. ^ Suffian, Mohammad (January 26, 2019). "Padma Shri chaiwala's life lesson: Do your duty, world will recognise you". India Today. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  10. ^ a b "After burst of fame by meeting PM Modi, Cuttack tea-seller back on hunt for funds". The Indian Express. 2018-06-03. Retrieved 2021-08-01.