Cuttack: Social activist and popular tea seller of Odisha D Prakash Rao passed away at 4.15 pm on Wednesday. He was undergoing treatment at COVID Unit of SCB Medical College and Hospital here. He was 63.
Rao was admitted in the hospital 20 days ago after he tested positive for COVID-19. He died following a brain stroke. Rao is survived by two daughters.
Rao, who owns a tea stall at Buxi Bazaar in the city, was known for providing free education to children of slums through his school, ‘Asha O Ashwasana’, since 2000.
In recognition of his exemplary service to the society, President Ram Nath Kovind conferred Padma Shri on him in 2019.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also mentioned about his noble work in ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took to microblogging site Twitter to pay tribute to Rao. Patnaik tweeted:
Deeply saddened to know about the demise of philanthropist Padma Shri D Prakash Rao. The Good Samaritan will always be remembered for his dedication to uplift the lives of children through education. My thoughts & prayers with the bereaved family members. RIP
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) January 13, 2021
The CM also declared that Rao will be cremated with full State Honors.