Like any other superhero, D. Prakash Rao leads a life of delightful duplicity. Undercover, he is a chai-wala. His super power? Making sure that the children of slum dwellers are not denied a proper education.
As a child, Rao used to love studying, but his father believed that education would get him nowhere — that the safe choice would be to continue working at the chai stall.
Since 1976, that is exactly what Rao has been doing.
But he didn’t let go of his dreams of learning, and struck upon a wonderful way of righting a wrong. Denied the option to finish school as a child, Rao today runs a school with the money he makes from selling tea — his only source of income.
70 underprivileged children study in the school that runs from nursery till Class 3, after which he enrols them in a government school.
When he realised that some students weren’t able to do well in class because they were poorly nourished, he began giving each of them a glass of milk along with biscuits every day.
When Rao, who is the father of two grown daughters, speaks about his children — both biological and the ones in his school — his face lights up.
But educating children is not all he does.
Watch this video, where he speaks about his full life and his amazing mission: