One of the harsh realities of India is how in slums and other impoverished areas you can clearly see the resistance against education of children. The tragedy of the situation is you can’t really blame the poor for choosing to get their kids to earn a living for their families from a young age, instead of getting an education that over time can help them reap benefits. The immediate allure of some amount of money prevents most of them from seeing the bigger picture.
This is something Padma Shri Awardee, late Shri Prakash Rao noticed first-hand when he was growing up in one such slum in Odisha. Rao’s father fought in the Second World War, and when he returned home, he realized there weren’t too many opportunities for people like him. So with an initial capital of Rs.5, he opened a tea stall. His son, Prakash, worked in that stall from age of 7, but as the years passed by, he always found himself yearning to complete his education.
What he could not do for himself, he sought out to make it happen for the kids around him. Prakash Rao wanted to give these children a chance to change the trajectory of their life with education. With this aim, he started "Asha Ashawasana" - a school that has educated hundreds of kids, and transformed their lives. He did so by setting aside half his income and using it towards setting up a school for slum children in the slums of Cuttack in Odisha, where kids could get free education and food. For his noble act of goodness, he was also conferred with the fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri.
Prakash Rao's life is an inspiration to many. It is our honour to share his story, as part of the 'Pearls of India' platform by Rajnigandha Silver Pearls.
Pearls of India endeavours to capture, in the form of videos, the selfless effort that many an Indian puts for the benefit of society at large. The platform aims to acknowledge the compassion and selfless care that makes the world around us a better place. As a brand, Rajnigandha Silver Pearls is committed to spreading the message of goodness and benevolence which is also articulated through the tagline: ‘Achchai ki ek alag chamak hoti hai’.
Pearls of India is a platform which is the brand’s way of celebrating any manifestation of kindness, big or small, in the world. Efforts like these must get their due recognition.
'Pearls of India' is geared towards recognizing the effort and time that some common people of the country have invested in helping others. It seeks to showcase the altruism and noble kindness that is still present around through real-life stories. These stories will be putting an engaging video format by the brand to generate greater interest.