Popularly known as Auto Prakash, auto-rickshaw driver Ulluri Prakash Rao of Visakhapatnam offers service through free rides to the hospital for the needy.
Plying a three-wheeler since 25 years, Prakash has a unique way of helping the needy. On receiving calls, he helps pregnant women by giving them free rides to the hospital. Having served as many as 5864 pregnant women till now, he also extends free services to the specially-abled and old people he finds on the road. His free rides to these people amount to over two-thousand.
When asked what made him do this in the first place, Prakash says that it was his own struggle three decades ago that made him take up this cause. Hailing from a poor family, he couldn’t take his pregnant wife to the hospital by auto-rickshaw, which was quite expensive back in those days. In addition to this, Prakash encountered another incident at the Shankara theatre where he worked for extra income. He saw a man struggle to help his pregnant wife out of the theatre during her labour pains. Prakash immediately empathised with this man’s situation and took the woman to the hospital in his own auto-rickshaw. The satisfaction that he achieved after attending to women instigated him to take this service to the next level. Ever since Prakash has emerged as the saviour for many pregnant women and others. In fact, his auto-rickshaw has also witnessed six new lives come into existence.
Auto Prakash has been widely accoladed from many quarters. Out of Visakhapatnam’s 40,000 drivers, he was awarded as the ‘Visakha best Auto driver’ in 2002. He even received awards from many eminent personalities such as District Collectors and M.L.As. His most cherished awards, however, were the ones he received from Chief Ministers Chandrababu Naidu and Y.S.R. Rajasekhar Reddy.
Not limiting himself to any particular areas, he is ready to go to any place within Visakhapatnam to help the needy. And his phone number is on the call list of many. Despite being in a financial crunch caused by this, Prakash moves on unperturbed and determined to help all those he can till his last breath. And this determination is what makes him a hero in every sense of the word.