A shop owner of 43 years has been described as “the most selfless man” following his death. 

Seventy-year-old Prakash Devlukia, who ran Handy Stores in Rush Green, died on January 30 after suffering a brain haemorrhage. 

His daughter, Roshni, 25, described his relationship with his customers as “like family members”.

“That shop and his customers meant everything to him. Even when I was born, so many customers have seen me from diapers to now, 25-years-old.” 

Having moved to London from India “with £50 in his pocket”, Prakash first spent time living around Harrow, before buying Handy Stores in 1979 and moving into the flat above. 

Roshni, who was born in that flat in 1997, described the shop as “his life”, and how despite being in a position to retire towards the end of his life, he still chose to get up every day at 5am to open its doors. 

Romford Recorder: Prakash bought the Rush Green store in 1979, where he worked and lived for the rest of his lifePrakash bought the Rush Green store in 1979, where he worked and lived for the rest of his life (Image: Roshni Devlukia)

Referring to her father as “a very, very simple man”, Roshni said Prakash’s positivity and big smile were among his attributes most widely appreciated and recognised by the community. 

“Even if you read all the posts on Facebook and all the people that are coming to our house, they have never seen my dad without a smile on his face,” she said. 

Roshni added this attitude shaped not only her father’s relationship with his customers, but also with her as she was growing up. 

She said: “He always has taught me in life not to stress and how to stay positive”, referring to him as “the most selfless man I know”. 

This approach existed despite hardship in his life, Roshni said.

One such instance was when Prakash’s first wife, Kalpana, died of kidney failure.

Prakash had signed up to have both of his kidneys donated when he died, with two recipients already found. 

Prakash later married his second wife, Hetal, Roshni’s mother, in 1994. 

Following Prakash’s death, Roshni said: “We are completely broken. Shocked doesn’t even justify how heart-breaking it is. 

“Our lives will never be the same.” 

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Roshni said a funeral has been organised for this Sunday (February 5) at South Chapel, City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, in Aldersbrook Road. 

The procession will leave 290 Dagenham Road, Rush Green, at 8.45am. 

Prakash is survived by Roshni and Hetal.