Pon Mariyappan – one haircut, lot of books

PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced this name through Mann Ki Baat programme, Pon Mariyappan, a hairdresser, native of Thoothukudi has done wonders in Tamilnadu. PM congratulated Pon Mariyappan’s initiative of cultivating the habit of reading among the people by converting a portion of his salon into a library. PM asked him questions in Tamil as well. He enquired about the initiative of setting up a library inside a salon. After conversing with him, the prime minister said: “We just spoke to Pon Mariyappan ji. See how he dresses people’s hair, he gives them an opportunity to dress up their lives too”. PM Modi, who continued to speak in Tamil, said he felt happy to have spoken to him and Mariyappan too said he was extremely happy.

Pon Mariyappan did something different in his barber shop at the beginning of the new year. He has a very small salon where he has done an exemplary work of converting a small portion of his salon into a library. There are no fancy posters of models, no blaring music, instead, there is a mini library with over 900 books, all part of Mariappan’s collection. The store also announced a 10 percent to 40 percent discount if readers leave Facebook and WhatsApp and read the book. Pon Mariyappan, who dropped out of class VIII, has been in the media for some time now. He said since he did not get the opportunity to study beyond class 8 due to family circumstances, he established a library for the benefit of others. This thought started in a few books. Today it has become a library with a collection of 900 books in Tamil and English. The constituency’s MP Kanimozhi has also donated 50 books towards his collection. When Prime Minister Modi asked him what book he liked, he said ”Tirukkural”. Hailing Tamil classic ”Tirukkural”, PM Modi said it is a guide for life and one must read it. The book is available in all Indian languages. Tirukkural or Kural in short is an ancient Tamil didactic literature having 1,330 couplets, offering guidance to people from all walks of life.