Library in a hair-cutting saloon. This unique venture by Ponmariappan from Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi found special mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 70th radio broadcast 'Mann ki Baat'.

Ponmariappan maintains a mini library inside his salon in Millerpuram, which according to reports, boasts of a collection of 900 books in Tamil and English.

Ponmariappan, who has converted a small portion of his salon into a library, gives customers 30% off if they read books while waiting their turn. 

Hailing Ponmariappan's inititives, PM Modi said: "He has a very small salon where he has done an exemplary work. He has converted a small portion of his salon into a library." 

Interacting with Prime Minister Modi, Ponmariappan said: "I could study only till class 8 due to financial compulsions. When I saw others studying, I used to feel bad. Then it occurred to me why not establish a library. That would be beneficial for all.

What started with just five books has today grown into a wall collection on topics ranging from philosophy to science thrillers, fiction to folk tales, religion and mythology to moral stories and fairy tales.

In an interview to a The Hindu some time back, Pon Ponmariappan said: "Whenever a customer walks in, I request them not to use their mobiles and instead pick up any book to read while waiting. In the beginning, not everybody heeded to my request but over a period, majority of them did. I believe knowledge takes you far and always wondered how to make people read, and especially inculcate the habit of reading in children.".

When asked by the prime minister about his favourite book, The 39-year-old said "Thirukkural".

PM Modi said, "Given an opportunity, one must read Thirukkural, which is available in all languages of India. In a way, it is a guide for life."

The library salon named Sushilkumar Beauty Centre and its proprieter Ponmariappan truly are an inspiration to 130 billion Indians.