Madurai hairdresser comes in for high praise from PM

Mohan spent ₹8.5 lakh on feeding the poor during lockdown

Published - May 31, 2020 11:52 pm IST - Madurai

A role model:   Hairdresser C. Mohan spent money that he had saved up for his daughter’s studies.

A role model: Hairdresser C. Mohan spent money that he had saved up for his daughter’s studies.

It was a regular Sunday morning for C. Mohan at his salon in Melamadai, Madurai. But things changed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to his contribution in his monthly radio broadcast, Mann Ki Baat.

In the course of his speech, the Prime Minister praised Mr. Mohan for feeding the needy during the lockdown, spending ₹5 lakh that he had saved up for his daughter’s education.

“As news spread, people started thronging our house. When people expressed their gratitude, it was worth more than any amount of money,” Mr. Mohan said.

The sight of people starving and pleading for help during the lockdown deeply affected M. Nethra, 13, Mr. Mohan’s daughter. “She insisted that we give away the money we saved for her education. She told us that she would study hard and become an IAS officer to serve society,” he said.

Despite having no income during the lockdown, the family donated rice, vegetables and groceries to nearly 1,500 families. Apart from the savings for his daughter’s education, Mr. Mohan pledged his wife’s jewellery to continue feeding the poor. “So far, we have donated around ₹8.5 lakh to the needy,” he said.

Mr. Mohan said that he had a habit of saving a portion of his daily earnings. “A few years ago, I was cheated by some acquaintances who took away ₹30 lakh, which was my hard-earned savings. At the time, I was left with no money and struggled to feed my family. When people asked for help during the lockdown, I could completely understand them because I too have experienced hunger,” he said.

Mr. Mohan started saving for his daughter’s education in 2013. “Our experiences have taught us that money is just a part of life and is temporary in nature. Since we had some money saved, we gave it away to the poor,” he said.

With his salon operational for over two weeks now, the footfall is gradually improving, he said. “Our aim is to help more people in other areas,” he added.

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