When likes and shares were pouring over a Facebook post telling the success story of K Arun Kumar, an Mechanical Engineering student who is also a peanut vendor, he was going about his usual business on the busy street of Statue Junction in Thiruvananthapuram. It was an MLA there, TM Thomas Issac, who spotted him doing business a stone’s throw away from the Government Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram, during an evening stroll. He posted a few pictures of the boy along with a brief description of his vocation on his Facebook page that was lapped up by people in minutes, like the hot peanuts Arun sells, from the crack of the twilight.
So many people have come forward to help Arun and sponsor his education at Sri Chitra Tirunal College of Engineering here. But the thought of leaving the business that supported his education and life in difficult times troubles Arun. He starts working by 6.30 pm every day after college.
“There are just two more years left for completing my course. My family had hard times in the past and none came forward to help during my childhood. I started this business when I was 13. Many raised eyebrows and asked my parents how I juggle studies and business,” says the 20-year-old.
His father, an autorickshaw driver is a part-time peanut vendor too. Understandably, he learnt the tricks of the trade from his father. Arun cracked the Engineering entrance exam with a rank 2,821, enough to get into any prestigious engineering college in Kerala on a merit basis. For Arun, late nights come in plenty, which are enough to do his assignments and studies.