Hairul Anuar was born deaf. Ever since his father’s passing when he was 8 years old, his mother took the sole role of being his guardian and raised him fully on her own.
As with many others in the disabled community, Hairul faced discrimination when he was denied entry into a university due to his condition. Even though his main passion lies in civil engineering and architecture, he was told since he was in high school that being deaf would hinder his progress in those two areas so he had to settle for something else.
Feeling dejected after finding out his rejection was caused by something he was born with and couldn’t change, Hairul settled on entering a course in a private college for accounting. When his mother fell ill in 2013, the duo were forced to live in his college dormitory because Hairul had to balance his studies while taking care of her at the same time.
In 2015 when he graduated, they managed to find another accommodation but then he faced another obstacle when his mother was diagnosed with partial stroke and had to go through dialysis. To fund them both, he sacrificed his opportunities to find a career with his degree and opted to start a lunchbox delivery service instead to make sure he could give attention to his mother as well.
“I’ve always wanted a career. But I realise that there is no one else who can take care of my mother as I am an only child, so I’m willing to leave my ambitions to take care of her. I’ve been doing so for the past 3 years,” said Hairul in his post on Facebook.
The 24-year old stated that he learned his cooking skills from his own mother before she fell ill. The entrepreneurship spirit has always been embedded in the family as his mother also sold food since he was young to make a living.
So how did he decide to start his lunch box delivery business?
“I always uploaded the dishes I cooked on my Facebook. A lot of people then began suggesting their ideas on how I could leverage off my cooking skills. I was afraid at first but I decided to try the lunchbox delivery business to see how it goes,” said Hairul.
To kickstart his lunchbox delivery model, he began by using some of his mother’s welfare funds given by the government. He was grateful that after the first day of starting his delivery business, he managed to make a little bit of income from it, which sparked his interest to continue.
He also sought the help of fellow deaf people to help deliver his lunch boxes to the customers. This was also his form of providing job opportunities for people who might have limited options due to their disability.
Netizens have shared their sentiments on his inspirational story and responded well to it. His uploaded status went viral and has been shared over 23k times and has 63k likes at the time of writing. Comments left on his post have been full of admiration on his dedication to care for his mother while finding a make a living despite all the disadvantages he’s faced.
“I chose to do this because not only does it allow me to work from home, but I get to make a living from something my own mother taught me and repay it by caring for her at the same time,” shared Hairul.
Currently, Hairul delivers around the Cheras area and has no delivery fee. He says the coverage of other areas depends on the runners who are available to deliver. The menu changes every week and the rates stand at RM6 per pax. He sets a minimum order of 3 pax and above but he limits it to 50 pax as he is unable to cook more than that.
“I’m grateful for all the attention and love I’ve been receiving recently from fellow Malaysians. I hope that my story can be a great message and inspiration to any who may need it out there,” said Hairul in his status.
Feature Image Credit: Compiled from MyStarHub and Hairul Anuar on Facebook