Student and fish vendor Hanan unfazed by trolls

An online mob mocked her, saying she was hungry for publicity, but she stood up to them

Hanan Hamid

Twenty-year-old B Sc student Hanan Hamid became an overnight sensation after a video of her selling fish in college uniform went viral. She was trolled by thousands, and rumour mills worked overtime, speculating she was doing it for publicity.

Hanan, who lives in Vyttila, Kerala, told Metrolife her story over the phone.

Did the trolls disturb you?

I wasn’t too bothered but my younger brother was upset. When I explained things to him, he understood.

What gave you the confidence to stand up to them?

 I was doing odd jobs as a child to make ends meet. People used to say I would run into trouble because I am a girl. But that didn’t deter me. I wanted to prove wrong the notion that women must be cautious before taking up anything.

You had a lot of people calling you...

When I was struggling, nobody supported me and nobody bothered how I got my next meal. I value people who are with me in good times and bad. I don’t bother about those who come forward to help just because I was trolled.

Do you nurse any fears?

I don’t do anything to grab people’s attention. I haven’t done anything to provoke people to talk or react in a particular way. Why should I fear anything? Trolling is an illness with no cure. We can’t stop people from it but we can change our attitude towards it. It is best to stay positive and be strong.

What’s your advice to those who are trolled?

Trolling is not going to die down. It has now become routine. Don’t bother about it. Move on.

How it all began in Kerala

On July 25, a Malayalam daily published a story about how the 20-year-old sold fish after college to fund her education. Other papers and TV channels picked up the story, which then went viral. It caught the attention of film director Arun Gopi who offered her a role alongside the popular Pranav Mohanlal. Many trolled her, saying it was all a gimmick. A man on Facebook Live claimed she was rich as she wears a gold ring. An abusive online mob went after her. She defended herself, saying she had bought it with her hard-earned money. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan rushed to her rescue and praised her grit. Two men who abused Hanan online were arrested.

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Student and fish vendor Hanan unfazed by trolls

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