If there is one person who has seen SCMC right from its inception, it is Mr Sham Navalu Thopate, the library assistant who is also the college’s oldest working employee. He has been an essential part of the Symbiosis family for nearly three decades. Recalling how he came to become a part of this institution, Mr Thopate says “My brother also works in Symbiosis, so he told me about the vacancy and I applied. I joined Law campus, then I was transferred to the Senapati Bapat road Campus, and now I’m here”.
Mr Thopate leaves his home in Dhayari every morning at 8 am. He reaches the campus on time and ensures that the news stand on the fifth floor has the day’s edition of The Indian Express. Then, he heads to the library to set up shop for the smattering of students, who slowly start to filter in. “The trend is that first-year students come to the library the most for the first few months, then nobody comes, unless they have a scheduled class.”
He wishes that more students came to read the variety of books that the library offers. Mr Sham is also a trekking enthusiast, and often ventures into the hills around Pune on his days off with his friends. He remembers Ujjwal Chaudhary, who was the director of the college from 2006–2011, very fondly. “He was very approachable, and would stop his work to listen to students. I really enjoyed working with him.”
He often recounts amusing anecdotes of how the former director dealt with certain humorous situations with his students.
Mr Thopate believes that a lot has changed since he joined this institution, but the only thing that remains constant is that every batch has more female than male students.
He says that the college has been on the right path since its inception, and will continue its ascent as one of the best institutions in its field.