TEAM VISSION: Good Morning, ‘Ramu Da’! How are you doing?
RAMA KRISHNAN: I’m doing great. How would a man who has served the institute for so long and is being interviewed now, feel? (Bursts into laughter) I’m doing amazing.
TEAM VISSION: Tell us something about your early days and how you got associated with this college.
RAMA KRISHNAN: I was merely a boy of twelve when I left the comfort of my home and studies and came here to help my father in his job. My father was working here as a lab attendant and his health had worsened due to illness. After my father passed away, I continued to work here to support my family. Initially, I used to do odd jobs in the college like providing assistance in the labs, cleaning and stuff. But later, I was handed over the job of locking the rooms after the college hours.
TEAM VISSION: It has been more than 30 years that you have been serving the college. How do you feel about the working conditions that have changed around here?
RAMA KRISHNAN: Undoubtedly, things aren’t the way they were before, since I started working here, as the pay has certainly increased but the satisfaction of doing the job is no more. Previously, even when my paycheck was low, this place felt like a home as the students and faculties were numbered and we used to be like a family. Now with the increased number of students and faculty members, the essence of the oneness among all is lost.
TEAM VISSION: You have been one of the oldest working members this institute ever had. Throughout your service years, what has been the major difference that the college has undergone from being UCE to VSSUT?
RAMA KRISHNAN: Earlier, the teacher-student ratio was quite high. Each branch used to have 15-20 students with the total number of faculties being 10-12 in number. The head of the institution was the principal who had his say in almost all matters and the rules were used to be sticter, back then. A student union was there, which had an important role in all the major decisions taken regarding the institute. Currently, the situation is quite the opposite. A lot of new branches have been added and also the student-teacher ratio has decreased a lot. Due to this, there has been a huge communication gap among the students and thus, the institute has lost the feeling of togetherness.
TEAM VISSION: In your opinion, what was the biggest event, you think, affected the way things run around here now?
RAMA KRISHNAN: I clearly remember the incident which had a major impact on the institute. It was the biggest ever strike in the early 80s, when the students sat on a hunger strike for days. And also, had they gone to Bhubaneswar to continue the strike there as well. Soon after, a committee was set up and they removed the system of appointing a principal as the institutional head, instead.
TEAM VISSION: In all these years how has life been for you, both on a personal and professional note?
RAMA KRISHNAN: Presently, I have settled down here with my family. I have a daughter and a son who are both doing well in their life. And as far as the job is concerned, I am the in-charge of locking up all the rooms after the college hours. It has become quite tiresome with my ageing body and the increased number of rooms, and also because I am the only person employed for the job with no other helping hand.
TEAM VISSION: After completing 60 long years, do u believe that the institute has finally attained its glory or still is on its way to achieving it?
RAMA KRISHNAN: I believe, being the oldest institute with such a glorious past, it has the potential of becoming a lot more than what it is now. With the quanta of energy the students have in them, they can surely bring more accolades to the institute, but only if they get the proper guidance and the facilities, sorry to say, the institute has failed and failed miserably in this criterion. What the college needs is some really honest, strong headed and determined leaders who can direct the amazing zeal and enthusiasm of the students in the right direction.
TEAM VISSION: Any message that you want to give out to the aspiring students?
RAMA KRISHNAN: I would like to wish them all the best for their future that lies ahead. And the best way to survive here is to realize one’s own potential, nurture the talents and recognize the interests. Otherwise, a radarless ship with no direction ahead, shall become the future of every VSSUTian who comes to pursue true education in here.
TEAM VISSION: Thanks a ton, ‘Ramu Da’ for such inspirational words. Students shall always remember that there existed a man who had everything, still wanted ‘everything’ for our institute for so long.
RAMA KRISHNAN (wipes tears): A home is always sweet… Never bitter… Never bitter… Never bitter!