A quintastic legacy

Updated: Sep 23, 2019, 11:35 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

Celebrating 50 years, one of Mumbai's oldest media institutions hosts a summit featuring alumni and staff who've inspired change

Students working on a lighting project in the early '70s at SCMSophia
Students working on a lighting project in the early '70s at SCMSophia

It can be difficult to be certain about if or how 12 months can change your life. But alums of the Social Communications Media (SCM) department of Breach Candy's Sophia Polytechnic have attached a different meaning to the acronym of their course name — Something Changed Me. Now considered to be a top-rated mass communications programme in the country, the one-year postgraduate diploma course was established in 1970 by Sr Milicent Francis. As the course turns 50 this year, the institution along with Avid Learning will organise a summit titled #Changemakers tomorrow, featuring alumni and faculty who've worked towards bringing about a positive change in society.

Speakers will deliver a seven-minute interactive presentation detailing their journeys. The alums who will be speaking range from actor Richa Chadda, filmmakers Reema Kagti and Paromita Vohra, to journalists Maya Mirchandani and Shalini Singh as well as transmedia artist Poulomi Basu. Faculty members Jeroo Mulla, P Sainath and Jerry Pinto will also be speaking at the event. The department has been working on organising the event for a couple of months. The presentations will be followed by the launch of the book Lives of the Women, Volume III, written by the students and edited by Pinto.

Paromita Vohra
Paromita Vohra

Mulla, the former head of department and professor of film appreciation and photography has been a part of the course for 40 years. She never really thought about how it changed her as a teacher, but ponders over it when asked, "I didn't identify as a feminist before. I was shocked when so many students shared stories of sexual abuse and domestic violence with me and became more conscious of feminist ideals in the process... Now I'm in a state of great happiness looking at the work the students are doing."

Writer and mid-day columnist Vohra decided to pursue the diploma at SCMSophia in 1989. Tomorrow, she will speak about how change can be achieved by questioning our perspective and having a constant curiosity and her multi-media project, Agents of Ishq. ­­­Recalling the days of sitting in the canteen, sleep-deprived and working seriously on the final term project with her group mates, she says, "But there was this passion, sincerity and innocence. It instilled a work ethic, which isn't something that you can easily find today. Hard work was an adventure. It prepared you to think that, at 20 or 21, you could do something and approach life with a sense of wonder. It was also an all-girls institution. Women don't get asked to excel that much and very few people then expected you to do so. But here you learned to believe that you are someone who can be awesome at your work."

Jeroo Mulla
Jeroo Mulla


An alum remembers...


My year in SCM was probably one of the most useful and influential years in my life. I am still in awe of the faculty members like Jeroo Mullah and P. Sainath and thank the universe for making me encounter them and widen my mind and horizon. - Reema Kagti, filmmaker

On September 24, 5 pm to 6 pm (registration); 6 pm to 8 pm (main event)

At Sophia Bhabha Hall, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Breach Candy.
Log on to avidlearning.in (to RSVP)

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