FTII hostel manager retires after 38 years, students give Rs 3 lakh as farewell gift

When youngsters at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, wanted guidance, a shoulder to cry on, or a pep talk, they used to turn up to widely popular but quiet Ninan Varughese, who became the first ever manager of the boys' hostel in 1982.

The septuagenarian, who also worked as the mess manager at the hostel during the late '70s, will retire after 38 years of faithful service at the institute.

To commemorate the bitter-sweet occasion, the FTII students and alumni have joined hands to organise a memorable lunch and get-together for him on the campus on Christmas. In fact, they have even collected money among themselves — a sum meticulously gathered over a period of two to three years — to give him as a token of their appreciation.

"We have collected a little over Rs 3 lakh," says Vikas Urs, General Secretary of the students' association at FTII. "Everyone has contributed in whatever way they could. The sum donated, varies from Rs 200 to Rs 50,000," he adds.

Sumit Gupta, a student of editing at the institute, says, "We have heard so many stories about old Ninan. Especially about how he is always there for students. Whenever students were frustrated with work or suffered a creative block, Ninan always had a piece of advise or a friendly smile for them."

Varughese, who is described as "unassuming" and "quiet, but friendly" by students and alumni will be provided a new bank account.

"We have deposited all the collected money in the newly opened account so that he can withdraw it whenever he is in need," says Urs.

The informal lunch will be attended by dozens of old

students who will be driving down from Mumbai for the


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