Free software movement of Karnataka is organizing another big event in association with computer science and Information sciences departments of PESCE Mandya. The event has been named “Swa.ta.ha” which is an acronym for the Kannada string “Swathanthra tanthramksha Habba”. It is going to be a festival of all GLUGs, the basic units of FSMK, in Karnataka. We are inviting participants from outside the stage as well.
The word Free is Free as Freedom not as in Free Bucket/Lunch. This event should take free software and free hardware more close to the people. Mandya and Mysroe are the districts affected by Anti-piracy raids done by the proprietary companies. Many times the small D.T.P shops and studios were forced shut their shops due to the illegal use of proprietary softwares. These common people have started using these softwares long back to earn their living. They are ready to pay the license fee for the version they are using, but the companies are not ready to support the same. The shop owners are not able to afford the hefty license fees of these softwares. Free Software Movement of Karnataka has always stood with the people and for the fight against monopolies. We are trying to help them migrate to the free software alternatives.
In this fight the contribution of engineering students are most important. We are trying to groom more code contributors, keeping in view that they can make more softwares required by the society. These students can improve the existing free softwares by enhancing the features and fixing bugs.
The festival should bring together student community and the public. There will be numerous stalls run by the students from different engineering colleges show casing the alternative softwares. Also the festival will host workshops on new technology trends like Android, Drupal, Free Hardware, Python, etc. The competitions and fun events will make use of Free Software possibilities. There will be eminent speakers from Kannada literature, Academics, Industry and the Movement.
PES Mandya GLUG is a fairly new one, but has shown good enthusiasm and energy to execute things. They have regularly conducted GLUG meet-ups, school visits, technology sessions, etc. Their participation in other other FSMK events in the last six months is commendable. Even though the college is 100 kilometers away from Bangalore City, where FSMK is head quartered and most of the activities concentrated, they have raised the bar of our expectation every time. There will be other established GLUGs like BMSIT, AIT, PESCE Bangalore, SJBIT, Community Center, etc taking part in the GLUG Festival. We welcome all free software enthusiasts to participate in this unique festival, probably first of its kind in the country. The success criteria of this festival will be the participation of general public. If few of them can start enjoying the freedom offered by alternative technologies our effort will be fruitful.