Though this is considered as lauch pad for my entry into Free Software movement , there were other under same / relevant banner in chennai . This was the first excersise of which I was part of . Prior to that , I dont have any idea of what Free Software is or what FSF or FSFTN or FSFI or FSMI any other organisation or technical name what so ever was . It was probably in the month of June that one of my Father’s friend asked me to help people from Andra who are going around to colleges to get help in conducting a workshop . That was the time when I met Siddarth . There were Balaji , pawan , vinay , nakul ,raghavendra ,chaitu ,arvindkumar , baghath , sundhar , chinthan , srinivasanvijayan.Even before I met them there were many activities going around .
Initially we approached my college(HIndustan College of Engineering ) to conduct a 4 day workshop .But it did not work out . Then we approached SSN college , where Subash Babu sir offered to help us readily and Mr.Balasubramanian was the event coordinator . One must remember that there was no finance with us . Nothing . Zero . I used to see that Siddarth and others spend money from their pocket . Also the transportation in 2008 in Old Mahabalipuram was not that good . But still we use to travel the lenght and breadth of it . Now imagine the situation in our hand- Got permission for conducting the event , but how will we bring students ?? Its certainly not going to be a easy task of going around colleges and telling to students to come for an event about the word which even I was not clear about .Then I started reading philosophies behind GNU/Linux . It was quite interesting 😉
Next comes the challenge . We got to travel almost to all colleges in OMR and start our campaign .On June 9th, a seminar Freedom and Software at SRM Easwari Engineering College by Siddhartha Malempati for which I accompanied him . I could see how he took the session . He commanded the respect of the students . The crowd was little bit wavery , as we were given just 45 minutes , that too before the lunch break 😉 But he handled the crowd well . It was a great learning lesson for me . July 2nd, a session on Free Software by Chaianya Muppala (FSFTN)at Dr. Paul Engineering College in Pondicherry.This excercise for me was a challenge . WHile others were employed and could go by auto or call taxi , I could not do that .I took a 30 Rs pass ( Popularly called as one day pass) and would travel the city moving around colleges 🙂 .Our end of the day meeting point would be Balaji’s office in Gream’s Road .We used to eat at Fruit Shop @ Greams road for some time .At this point of time , I enjoyed the tiredness 🙂 Everyone would love to be tired 🙂 After Vigerous campaigning we were able to bring around 200+ sudents – 2 seperate weekends July 19th, 20th and July 26th and 27th. We managed an enthusiastic crowd .