My 2 paisas

FSMK weekend

Posted on: March 15, 2010

It has been one of the most useful weekends I have spent. Not only did I enjoy the weekend to its fullest, I could also make sure that it was fruitful. The weekend started right from Friday evening. I left office at around 7 and met Naveen and went with him to FSMK office. There while watching the opening match of IPL season 3, KKR vs DC, we planned the events for the weekend. We discussed for around 2 hours and divided the tasks among all the FSMK volunteers. We had planned few run-up events before the National Conference on Open Source which is going to be held on 20-21 March. Two of the main events that we had planned were a freedom walk of 2 groups of students on Garuda Mall and Jayanagar on Saturday and the release of “namma debian” and a photo gallery of Mani’s art in AC3 on Sunday.

So as decided during the meeting, early morning on Saturday, me and Naveen went to 3 different engineering colleges on Bannerghatta Road and met the concerned authorities over there and asked their permission to stick posters on the notice boards and also asked if during the weekend we could talk personally to students and get some on-the-spot registrations for the conference. Luckily we got positive response from all the 3 engineering colleges but unfortunately since all the colleges had holiday on Saturday we could not directly talk to students. However I am sure we will follow it up during this week. We finished visiting the colleges in the afternoon and then we geared up for the Freedom walk on Jayangar. We had decided to meet YDIT students at 4:00 at Jayangar 4th Block bus stand. So at around 4:30 we, around group of 10, started our Freedom Walk carrying the banner of National Conference and distributing pamphlet. We tried to explain to anyone who showed even little interest in discussing with us about the event. I am pretty sure we were able to distribute pamphlets to around 200 people and also explain to around 50-75 people personally and in detail about the conference. The group at Garuda Mall which was a much bigger group of around 35 students must have had a much more impact on people and must have really caught a lot of attention. The Freedom Walk stopped at around 7 after which I went back to my aunt’s house where in I again enjoyed a lot and celebrated the birthday of Meghna with other PG girls at midnight.

On Sunday, I met other FSMK volenteers at AC3 in the evening and we started preparing for the event. There was lot of excitement among the slum people. They helped us in all the ways they could in organizing the stage and cleaning up the venue. By around 5:30 we had around a group 75 people other than FSMK volenteers with atleast 30-40 children. The event started with a inspiring speech by G Ramakrishna, Editor of Hosatu. He told people how they could change their lives by working hard and giving education to their children instead of leaving everything for the fate to decide for them and complaining about all the problems in their life. After that, a small boy gave a wonderful speech about Mr. B.R. Ambedkar’s life and also how all the holy-books of different religions regards the gift of knowledge and education much higher than any other worldly gifts. He explained these facts by reciting specific examples from Bhagvad Gita and Kuraan. This was followed by the main event of the program which was the release of “Namma Debain” cd. It is a flavor of debian in Kannada language which we plan to distribute in villages throughout Karnataka so that people who are only literate in Kannada language can also use computers for their day-to-day life without any hassle. This was followed by a brief demo of the Namma Debian where in we tried to explain to the slum people how easy it was now for them to use computers now. This was followed by a display of different pictures made by Mani using the GIMP software. Then we had few cultural activities by the slum children. It was a great event and I was proud to be a part of it. I could see the impact that AC3 was having in the slum and this made us more determined to start such centers through out the city.

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