Community cooking and slum visit at AC3

If I am remembering correctly Senthil and RaghuRam were there with me  when I first visited AC3. Before visiting AC3 I already had some idea about AC3 and the entire community center initiatives through the interaction with Jeeva. The visit was to discuss about a community cooking program. I think we met at Sarasu’s house. The plan was to prepare lunch on Sunday (30th Oct 2012) getting everyone involved, students, IT professionals, AC3 area people and FSMK volunteers etc. Sarasu was given in charge of coordinating cooking activities.  I was one of the coordinator from FSMK side and my responsibility was to ensure money is collected and handed over to Sarasu towards the expense of cooking.

On the day of  program around 20+ students and few from IT professionals  came down to AC3. Program went well. Everyone involved in cooking, from college students to IT professional who were present there on that day.  For many both boys and girls  that was the first time they involve in cooking ,found it difficult though.  However for Sarasu and her friends everything was as usual , except that  they have to prepare food for more people. Later whole attendees were grouped and asked to visit households  at surrounding areas of AC3 to interact with families. Post lunch we screened Bombay: Our City A documentary film by Anand Patwardhan telling the story of  daily battle for survival of 4 million slum dwellers who face a constant threat of eviction in Bombay(now known Mumbai). Followed by some discussion. It was good day , hectic though.

I hear and read about SLUMS in cities and pathetic living condition over there , but this was the first time I happened to experience it and got a chance to talk with people living in slums. I can undoubtedly say that it was not their fault to end up their life in such a condition. The problem lies somewhere else. I am not ready to buy the argument that its their fate. From my interactions with the localities I could understand that the dropout rates are more in areas like this. Whether they interested to continue their education or not they are forced to earn in early age of their life when other students are continuing their professional courses. Sarasu is a living example.  She had to stop her academics due to the pressure from her families. Later due to the influence of folks like Senthil and other she could continue her education, now she is working as an admin in a Bangalore based company and I was glad to know that. However Sarasu is one from other 100s of students who got better support and she could make it.

The experience I had attending this program was unforgettable. The photos taken during the event are here

Report on FOSS Workshop 19th, 20th October and GLUG formation in Oxford College of Engineering

First Day
2 Days Workshop started little late by 9.30 AM with an introductory talk on ‘Why Free Software? ‘ by Abhinay Sama a Software Engineer from Vmware. Almost 60-80 students and couple of teachers were present in seminar Hall where we got the place to run the show.

Highlights of the topic
1.As usual “The History”
2.What is free in free software?
3.Patents and misuses

After a short break Sarath introduced FSMK to the students and how we functions. Followed by Sarath’s talk Akram from PESS IT played a video which is completely made in Blender. Students were wondered to hear about Blender a free software which is capable enough to replace Maya a 1.8 lakh Rs proprietary software. As an expert from Blender Sarath demonstrated user interface and the  tools available in blender.

Later Akram demonstrated the alternative free software available to proprietary software. Post lunch break GNU/Linux Installation handled by Ashwini,Akram and Anupama.It was a live session conducted at CSE lab. They made pen drive bootable and demonstrated how to install ubuntu and how to partition the hard drives.

Second Day.
Piyush Sharma and Shashank Jain  Network Engineers from Intel  handled the shell scripting sessions. It was a live session conducted at CSE LAB. Students could practise the program instantly and raise the queries on needs.

Topics covered
1. Why Learn Shell Scripting?
2. Fundamentals of Shell Scripting
3. Conditions and Loops
4. String Manipulation
5. Functions and Libraries
6. Advanced Shell Scripting

GLUG Formation.
Identified glug members during the meeting..

V Arun Kumar-arunvkumar94 at
Prakul Sing-prakul251 at
Nithin R –nithinr92 at
Bindu Sadandan-bindubuzz at
Keyar Lakhani-keyar.lakhani99 at
Nithyasree J –nithya1397 at
Febin A Vahab-febinaishavahab at
Devi S-devagi.n84 at
Chethan C T-chethan.ct at
Preetham N –preetam_preetu at
Suhayl Bhat
Shashank G-g.shashank7 at
Ajith K S
Raghav Kishan-raghav.kishan at

After winding up the shell scripting sessions we have collected feedback from students .

Overview about the feedback collected

1.Why Free Software? – Very good
2. What is FSMK — Very good
3.Alternative free software – Good
4.Gnu Linux Installation -Good
5.Introduction to Python-Very good
6.Shell Scripting – Very Good

Few comments from participants

“It was very good where I learnt that patenting stops research ” Rashmili J from 5th semester CSE

“This was my first experience with free software and it was really good to learn a lot about it
and to figure out that these are a lot more than just windows” – Nithin K from 5th semester CSE