Freedom Walk - A walk to claim, ensure and preserve freedom

September 04, 2008 - 23:19

Millions of people worked hard and even paid with their lives to earn us the freedom we enjoy today. Is our current generation aware of the value of this freedom? From the lack of social and political sensitivity and the lack of activism in our society it might seem that this is not so. It is as if we are devaluing freedom every day. With the commercialisation of almost every sphere of life, most people are not able to find any time to put in effort to fight this alarming trend. Most, but not everybody. At Zyxware, we have decided to focus our efforts to tackle this issue head on.

What is this freedom that we are talking about?

It is the freedom to live our lives to its fullest without harming anybody else and without violating any of our accepted social norms. There are several areas of life where we invoke this freedom. We are primarily concerned with three different areas - Software Freedom, Freedom from Social Evils, Freedom to live our future.
1. Software Freedom - Software is a tool that allows us to process information. Information should be open and should benefit everybody. Knowledge belongs to the world. Consequently the tools that are used to process this information and create knowledge should be open as well.
2. Freedom from Social Evils - A social evil is something that works against the development of our society. And it could be anything from poverty to corruption.
3. Freedom to Live our Future - The biggest concern of our day is shrinking energy supplies and looming environmental catastrophes. If we don't act now, we probably wouldn't have a  chance to act at all.

About our vision

1. Claiming freedom is about empowering individuals to claim their freedom and for this they have to be aware of the freedom or the lack of it.
2. Ensuring freedom is about organisations and even individuals who will work to ensure the freedom of the general public and this is activism.
3. Preserving freedom is about creating structures and systems that will promote these organisations and individuals and preserve activism.

What are we aiming to achieve?

1. To build awareness about the issue.
2. To connect with people and organisations who share our vision and to work together for our common cause.
3. To empower these individuals and organisations using technologies.

How are we planning to achieve these aims?

1. By walking from Kasargode to Trivandrum and conducting seminars in schools, colleges and other educational institutions, we hope to build awareness about the issue and its solutions, among students, youth and thereby, among the general public.
2. By using the above campaign as a platform to connect with people and organisations who share our vision,we hope to achieve aim No.2 stated above.
3. By creating a web based collaborative framework, we intend to enable these individuals and organisations to harness the power of technology and thereby co-operate and work together more effectively and efficiently. 

The modus operandi of Freedom Walk

A team of campaigners will be walking from Kasargode to Trivandrum in an effort to mobilize social activism to claim, ensure and preserve freedom in our society. We will be touching all district head quarters from Kasargode to Trivandrum. We will be starting from Kasargode on Oct 2 and plan to end the walk at Trivandrum on Nov 14th. Along the way we will conduct seminars in schools and other educational institutions. We invite interested institutions to register for a seminar at www.freedomwalk.in and thereby participate in this noble venture.

During the journey we will also be actively promoting the free software movement in each district in Kerala. We are looking forward  to cooperating with different Free Software User Groups throughout the state and replicate our successful efforts in the building of the GNU/Linux Users Group, Trivandrum. The GNU/Linux Users Group has grown from a handful of individuals in 2007 to a vibrant community with sufficient commitment and energy to organize the ongoing 5 day long GNU/Linux Install Fest right in the the heart of Technopark, Trivandrum. We are eager to visit districts with little or no organized Free Software efforts in order to galvanize their activities towards building vibrant and active Free Software Communities.

The second objective that we are trying to achieve is to promote social activism. We expect to meet and collaborate with interested individuals and organizations at various points during the march to express our solidarity and extend our offer to work together in areas where they can utilize our core competency - Information Technology - to enhance their effectiveness and competency. We will also try to push this message through seminars hoping that we will be able to inspire the next generation to grow into responsible citizens.

We also would like to reach out to individuals and organizations who share our vision in preserving the environment. We will be offering to extend our help and technical competency to organized groups like nature clubs, social forestry clubs etc., to help them grow and make use of the power of technology in effectively growing and spreading the message of conservation. These groups can also utilize our efforts to actively network among similar groups across the state. 

As part of this effort we will be offering free technical consultancy, web hosting and related services for all these groups. If you are a member of any of these above mentioned groups and you are interested in availing this opportunity please sign up at the site - www.freedomwalk.in or get in touch with us by phone at 9446069446.

The progress and updates during the different phases of the Freedom Walk from the planning stages to the actual walk will be regularly updated on the website - www.freedomwalk.in. Visitors at the site will also be able to interact with the team on a regular and real time basis during the walk. Additionally we will also be releasing a couple of web based systems before the Freedom Walk, which we are hoping to be able to become a collaborative platform for connecting with like-minded organizations and individuals.

About Zyxware

Zyxware was started with a vision to be the change we wished to see in the world. We have been consistently validating this claim with our projects and our principles of conducting our business. Projects as diverse as the Chikungunya Tracking Software and the Freedom Toaster - a Free Software Vending Machine - made us realise that we needed to compartmentalize our initiative into for-profit and not-for-profit activities. Towards this goal, we are planning to launch Zyxware Foundation, a not-for-profit-organization(NPO) which will be the vehicle through which we will be implementing all our public interest projects. Zyxware Foundation will be starting its operations with this project - The Freedom Walk - as its first project.  The profits from the business operations of Zyxware Technologies will fund the operations of this NPO. We are also looking at other funding sources to scale up our social operations.

Post your comments / questions

I welcome the initiative to start a Foundation for Public interest projects. I sincerely hope that there is a powerful community built up in and around zyxware and its leader that will cause a transformational momentum. Our nation has always had visionaries with prophetic voices. The need of the hour is for movements that follow these voices.

Looking forward to the updates on the Freedom walk as it happens