Introducing FOSS for भारत

FOSS for भारत will focus on exploring Free and Open Source Software from an economic perspective, reflecting my growing knowledge in this area.

Intro

It's been almost three and a half years since I joined the FOSS United Foundation, an organization that was founded to promote the use and creation of Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) in India. To summarize my experience at FOSS United, it has been transformative. I've grown a lot over the years. I'm learning about how to take care of our planet and its future. I've traveled to many places, visiting more than 15 cities, and spent a lot of time getting from one place to another. Most of all, I've learned so much from the people I've worked with.

Rise of FOSS United

My role at FOSS United has been diverse and fulfilling. From organizing FOSS Hack and IndiaFOSS, managing our community on Telegram & forums, helping non-profit organization with technology, to hosting monthly FOSS meetups in Bangalore, and working closely with the accounting team. My responsibilities also extended to handling social media, communications, overseeing FOSS grants applications, and managing sponsorships. After IndiaFOSS 2.0 in July 2022, we expanded our activities to cities beyond Bangalore, including Kochi, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Vadodara, Jaipur, Kolkata, Bhopal, Goa, Nagpur, and Solapur. Most of these cities began hosting regular monthly FOSS meetups, and we witnessed our community grow rapidly.

However, managing this growth with just one full-time staff member (myself) was challenging. To maintain our standards and support FOSS community, we needed more like-minded individuals in our team.

Not a One-Person-Army Anymore

In September 2022, we opened a position for a community manager for Mon School, a platform we build to teach programming, to build and manage our community of online learners. Riya P. Mathew joined as an intern and quickly became an invaluable member of the team. Her contributions made my life easier and brought more organization to our work. I was no longer the one-person-army anymore at FOSS United.

Currently, our team includes two full-timers (Riya and myself), six interns (Ansh, Mangesh, Harsh, Jeswin, Jessica, and Ruchika), three super active volunteers (Vinay, Rahul, and Vishnu), and two fellows (Ajzal and Aakansha), all of whom play crucial roles in running FOSS United.

What’s Next for Me?

Since 2014, I've wanted to write and share my thoughts. But I always said, 'I'm not good at it, so maybe some other time.' In the last few years, many friends have been encouraging me to start writing and have promised to help me. I think it's finally time for me to start. Another reason I want to write is that I think it's important to share ideas in public for more collaboration and discussion, and that’s how FOSS has eaten the world. So, I've decided to start writing articles about FOSS. My main focus will be on how FOSS can create jobs and help India's economy in the coming years.

Introducing “FOSS for भारत”

My article series, FOSS for भारत will focus on exploring Free and Open Source Software from an economic perspective, reflecting my growing knowledge in this area. Currently, I‘m working the first article, titled "Can we Eradicate Poverty through FOSS?" which I’m aiming to publish by late-December this year.

I'm open for feedback. You can choose to comment on this article or email me at vishal@fossunited.org.

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