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Freedom Walk Day 16 - Kozhikode Town to Baypore

day-16-200x200.jpgThe celebrity feel to the freedom walk kicks in the moment one steps into a formal function. The Khadi board had organised a reception at their Kozhikode office, and we struggled to meet the deadline to reach the venue on time. Prasad stopped for breakfast along the way, and the rest of us plodded on wearily towards the office. The reception was very formal, with "ponnada"s garlanded and the whole office waiting at the entrance to the office. It was a bit embarrassing, as we hadn't expected this level of attention. Mr. Shibin, who had organised this event took us around the office, and a local reporter had come to take pictures of the event.

One of the issues we saw the office struggling with free software was the option to use the old typewriter style keyboard layouts, and the difficulty for older staff to transition to the new layout. So they used non-free alternatives, and even stayed on with the typewriters themselves. We found this to be a serious stumbling block to technology adoption/free software adoption.

Manoj Iyyer joined us from the Khadi board office.

By the time we walked out of the Khadi board office, it was noon, and we made towards the City Police Commissioner's office. The Commissioner, Anoop John Kuruvilla, IPS, was very gracious to hear our ideas and plans, and we also had a good discussion about the deployment options that govt. instruments like the police service has for free software. A independant journalist/writer, Mr. Ashok A was also present and added flavor to the discussion.

We set off towards Beypore, where stay had been arranged at the Godhiswaram beach resort. On the way, we passed a completely disconnected bridge, and crossed it by foot. This odd construction made absolutely no sense, as it was about 20ft wide, and good for connecting a national highway across a river, yet, there was absolutely no paved road leading to it. On the one side was a dirt road leading up to it, a leisurely 2 minute stroll took us across an estuary towards the other side, where a metal ladder ( yes, you read right ) lead down to another dirt road in a nondescript residential area.

We hit the coast soon, and we decided to follow the coast line towards Beypore. We soon entered Marad, and discovered one of the most saddening truths about the ill aspects of religious zeal. We crossed a road, and a couple of locals joined us, in a hostile manner. In a few steps, we reached a police checkpost. The policemen on duty asked us our business in the area, asked us for identification, and collected other details. Possibly due to the high profile nature of our walk, they were very polite, but firm, and asked us to report to the Marad Police station. Some of us were bewildered, and slowly learnt the story behind this unusual police presence here. The locals were quite suspicious, and tried to search our bags, in whatever inefficient manner they could, but the distrust was apparent. What could possible cause this xenophobia ? We learnt of the sad events of 2003, about when the whole region exploded in a frenzy of communal violence. Eight people lost their lives, because of their religions. On the bright side, the government has taken special care to protect the region, and the public here seem to trust the police well enough not to interfere directly, and take the law into their own hands, as is so painfully common in other parts of India.

We reached Beypore, ready to relax for the evening. A lot of the Kozhikode FSUG gang showed up, including Junais, Jason, Sanjay and Yunais.

Freedom Walk Day 16 Photo Gallery

People who walked:

Anoop John
Prasad S R
Cherry G. Mathew
Sooraj S
Jemshid KK
Manoj Iyyer ( from Khadi board )

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Freedom Walk

Hi Freedom walkers,
happy to note you are still on target. Ok, you have mentioned one of the hick up is the old typewriter key board for old people. I am sixty two and learned typing on a junk typewriter but now very well type like this on computer key board. So devise something to keep the old attracted to the comps.

gather that you do not even bother the weather, Sun or rain you keep on walking???? but mind your food and health all the way.

Wish you well

G. Mathew

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