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Swecha [1]
Type Non-profit organization
Region served
Andhra Pradesh & Telangana
Official language
Main organ
Executive Committee
Affiliations Free Software Movement of India
Formerly called
Free Software Foundation, Andhra Pradhesh

Swecha is a non-profit organization formerly called as Free Software Foundation Andhra Pradesh (FSF-AP) later changed it's name to Swecha. It is a Telugu Operating System released in the year 2005, and is a part of Free Software Movement of India (FSMI). [1] [2] The organization is a social movement working towards educating the masses with the essence of Free Software and to provide knowledge to the commoners. [1]

Swecha organizes workshops and seminars [3] in the Indian state of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Presently Swecha is active GLUG ( GNU/Linux User Group) in many engineering colleges like International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad , Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology, [4] [5] St. Martin's Engineering College, Sridevi Women's Engineering College, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Technology, SCIENT Institute of Technology, CMR Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, Jyothishmathi College of Engineering and Technology, [6] MVGR College of Engineering, K L University and Ace Engineering College.[ citation needed]


The main objectives of the organization are as follows:

  • To take forward free software and its ideological implications to all corners of our country from the developed domains to the underprivileged.
  • To create awareness among computer users in the use of free software.
  • To work towards usage of free software in all streams of sciences and research.
  • To take forward implementation and usage of free software in school education, academics and higher education.
  • To work towards e-literacy and bridging digital divide based on free software and mobilizing the underprivileged.
  • To work among developers on solutions catering to societal & national requirements.
  • To work towards a policy change favoring free software in all walks of life.


  • Swecha hosted a National Convention for Academics and Research which was attended by researchers and academicians from different parts of the country. Former President of India Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam while inaugurating the conference and declaring it open has asked everyone to Embrace Free Software and the Philosophy associated with it. [7]
  • Technology should also be within the reach of everybody. At a time when technology has become all pervasive and people are increasingly dependent on it, transparency in software code is the need of the hour. "One needs to know what is going on in your mobile phone or computer," said D. Bhuvan Krishna, co-convener of Swecha project which code is available for anyone and everyone to modify fills this gap, felt speakers at an event organised to spread the word of Free and open-source software(FOSS) and celebrate the launch of latest web browser from the Mozilla Foundation's stable, Mozilla Firefox 3.5. [8]
  • Swecha, has organised a 15-day workshop in Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology(CBIT) for budding software engineers from across the country. The idea is to provide students with an opportunity on the importance of students contributing towards the development of free software as it would not only allow students to exercise their creative faculties but also will help society to free itself from the clutches of proprietary software. [4]
  • Swecha, an organisation floated to promote free software movement in India, has organised a one-day workshop on free software in the Department of Computer Science and Systems Engineering, Andhra University College of Engineering, the students who attended the workshop along with the faculty members joined to formally launch the GNU/Linux User Group(GLUG). [9]
  • In order to build a mass movement for free software, Swecha organizes Freedom Fest to promoting use of free software, [10] About 1,500 students from 80 colleges from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh converged on the campus to voice their concerns against proprietary software and share their passion for free software.
  • Swecha hosted A 2 Days International Technical Symposium on Free Internet (DFI) & Free Software in Hyderabad, Gachibowli in the month of 24 January 2014. More than 4700 participants attended including the 20+ delegates from ThoughtWorks & Social Activist across the world. [11] [12] [13] [14]
  • Swecha organises summer camps every year [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] in which large number of students participate. The camps focus on training students on Free Software Technology and the culture of sharing and collaborative development of free software. In the 2014 itself 15 days camps were conducted for 2000+ students. It is here participants collaboratively engage in the conduct of the Summer Camps.


Swecha is a free software project [20] aimed at coming out with a localised version of Linux Operating System in Telugu and providing global software solutions to the local people with the Free Software development model by working together with the community of developers and users all over. The prime objective of Swecha OS is to provide a complete computing solution to a population that speaks and understands only Telugu. The target users of the Distro being the entire community that is a prey of the digital divide. This project helps in coming out with a solution for the digital divide and allows the possibility of digital unite becoming a reality. The project aims at bridging the gap between the computer technology that exists predominantly in English and the Telugu-speaking community of India. The project also aims at providing a framework for development and maintenance of Free Software projects taken up by the community.

Bala Swecha is a free software project, [21] initiated by the Swecha for tiny tots, It is a school distro with many of the useful interactive applications for the school goers. Its stack is filled with educational suites for all the standards right from elementary to tenth standards. They cover a wide range of applications which make the student learn Maths, Physics, Geography, Chemistry etc., very easily. Swecha has taken up many activities in training the school teachers, computer instructors of several government schools. [22] [23] The aim of the Distro is to deliver a Free Software-based operating system for the project of " Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan" initiated by the government. There isn't such operating system till now which gives full freedom with an educational stack. Swecha has the plans of localizing BalaSwecha for the benefit of Telugu medium students.

E-Swecha is a free software project initiated by the Swecha and is aimed at developing a free Operating System, which is not built by a software firm.. neither is it built by a few programmers.. it is a collaborative work of hundreds of Swecha Volunteers/engineering students in and around Hyderabad to, for and by the engineering students.


  • Swecha organised a free software workshop and delivered a talk on "The Age of Inequality", Mr. Palagummi Sainath told the gathered engineering students and researchers that half of the country's children suffered from malnourishment and at the same time, the situation was getting worse for farmers and suicides among them were high, Despite a high growth rate, malnourishment of children in the country remained at 46 per cent which was behind countries of Sub-Saharan Africa where these figures stood between 32 per cent to 35 percent [24]
  • Swecha widespread protests taking place across the country after the arrest of two girls over a Facebook comment, have now reached Hyderabad. On Sunday, a group, consisting mostly of IT professionals, students and academicians, protested at Indira Park against the controversial Section 66 (A) of Information Technology Act [25]
  • The Swecha was in the forefront of the protests against the inclusion of proprietary software in the representation to All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) against the deal with Microsoft. [26] [27]
  • Swecha organised a seminar on "Employment opportunities in changing technology landscape", on 23 September at Mahima Gardens, Member of German Hacker Association Chaos Computer Club, Andy Müller-Maguhn, director of Social and Economic Justice at Thoughtworks, Matt Simons and secretary of Free Software Movement of India Y.Kiran Chandra addressed the students and later joined the Free Software Movement started by Richard Stallman. [28]
  • The seminar was organised by Swecha, on the free software development model, Mr Neville Roy Singham explained that spying or surveillance can be easily done through hardware as well as software, and that no electronic device can be safe from it. The NSA is doing it because it is simply very cheap for them, and that they are taking in literally every piece of information they can get. More than 3,000 students, mainly from the engineering stream attended the seminar, which continued till late evening, as many other speakers like Renata Avila, a human rights lawyer and internet freedom activist from Guatemala, Dmytri Kleiner, Telemiscommunications specialist, and Zack Exley, ex-Chief Revenue Officer, Wikimedia foundation also conducted seminars and interacted with students. [29]
  • Internet surveillance and digital snooping on the people is the biggest threat to democracy said by the Richard Stallman Internet surveillance and spying is dangerous and threatens the functioning of democracy, Dr. Stallman told students at a seminar on "Free Software and Internet Freedom", organised by Swecha on the Acharya Nagarjuna University campus. [30]
  • Swecha has demanded that the Central and State governments bring in policy changes on information technology to give fillip to hardware manufacturing, setting up of data centres and software design centres. Mr. Y. Kiranchandra Chairman of Swecha quoted data from the mobile telephony market to augment his demand. "The annual market for mobile telephones in the country is about Rs. 16,000 crore, yet India is yet to have its own mobile manufacturing unit. The mobile handsets designed in China, South Korea and Finland are simply being relabelled and sold in the country". [31]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "About". Swecha. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  2. ^ "National Free Software coalition formed". The Hindu. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Run up to NCAR 2010: Women In Research workshop held". Women in Research - the FOSS paradigm. Archived from the original on 26 December 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Workshop on free software". The Hindu. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  5. ^ "15 Day's Software Industry Oriented Training Camp". 15 Days Camp at CBIT. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Free software movement spreads in universities". Jits Karimnagar. 18 June 2013. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  7. ^ Kurup, Deepa (17 December 2010). "Embrace open source philosophy, Kalam tells scientists, researchers". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  8. ^ "Mozilla Firefox 3.5 launch celebrated". The Hindu. 11 July 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  9. ^ "Free software movement in AU". The Hindu. 2 August 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
  10. ^ Ranjith, Viswanath (9 March 2014). "Freedom Fest evokes good response from students". The Hindu. Guntur, India. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Freedom Fest, Hyderabad: An Eye-Opening Experience". ThoughtWorks. Hyderabad, India. 21 March 2010.
  12. ^ "I hope India stands up to US domination of the Internet". The Hindu. Hyderabad, India. 24 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Facebook is evil! An absolutely terrible thing!". The Hindu. Hyderabad, India. 8 February 2014.
  14. ^ "Freedom Fest by Swecha". 10TV. Hyderabad, India. 4 February 2014.
  15. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 March 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)
  16. ^ Admin. "Home". CBIT. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Industry Oriented Summer Training Camp 2014 by Swecha".
  18. ^ "Campus Festivals in India,Fresher Jobs In Bangalore - BtechJosh". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  19. ^ "Workshop by Swecha". The Hindu. 13 May 2013 – via
  20. ^ "A Telugu Os". Deccan Chronicle. 24 September 2013. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  21. ^ "Bridging Digital Divide In Underprivileged Communities". ThoughtWorks. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  22. ^ "Bala Swecha Operating System for Telugu Medium Students". Computerising Government schools. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  23. ^ "Bala Swecha Operating System for Students". Bala Swecha. 2 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  24. ^ Ranjith, Viswanath (30 June 2011). "Half of India's children suffering from malnourishment". The Hindu. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
  25. ^ Ranjith, Viswanath (1 December 2012). "Protests over Facebook arrests reach Hyderabad". The Hindu. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  26. ^ Ranjith, Viswanath (30 March 2014). "FSMI representation to AICTE against the deal with Microsoft". fsmi. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  27. ^ Ranjith, Viswanath (16 April 2014). "XP shutdown: Switch to free software, say FSMI activists". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  28. ^ Ranjith, Viswanath (17 September 2014). "XP shutdown: Switch to free software, say FSMI activists". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  29. ^ Ranjith, Viswanath (24 January 2014). "XP shutdown: Switch to free software, say FSMI activists". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  30. ^ Ranjith, Viswanath (16 January 2014). "Digital snooping biggest threat to democracy: software activist". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  31. ^ Ranjith, Viswanath (16 January 2014). "Mobile manufacturing units need of the hour". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 January 2014.

External links