Odia Wikipedia: Sambalpur University Workshop
An Odia Wikipedia orientation-cum-workshop program was organised for the students of Sambalpur University on 27 November, 2016.
Over the last couple of years, the Odia Wikipedia community has been successful in organising workshops and outreach programs in different parts of coastal and central Odisha. With over 38 active Wikipedians (as of 2016), the Odia community is growing everyday and expanding across different parts of Odisha. The recent increase in the number of Wikipedians in western Odisha inspired the community members to conduct an introductory Wikipedia workshop in Sambalpur University.
On 27th November 2016, an orientation-cum-workshop program for Odia Wikipedia was organised for the students of Computer Science and Application Department and the Odia Department in Sambalpur University. 57 participants, comprising 30 male and 27 female participants attended the event. 5 faculty members were also present. Dr. Chitta Ranjan Dash, the Vice Chancellor of the University was the Guest of Honour for the workshop. Three Odia Wikipedians- Mrutyunjay Kar, Jnanaranjan Sahu and Nistha Ranjan Dash facilitated the workshop as mentors.
The workshop began with an introduction to Odia Wikipedia and Odia Wikisource digitisation efforts by Dr. Sarada Baboo, a professor from the Computer Science and Application department. The first session introduced the various Wikimedia projects to the participants. The participants were given an introduction on how to contribute to the different Wiki projects. They were also given an orientation on Wikipedia policies and guidelines. After this, the participants were introduced to Odia Wikipedia and its development over the years. The post lunch session trained participants on creating user accounts, articles, and other basic dos and don’ts on Wikipedia. During the training session, over 20 Wikipedians were able to create accounts.
The Wikipedia workshop in Sambalpur University was an important step to raise awareness about the Wikipedia movement in western Odisha, This was the first workshop in Sambalpur University and the second workshop in western Odisha after three years. Over 196 colleges are affiliated to Sambalpur University, in seven different districts in western Odisha. A regular follow up with the University, the faculty and the students will help in furthering the free knowledge movement in western Odisha.