Celebrating the success of Wikipedia in Wikipedia Summit Pune 2013
On January 12 and 13, 2013, I was in Pune to participate in the Wikipedia Summit Pune 2013, a two day event organized by Wikipedia Club Pune to promote Wikipedia as an effective means of education, to empower and reach out to India, to bring the country under a spotlight through Spoken Wikipedia, and to bridge the gender gap of Wikipedia editors. Here is a summary of the activities.
On the first day, January 12, more than 100 people including students from almost 10 different schools, housewives, working professionals and free and open source activists participated. The opening ceremony began with talks from Abhishek Suryawanshi, founder member of Wikipedia Club Pune, Sudhanwa Jogelkar, President of Wikimedia India Chapter, Rishi Aacharya, Principal, PAI International Learning Solutions, and social activist Ms. Vibha.
Before the formal opening Abhishek spoke for a while about the Spoken Wikipedia project which is one main agenda of the two days event. He explained about the need of spoken wikipedia, especially for people with disabilities and how effective it would be when it spreads in 20 Indic languages. In the past wikipedians in Pune gathered and recorded articles in various Indian and international languages.
Sudhanwa Jogelkar, President, Wikimedia India Chapter introduced the chapter's role for Wikimedia movement to the audience. He spoke about the chapters' in few of the national events/projects like Wiki Loves Monument, GLAM project in Crafts Museum, Delhi and many other outreach events. There were few announcements about the chapter on the MoU to be signed from the chapter with district collector of Kanyakumari, the India Chapter being partner to Springfest, IIT, Kharagpur, Commons day celebration in February and GNUnify 2013, Pune.
Vibha, a social activist based in Delhi spoke about gender discrimination in many aspects of our social and professional life. Access to knowledge for free could bridge this and Wikipedia, being so known universally and accessed by millions of people every day could be the best platform for this.' says Vibha.
Rishi Aacharya, Principal of PAI International brought the vedic saying "Ya vidya sa vimuktaye" to explain the real meaning of knowledge which is free of its existence in an Indian context. He spoke about open source movement and Wikipedia's part in it.
After the formal opening there was a Q&A session for the participants to clarify various questions they had about Wikipedia. Then they were explained about the three parallel sessions: An Open Discussion about Gender Gap, Workshop for Indic Languages, and Spoken Wikipedia. The session on gender gap was attended by many school students. Vibha and some activists coordinated this event. In the Workshop for Indic languages and Spoken Wikipedia, wikipedians helped participants for the workshop with basic editing and the participants edited Marathi and Hindi Wikipedia. Articles from various medical subjects of common interest were chosen. There were three medical professionals to support with the medical terminologies for editors contributing to Marathi and Hindi Wikipedia.
At the end of the day there were separate wrap up tracks to summarize the learning of whole session. All of the participants gathered together to educate each other about the work they have done. Many of the participants spoke about their experience and learnings. Plans for the next day was announced. Wikipedians gathered for a group photo and socialized after the closing talks.
The second day, January 13, of the Wikipedia Summit in Pune was a sequel of the activities which happened on the first day. More than 40 students took part in this session. Vibha, Srishti and team were coordinating the gender gap track. Many topics related to Gender Gap, gender based discrimination, Role of gender gap in occupation, Gender gap in Wikipedia, Participation of Woman editors on Wikipedia were discussed.
One of the participating Wikipedians recording his voice for a Marathi article
Spoken Wikipedia is a project to bring out editors who are willing to contribute to Wikipedia by reading the Wikipedia articles, recording them and the uploading them to WikiCommons. These recorded audio could be used for articles on various Indic Wikipedias and would be really useful for users with disabilities. The first workshop was aimed for contribution for articles related to common diseases.
"Those who are blind and unable to read can listen to the articles and get information. This will be beneficial to a lot of people", says Atharva, a school student who has contributed to an article about Rabies on Marathi Wikipedia.
Participants of the Spoken Wikipedia session worked on the articles on Hindi and Marathi Wikipedia and moved them from sandboxes to article namespaces. After all of the articles were created they recorded them. They formed groups of 3-4 members and worked together. One of them would search information mainly from the English Wikipedia articles and some of the available Marathi (or Hindi), some others would translate and the other member would record it using a mobile phone. That was a great team effort.
Over 25 voluntary organizers joined hands for making this a success. There were about 120 participants. At the end of the day participants from both the sessions gathered. Many of the participants and organizers shared their experiences and learnings. The program was concluded with socializing, taking group pictures, promises to stay in touch and taking active part in more Wikipedia activities.
This event was co-hosted by Centre for Internet and Society with a financial support of ₹ 21,600 granted by Kusuma Foundation.
- Wikipedia Summit Pune: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Summit_Pune
- Wikipedia Club Pune: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Club_Pune
- Pictures: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_Summit_Pune
- Spoken Wikipedia Project: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Spoken_Wikipedia_-_India
- Pune Club facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WikipediaClubPune