Centre for Internet & Society

Maharashtra is a state which is rich in diversity in terms of language and culture seen in its various regions such as Konkan, Marathwada, Western Maharashtra, Northern Maharashtra and Vidarbha. Awareness needs to be created to make Wikimedia movement inclusive and diverse in these geographical regions as well as in their social strata.

Collaboration for organizing events

The Centre for Internet & Society’s Access to Knowledge wing (CIS-A2K) launched the concept of organizing state-wide workshops to spread awareness and train editors in the nitty-gritties of Wikipedia editing and creating digital content. The campaign is now regularly conducted by Rajya Marathi Vikas Sanstha (RMVS), the language department of Maharashtra government with support from CIS-A2K and various institutions.

These events were conducted during the Marathi language fortnight (1 – 15 January 2019) upto Marathi Language Day on 27 February 2019. The objectives of the event such as creating awareness about digital knowledge in Marathi, open knowledge resources and Wikimedia projects; explaining the history of Wiki movement; training participants in basic editing skills in Wikipedia; exploring ways to find reliable references; presenting article structure, were broadly covered in the sessions. Trainers also explained participants on copyright, community guidelines, uploading images, and so on.

CIS-A2K had collaborated with the state language department from 2017 onwards. In the first series of workshops, three events were conducted. In the second series in 2018 six workshops out of a total 17 workshops were conducted across the state. In the year 2019, the awareness spread to more educational institutions located in different regions of the state. In the third series, CIS-A2K conducted five workshops out of total 21 workshops conducted. CIS facilitated the process and supported some workshops remotely.

The Workshops

Sangli workshop


The first workshop was conducted at Chintamanrao College of Commerce at Sangli. The awareness session about open knowledge sources and Wikimedia projects was organized for students and faculty in the beginning of workshop. After this one hour session, actual skill training in Wikipedia editing was done for three hours for 24 participants. They created the account and learnt the editing and image upload on Commons. The practice was done in sandboxes before working in main namespace. The students of pre-university course and graduate course attended the workshop. The commerce and management related articles were edited.



Kolhapur workshop
The second workshop was conducted at Shivaji University, Kolhapur. The Marathi language department took the initiative to organize this workshop for the second consecutive year. The participants were selected from 4 colleges affiliated to university. The faculty was also actively involved. The introductory session was attended by 50 students. The editing training of three hours was conducted in computer lab, in which 24 new users participated. The editors practiced the manual of style, providing links and references, etc. on their sandboxes before working on the main namespace articles. The editors mostly worked on locally relevant topics.




Dayanand college workshop

The third workshop was conducted in Dayanand College at Solapur. This institution organized this event for the second consecutive year. The thematic discussion on history of Solapur was facilitated by a senior editor of Sakal newspaper. The plan for documentation of local festival -
Gadda Yatra and history of Solapur was discussed. It is proposed to start this activity with thematic workshop. Total 15 new and old users participated in the workshop.



The fourth workshop was conducted at Mass Communication & Journalism department of Solapur University. The faculty of this department took the initiative to organize this event for the second time. Total 25 new and old users participated in the workshop. The participants edited the articles related to journalism and also uploaded the images on Commons. Some editors completed the task of adding references to articles. After the meeting with the faculty, group of post graduate students were assigned 50 articles about reputed Marathi newspapers. They will complete this task as part of their online academic submissions.





Karanja Lad

The fifth wokshop was conducted at SSSKR Innani College at Karanja Lad in district Washim. This was the first Wikipedia programme in this region of the state. As it was the first Wiki event, we decided to organise a two day workshop. The management and faculty participated actively in this workshop. In the workshop, references and images were added to existing articles about local heritage, tourist places and personalities. The images were uploaded to newly created categories - Karanja Lad and SSSKR Innani College on Commons. Over 100 members participated in this two day event, while 45 users edited actively on Wikimedia projects.


After the workshop, quarterly refresher sessions are planned in these institutions. The active students' WhatsApp groups will be formed for support and online training sessions. This cadre of Wiki Guides would facilitate the programs for other students. The meeting with faculty and board of studies would be held for integration of Wikimedia activities with the academic assignments.

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