Centre for Internet & Society

"Contribution of information by people of Rukadi village near Kolhapur to Marathi Wikipedia, by referring to media reports, helped spread the word about mass fish deaths in the region. Similar efforts should be initiated in Kerala so that information about local movements like Plachimada campaign would be available in the public domain," opined environmentalist Madhav Gadgil. He was speaking at the Malayalam Wikipedia workshop hosted by Swadeshabhimani Media Study Centre at Vakkom Moulavi Memorial Hall here on Wednesday.

The article was published in the Times of India on May 5, 2016.

The scientist spoke at length on how the information technology in general and the Wikipedia in particular, could help create awareness among commoners about the harmful effects of environmental degradation. He added that though Malayalam Wikipedia is ahead of other Indian languages in documenting geographical details, the content doesn't stretch beyond official information. He suggested that controversial information too must be documented with reference to media reports.

Fuad Jaleel, volunteer editor of Malayalam Wikipedia, explained Wikipedia policies on notability and reliability. The two-day workshop is organised in association with Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) and Malayalam Wikipedia community. On Wednesday, the event focused on identifying topics for wiki-articles and creating basic village/town data by making use of census. Forty participants attending the workshop will contribute articles to Wikipedia on Thursday. Representatives from CIS Bengaluru and members of Malayalam Wikipedia Community will assist them.

"The intention is to add wiki-articles on environmental issues at panchayat level. Malayalam Wikipedia could be used as a medium for citizen journalism. We will organize more workshops and classes," said Ram Kamal, one of the coordinators of Swadeshabhimani centre. V K Damodaran delivered welcome speech and A Suhair presented vote of thanks in the inaugural session.