To make the Wikimedia movement inclusive and diverse, it is necessary spread awareness about it across various geographical areas as well as social strata. The state of Maharashtra is having distinct language cultures in different regions i.e. Konkan, Marathwada, Western Maharashtra, Northern Maharashtra and Vidarbha. To spread the awareness and train editors from these regions, idea of state-wide workshops was evolved. This campaign is now organised regularly by Rajya Marathi Vikas Sanstha (RMVS), Language department of State Government in collaboration with CIS-A2K and various institutions. These events are planned during Marathi Language fortnight (1-15 Jan) upto Marathi Language day on 27 February. The third series of workshops was organised in year 2019.
CIS-A2K facilitated the process to introduce Wikipedia content enrichment into state level language related activities. CIS-A2K successfully conducted workshops at various universities and organisations for the last two years i.e. 2017 & 2018, during period - language fortnight (1–15 January) upto language day (27 February). This year Maharashtra State government has issued notification which officially recognises CIS-A2K as a resource agency for Wikipedia related activities across the state. CIS-A2K is collaborating with State Language department - Rajya Marathi Vikas Sanstha also in this process. It is a good opportunity for active editors to act as trainers during these events. CIS-A2K also involved community members in these workshops as part of leadership building.
The following objectives are broadly covered in the sessions -
- Awareness about digital knowledge in Marathi, Open knowledge resources and Wikimedia projects
- To explain the History of Wiki Movement, Pillars of Wikipedia
- To train the participants in basic editing skills in Wikipedia
- To explore the ways to find reliable & verifiable references
- To present - Article structure, manual of style, categorisation
- To explain - Copyright, Commons guidelines, Uploading images
- To discuss follow-up plan and integration with academic activities
We conducted five workshops in different districts of Maharashtra. We also facilitated some workshops through remote offline & online support. The details are in following table -
|Date||Place||Venue||Participants||Event page link on Marathi Wikipedia|
|3 Jan||Sangli||Chintamanrao College of Commerce||40||Marathi Wikipedia Workshop at Sangli|
|8 Jan||Kolhapur||Marathi Department, Shivaji University||50||Marathi Wikipedia Workshop at Kolhapur|
|10 Jan||Solapur||Dayanand College||25||Marathi Workshop at Dayanand College, Solapur|
|11 Jan||Solapur||Mass Communication & Journalism dept.,Solapur University||50||Marathi Wikipedia Workshop at Solapur University, Solapur|
|15 & 16 Jan||Karanja Lad||SSSKR Innani College||100||Marathi Wikipedia Workshop at Innani College, Karanja Lad|
The total participation in all these events was 265 members. As the computer lab facility was limited, the usernames of members who actively took part in editing can be seen on the outreach dashboard as well as on individual event pages on Marathi Wikipedia. The details are given in the above table.
|10 to 10.30am||Inauguration|
|10.30 to 11.15am||Open knowledge resources, Introduction to Wikimedia projects|
|11.15 to 11.30am||Tea break|
|11.30 to 1.30pm||Account creation, basic editing in sandbox, small edits in existing articles|
|1.30 to 2pm||Lunch|
|2 to 4pm||Article structure, links & references, Creating new article, categorisation|
|4 to 4.15pm||Tea break|
|4.15 to 5.30pm||Copyright issues, Commons upload, adding images to Wikipedia articles, Follow-up plan, Feedback|
CIS-A2K started collaborating with State language dept. from year 2017. In the first series of workshops, we conducted three workshops. In the second series in 2018, we conducted six workshops out of total 17 workshops conducted across the state. In the year 2019, the awareness spread to more educational institutions located in different regions of the state. In this third series, CIS-A2K conducted five workshops out of total 21 workshops conducted. We facilitated the process and supported some workshops remotely.
The first workshop was conducted at Chintamanrao College of Commerce at Sangli. The awareness session about open knowledge sources and Wikimedia projects was organised 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.
The second workshop was conducted at Shivaji University, Kolhapur. The Marathi language department took initiative to organise 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 manual of style, providing links & references etc. on their sandboxes before working on main namespace articles. The editors mostly worked on locally relevant topics.
The third workshop was conducted in Dayanand College at Solapur. This institution organised this event for the second consecutive year. The thematic discussion on history of Solapur was facilitated by 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 initiative to organise 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.
The fifth workshop 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 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.