There are three layers of context, which prompted the conceptualization of this project.

First, though there is significant increase in the access to internet over the last 5 years in India, especially with penetration in small cities and towns, there is very little awareness among majority of the population about access to information and knowledge available in Indian languages. Majority equate internet with English. It is important to note that majority feel comfortable to read or write in their native language than English.[1]

Second, which is linked to the above, 95 out of 100 people CIS-A2K reached out to during the last 18 months did not know about the existence of Indian language Wikipedias or Wikimedia projects. On the contrary more than 90 per cent of people knew about English Wikipedia. In fact majority of Indians equate Wikipedia with English Wikipedia.

Third, internet is mostly perceived as a static medium and not as a participatory medium. Often people find it a shock when we tell them that even they can edit Wikipedia pages and contribute to it. The fundamental concept of the participatory nature of the internet requires to be instilled among majority of new entrants on to the internet residing in the small cities and towns. This is slowly changing with the increasing popularity of social media, especially on mobile devices.[2]

Given this context biggies like Google and Facebook have already initiated major advertising campaigns, in electronic and print media, to reach out these large segments of non-English speaking populations in India, something they have not done when catering to the English speaking universe. CIS-A2K believes that it is essential to do a massive Wikimedia awareness program in these small cities and towns if we were to increase the growth of the Wikimedia movement in Indic languages. To address this need the Wiki Bus program has been conceptualized upon suggestion of Arjuna Rao Chavala and in discussion with other Telugu Bloggers at a Telugu bloggers meet.

About the ProjectEdit

This is modelled on google bus program and will be implemented in the Telugu speaking region of Andhra Pradesh. The bus will have 6 systems/laptops/tablets with internet connection and power backup for on the spot training. There will also be a projector to do on site demonstrations of Wikipedia. A Telugu Wikipedia demonstrator/trainer will be travelling on the bus. Visitors to the bus and the audience to the presentation would be encouraged to create user accounts on Wikipedia and edit articles of their interest. The Wiki Bus will also visit various schools and colleges to do Telugu Wikipedia demonstrations.


Reach out to all major cities in Telugu speaking region and organise wikipedia demonstration/training sessions.

  1. Design a plan and routes in which the Telugu Wiki Bus will travel and come up with a detailed travel schedule and event locations.
  2. Identify the demonstrator/trainer and provide necessary capacity building to successfully deliver presentations and programs. Training will be provided on Telugu Wikipedia and sister projects; Importance of Unicode; Creative Commons; and Open Source.
  3. The demonstrator/trainer will also capture the GPS (using a smart phone) data of all the villages in the route which will help in improving the quality of Village Articles on Telugu Wikipedia.
  4. The demonstrator/trainer will also capture and upload images of villages and other notable places onto Commons which could help in improving the quality of Village Articles on Telugu Wikipedia and enrich Commons.
  5. Network with colleges and schools and pre-schedule the events.
  6. Involve interested Telugu Wikimedians to join in the Telugu Wiki Bus as per their convenience.
  7. Assess the outcomes and impact to see the plausibility of executing this program in other Indic languages.
  1. This is primarily aimed at increasing visibility of Telugu Wikipedia and sister projects among the Telugu speaking population and could have impact in percentage increase in page-views and some impact in increasing the new editors.
  2. Direct outreach to at least 30,000 people.
  3. Help improve the quality of 500 villages
  4. Help enrich commons with about 1000 images

Budget & ResourcesEdit

Expenditure Item FDC Support (INR) FDC Support (US$) Other Sources and in kind Support (INR) Other Sources and in kind Support (US$)
1 PD x 5% * 120,000/- 1,941.70 - -
1 PM x 5% ** 66,000/- 1,067.93 - -
1 PA x 50% *** - - 180,000/- 2,912.55
Travel and Stay **** - - 340,000/- 5,501.48
Volunteer Support ***** - - 50,000/- 809.04
Events/Meet-ups/Workshops - - 50,000/- 809.04
Consumables/Printing/Stationery/Swag - - 50,000/- 809.04
Equipment ****** - - 300,000/- 4,854.24
Total 186,000/- 3,009.63 970,000/- 15,695.39

* 5% of T. Vishnu Vardhan’s time as Program Director, CIS-A2K
** 5% time of a Program Manager at CIS-A2K
*** A Program Assistant (PA) level person to work on this project full time for 6 months period. The PA will be taken on job in consultation with the Telugu Wikimedia community.
**** Includes expense of hiring a bus that will tour for about 100 days and stay, food and incidental expenses of the PA and the bus driver.
***** Travel and stay support to volunteers if they wish to join the Wiki Bus for some days.
****** Cost of one decent projector, 6 laptops, batteries for power-back and UPS.

List of ContributorsEdit

This idea has been discussed with the following Telugu Wikimedians during Telugu Bloggers meet and on March 8, 2014 Women's day Edit-a-thon event at Hyderabad.


  1. An article in Times of India about how Google tries to tap Indian language users to use Google services in Indian languages.
  2. An article in The Hindu Businessline shows how Facebook is releasing its services in Indian languages. Another article shows the growth trend among Indian users accessing internet.