Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/Samskrita Bharati and Sanskrit Wikipedia: The Story So Far and the Journey Ahead
This was a draft for a blog post that has since been published at https://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/06/09/samskrita-bharati-and-sanskrit-wikipedia-the-journey-ahead/
Samskrita Bharati and Sanskrit Wikipedia: The Story So Far and the Journey Ahead
In 1981, a movement called the “Speak Samskrit Movement” started in Bangalore. The effort quickly spread across India and evolved into the organization “Samskrita Bharati” in 1995. It currently has a presence in 2,000 places in India. The organization has a number of dedicated volunteers who aim to popularize the Sanskrit language, Sanskriti (culture) and the Knowledge Tradition of India.
Inline with these objectives, Samskrita Bharati embarked upon a mission to enrich Sanskrit Wikipedia in 2011. This project involved around 50 volunteers with some of them working as full time employees. Most of the contributors are based in Bangalore, Karnataka or Karnavati, Gujarat. As a result of tremendous effort and dedication, the team was able to substantially grow Sanskrit Wikipedia. With only 2,000 articles in 2011, mostly written in Hindi, the present number of articles is well over 10,000, with articles ranging from geography and history to health and society.
In terms of editing difficulties, Samskrita Bharati like other Sanskrit Wikipedians, encountered difficulties in the use of modern terminology and the paucity of the referenceable literature. Most of the contributors of Sanskrit Wikipedia are from the Southern region, resulting in confusion due to pronunciation differences between northern and southern regions for some Sanskrit words.
As part of the outreach efforts, Samskrita Bharati conducted introductory workshops in many educational institutions like Karnataka Samskrit University, Delhi University and Christ University, Bangalore.
Samaskrita Bharati member, Ms Shubha, who is also a proactive admin of the Sanskrit Wikipedia, finds no difficulty in managing the language community. According to her, the supportive gesture of Malayalam and Kannada Wikipedians was helpful in overcoming many technical issues.
About the future efforts needed to support Sanskrit Wikipedia, Ms Shubha is of the opinion that workshops on technical aspects of Wikipedia (like Wikidata) is a necessity. In addition to this, she has specifically pointed the following suggestions:
- Involvement of Sanskrit teaching fraternity in the Sanskrit Wikimedia Projects.
- Online Sanskrit Wikimedia Projects as assignments for students.
- Involving Masters and doctoral students in the Sanskrit Wikimedia Projects.
- Initiating involvement of religious organizations promoting Sanskrit language in the Wikipedia sphere.
- Involvement of scholars in vocabulary-related support.
- Organizational involvement in digitization of literature on Sanskrit Wikisource.
- Sanskrit Universities involvement in project such as Sanskrit Wikisource and Wiktionary.
- Technical support for Sanskrit Wikimedia Projects could be readily extended by engineers who have an inclination for the language.
- Schools can be encouraged to create Sanskrit Wikipedia Clubs just as Science Clubs and Literary Clubs.
- Sponsorship / support for good articles to encourage editors.
- Encouraging knowledgeable persons to contribute audio content in the language.
- ↑ Samskrita Bharati. "The Organization". Retrieved June 5, 2014.
Syed Muzammiluddin, Wikipedian
I am thankful to Ms Shubha of Samskrita Bharati for the valuable information which has been used in this blogpost.
Picture credits: File:Aksharam,_Samskrita_Bharati.JPG as uploaded by User:Sbblr0803 on Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.