The Kannada Wikipedia completed 10 years on November 17, 2013. An account of the anniversary celebrations held in Bangalore written by Wikimedian Pavithra H.
Wikipedia has been a key source of knowledge for everyone from a student writing her assignments to a scientist conducting research. It is the world’s fifth most accessed website. Since its inception 10 years ago, the Kannada Wikipedia has grown to accumulate around 13,000 articles and still has a long way to go in terms of building an encyclopaedia in a 2000-year old language.
Wikipedians from different parts of Karnataka had gathered at the tenth anniversary celebrations. The chief guest was the father of the modern Kannada dictionary, Nadoja Prof. G. Venkatasubbaiah. Other guests included T. R. Anantharamu, a retired scientist with the Geological Survey of India, National Award-winning film director Abhaya Simha, and Dr. U. B. Pavanaja from the CIS-A2K (Centre for Internet and Society – Access To Knowledge) team.
Dr. Pavanaja shared his opinions on the importance of building the Kannada Wikipedia and spoke about his stand on the upcoming areas for its development. He finds that articles are lacking in informational value, and focus should be on adding such value to them. Nadoja Prof. G. Venkatasubbaiah insisted that youth engage more with the Kannada Wikipedia. He feels that the Kannada Wikipedia should grow with continued participation. T. R. Ananthramu said that as a scientist, he understands challenges in research activities such as digging out accurate information on a topic. He said he believes that domain experts need to actively participate in the Kannada Wikipedia to add the right content, which will, in turn, help everyone get correct information.
Abhay Simha whose father Ashoka Vardhana runs a book publication and grandfather, G.T. Narayan Rao was a science writer, underlined the need for timely updating and reprinting of science books. Realising the benefits of the Creative Commons licenses introduced by Omshivaprakash H.L., the Chair (Special Interest Group) of Kannada Wikipedia, Abhay has released science books written by his grandfather under a CC license. He hopes that references from the books are added to Wikipedia and the knowledge contained in them is shared with everyone.
Next was a demonstration on editing Wikipedia by Omshivaprakash followed by a session on the Creative Commons licenses by Kiran Ravi Kumar, who is an engineering student living in Mysore. The event ended with an edit-a-thon by the Wikipedians in which new articles were created. Active editors of the Kannada Wikipedia who have been contributing for years were given mementos to mark the occasion and to acknowledge their contribution. A few Wikipedians shared their experiences about the difficulties that a new Wikipedia editor faces and how to overcome them.
It was a fruitful event to help understand and realise the need for exponential growth of the Kannada Wikipedia and to make a rich and free encyclopedia for the Kannada-speaking community.
Edited by Rohini Lakshané: email@example.com