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Growing Women Leadership In India : Eyes From Featured Wikimedian Of The Month Program

Wikimedians are a bunch of silent nobodies, tireless and restless in doing what they love doing. Silent nobodies who stand for their passion, silent nobodies who stand for their ethnicity. But is there equity and diversity amongst the nobodies. It’s no secret there isn’t. Endless discussions, deliberations, debates to communicate, coordinate and command do not boil down the problem of having a gender-neutral Wikimedia. There are undying efforts though to say the least, it’s a priority for most of us. Most of the nobodies, most of the affiliates, most of those who are leading the initiatives admit, accept, acknowledge and appreciate the need to articulate this as a principal priority problem.

We at Wikimedia India, have been documenting the success stories every month for these silent nobodies. The stories of those silent editors who are, lesser known to the larger Indian and global communities. Recording stories since 2011, Featured Wikimedian of the month is a storytelling exercise, where every month a Wikimedian is identified and a short story is blogged. The idea is not only to facilitate the person for efforts but to build the moving spirit and motivation for others to follow.

In this edition , Wikimedia India will  featured three Women Wikimedians.


Here is a small story on how they are doing today from the time they were made the featured Wikimedians.

Nitesh Gill during Train The Trainer 2016

Nitesh Gill : Nitesh is a Wikimedian on Punjabi Projects and she was featured last March in 2018. Either it be then, or it be today, there has been no change to Nitesh’s dedication and commitment  toward Wikimedia. She was featured last March after having completed 365 day challenge on 28th February where for each of those 365 days she had written an article on Women biography. Today, that score for Nitesh has reached more than 700 and she is still unstoppable. She has an aim to reach 1000 articles at the moment but who knows the scores may keep rising as the enthusiasm is indefinite.

Nitesh was previously pursuing her scholarship in Mphil for Punjabi literature and has now successfully attained it. She believes for equality and justice, women’s really need to know about their rights at the first place.

Ananya Mondal

Ananya Modal : Popularly known as the Butterfly Wikimedian. The passionate Ananya Modal with User Name: Atudu is a clinical nutritionist who works on Bengali Wikipedia, Bengali Wikisource, Wikidata and uploads pictures of butterfly, also snakes and other fauna and flora too. Ananya who was featured in September 2016 had then written 90 articles and had an edit count of 9,000 +. Today, she has written more than 250 articles, has an edit count of more than 38,000+. Till date , over 300 butterfly species and subspecies have been photo documented (with more than 100 images in Valued Category ) and near about 200 articles on butterfly have been contributed. The numbers are galloping any moment and let’s not miss her contributions to Wikidata and Wikisource.

Her Wiki Loves Butterfly Project which earlier had a geographical base for the state of West Bengal has now reached entire North-East India. Growth in her leadership skills has led her in hosting Wiki Loves Monuments in India 2018 and being on the International Jury for Wiki Loves Earth Photo Contest in 2018.

In some of her initiatives with West Bengal Wikimedians User Group, she has  included two female participants from Assam , made them wiki contributors and mentored them to take fore-front role and even lead different fieldwork operations and they have been given utmost importance among experienced and expert fieldworkers. As a result , those two female wikimedians are developing the necessary skill and motivation.

Pankajamala Sarangi

Pankajamala Sarangi : Ask anyone in Indian community about Pankajamala who has a User Name:Pmsarangi and they will tell you she one of the most active contributors on Odia Wikisource. Yes ! That’s correct and for that reason she was featured wikimedian in January,2016. But that’s not everything. Her passion for Wikisource hasn’t been restricted to just Odia, she also one of the most active contributor on Hindi Wikisource (which is under incubation). She is helping out today Hindi Wikimedians, training them on one-to-one basis and also participated in Hindi Conference to make them understand, Hindi needs a Wikisource. Today, Hindi has fulfilled the requirements of the Language committee and at any time they could get their domain. User:Pmsarangi is one amongst those who deserve appreciation for the same.

She dreams to have at least one women from every family as an editor on Wikimedia Projects.

Written by Abhinav Srivastava

Edited by Yohann Thomas

Anonymous registered users on Indic Wikimedia projects

Wikipedia is made and contributed by one of the biggest communities on the internet, yet, 79% of the total community members are identified by only one name,”Wikipedian”, apart from their respective usernames. They don’t identify who they are, where they are from, what their gender maybe, yet Wikipedians are one of the kindest and welcoming community on the internet and there are not a single question in the planet that cannot be answered on a Reference Desk of English Wikipedia by “Wikipedians”. Though some Wikipedians provide information about themselves on their Userpage and sometimes some users have their username resembling their real names but most the time, those are just so little information that nothing can be deduced about who they really are. That’s the nature of how Wikipedia works, Wikipedia does not need anyone to disclose their identity, everyone is treated in the same way without any discrimination.

Unlike English Wikipedia, Indic language Wikipedias are made by much smaller communities and due to the concise nature, each member knows everyone from their community in real life, perhaps they all gathered in a conference?  In July 2016, during the WikiConference India, Indic wikipedians gathered in Chandigarh, which brought almost everyone in one place, however, their are some people even in the Indic community who are truly anonymous. What we know of them are just their usernames and contributions. They are the unsung heros of Wikipedia. Recently, in March 2017, we finally had a recognition of one such unsung hero who goes by the username “User:SM7”. SM7 is a Bhojpuri and Hindi language Wikipedian who has been contributing on Wikipedia for over 6 years. There are other such registered editors on Indic language Wikipedias who are like SM7.

On Punjabi language Wikipedia there are two such editors. User:Malwinder25 is one of them, registered on 2015, they have since made over 16 hundred global edits; significantly on Punjabi Wikipedia. Apart from their username which indicates their Indic origin they are totally anon, according to Malwinder 25’s userpage, they are just “An avid Wikipedian….”.

The other Punjabi Wikipedian, “User:Balvindra Kathuria” is another such editor who have not revealed much information about themselves,* they may not even live in India, we don’t know, their contributions may not be in thousands but their little contributions helps the project to grow.

On Hindi Wikipedia, apart from SM7, there is another such anon-registered user who goes by the username “स”. स is a Hindi alphabet. The userpage of the user does not give any information about the user, neither their contributions give any geographic indication of their location, however, their contributions signifies that they are working for the betterment of the Indic-projects, making them a member of the Indian community. Since registering on September 2016, they have contributed on more than one Indic-language Wikipedia. In just seven months they have made over 2100 edits, as of May 2017.

Bengali Wikipedia, being contributed by people from distinct geographic locations, the number of unsung heros are more than any other Wikipedia. On a cursory look we have found at least three established editors, “User:আদিব এহসান”, “User:খালিদ সাইফ” and “User:Parvezahmed” who chose not to reveal their identity.

“User:আদিব এহসান”, editor with more than 2,400 edits on Bengali Wikipedia appeared to be based somewhere in Bangladesh. Though “User:খালিদ সাইফ” has over 1,700 edits, they don’t have a user page. “User:Parvezahmed” has a very interesting user page, where we saw Jimmy Wales peeping out from one side of the page and a bouncing Wikipedia logo in the bottom. The editor appeared to be from somewhere in Bangladesh who has over 1500 edits on Bengali Wikipedia. This people are unknown to the local Bengali user-group, but their contributions make them a significant part of the community.

“User:Malikaveedu” who got so much recognition for their good contributions as evidenced on their user-page, has never revealed their identity among the Malayalam community members even after registering 7 years from now (2017). They have made over 4,100 positive contributions on Malayalam Wikipedia and is still actively working to expand the scope of the project.

“User:Praveenp” another Malayalam Wikipedian who is believed to be anon-registered user. Not many people on the Malayalam community knows the person in real life. However, they are a highly respected and established Wikipedian. Registered over 9 ago, they have made over 22 thousand global edits and has been a bureaucrat on Malayalam Wikipedia  for a very long time. According to their Wikimedia Commons’s userpage they identify themselves to be something like this: Credit Praveenp or this:  Credit Praveenp

 

Jokes apart, he has been an awesome contributor, though unsung, in both Commons and Malayalam Wikimedia projects.

 

Sysop on Malayalam Wikipedia and Malayalam Wikisource, we know the guy by only their username – “Manuspanicker”. They have been actively working on Malayalam WikiProjects for over 5 years now but they are widely unknown like User:Praveenp. As an unsung hero, they made over 28 thousand global edits.

In some Wikimedia projects like Odia language Wikipedia, there aren’t any anon-registered editors. But on the whole Indic-community there is an estimated 6% registered editors who prefers to stay hidden. We should not try to deduce their identity if they feel bothered but we should recognize their good contributions with barnstars and kind messages.

If you’re aware about any such unsung hero, please help us give them the recognition they deserve.

Please nominate them here.

*However, someone from the Punjabi Wikipedia community may know them.

 

 

Fifth AGM of Wikimedia India Chapter

An AGM is an annual general meeting or General Body Meeting conducted once per year where members of Wikimedia India chapter gathers to discuss, audit and make report of the chapter’s functioning. Wikimedia India Chapter, which was approved by the Chapters Committee of the Wikimedia Foundation in 2010, is registered under the Karnataka Societies of Registration Act 1960 which complies the chapter to conduct an AGM along with audit of the accounts every year. A notice of an AGM is generally announced 21 days prior to the date of the Annual General Meeting and sent to all the members of the chapter.  During the annual general meeting as per Karnataka Societies Registration Act 1960, election of executive committee members of the chapter, submission of annual account reports and restructuring of rules and policies are generally agreed upon.

The 5th annual general meeting is scheduled to take place on 29 January 2017 at the chapter’s office located at

Work Adda, No.98/1, MMR

Plaza, 1st Floor, Above DCB Bank, Sarjapur Main Road, Jakkasandra, Koramangala 1st Block,

Bangalore

The meeting and discussion during the 5th AGM will reflect the chapter’s work during the fiscal year of 2014-2015 which includes,  approval of the report of the activities of Wikimedia India Chapter, consideration and approval of the audited accounts, consideration and approval of the results of the Executive committee elections conducted in November 2015. Draft budget (2015-2016) and appointment of auditors for 2015-16 will be considered. Discussion to extend the membership validity from 1 year to 5 years will take place during the meeting. Future projects and the learnings of the chapter from their past events will be summarized and any other subject will be discussed with the permission of the chair.