Viswanadh B.K. was the second Telugu Wikimedian to be given an Individual Engagement Grant.
In 2013, the interview project “WikipediansSpeak” was launched in response to observations that many noteworthy Wikimedians were being underrepresented both locally and globally. Not just them personally—their work, and the communities they represent, were also unknown to the Wikimedia community and the outside world. The Wikimedia Foundation’s fundraising campaigns were the biggest inspiration for the project. From video-only interviews, this is an attempt at different ways of interviews, and is the first interview showcasing a Telugu Wikimedian: Viswanadh B.K., who was an Individual Engagement (IEG) Grantee last year and has continued to be active in outreach. As part of the WikipediansSpeak series Individual Engagement Grantee (IEG) grantee and Telugu-language Wikimedian Viswanadh.BK shares his experience on digital library movement in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh that his Individual Engagement Grant (IEG) is bringing. With his grant, information of over 300K books housed in five libraries in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh could be added to a Wikipedia-based catalog that is now helping Wikipedians to cite and readers to easily locate books.
The Software Freedom Day was celebrated on September 19 at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bengaluru. A pledge was taken to help spread the word about free software to all people, but especially governments, use, contribute to, and spread open standards, free/libre/open source software, open APIs, openly-licensed content (including open data, open access, and open education resources), leading to a vibrant public domain, and ensure that all of the above are accessible for all, including persons with disabilities and other marginalised sections of society.
A seminar was organized on 13 September at S. M. Joshi Sabhagriha, Pune to address the issue of the gradual decline of Marathi schools in Maharashtra. CIS-A2K Programme Associate Abhinav Garule participated in the event shared his views on how teachers could encourage students to contribute to Marathi Wikipedia.
Kannada Wikipedia meetup at CIS Bangalore office
A Kannada Wikipedia meetup was organized on 13 September at CIS-A2K Bangalore office. 26 Kannada Wikipedians, including 3 CIS-A2K members attended the meetup. The event page on Kannada Wikipedia may be seen here and here are a few photos from the event.
CIS-A2K invites applications from Indian and Indic Wikimedians for the upcoming Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest. The event, happening during December 15-17 in New Delhi, is the most significant event on the calendar for scholars and policy advocates working on intellectual property from a public interest perspective. The last date of application is 27 October. Indian and Indic Wikipedians are welcome to apply in the event page to apply.
Events organized, supported and participated by CIS-A2K during July 2014-June 2015
On 28 September CIS-A2K submitted their July 2014 - June 2015 impact report to WMF. Here is a portion from the report:
Successes: The Centre for Internet and Society's Access to Knowledge program (CIS-A2K) has been able to bring majority of Indian language Wikimedians onto idea exchange and skill building platforms by organizing Train the Trainer (TTT) and MediaWiki Train the Trainer (MWTTT) events. TTT aimed at training participant Wikimedians as efficient ambassadors for outreach activities where as MWTTT trained Wikimedians in technical domain so that Indian languages can benefit from the latest innovations and resources provided by WMF.
CIS-A2K has been working as a movement partner with WMF and has been able to create movement resources that have come in handy for Wikimedians across Focus Language Areas (FLA). Our Institutional partnerships have not only brought in new contributors to the movement but has paved an opportunity for existing Wikimedians to arrange more meet-ups and edit-a-thons. CIS-A2K has successfully played the role of an incubator towards community driven projects.
CIS-A2K's primary learning has been to avoid duplication of efforts and resources.
Consistent and rigorous follow-up strategies were needed to achieve better Return-on-Investment (ROI).
Infrastructural requirements: Many of our outreach activities are plagued by lack of basic infrastructural requirements such as electricity, connectivity, equipment and accessibility.
Mediating between on-line and off-line resources: Not all the community members are active on wiki. This poses a problem when arriving at a consensus regarding a policy decision or a community headed activity.
Staff Transition: Three CIS-A2K employees left the team, and the work-plan had to modified accordingly;
We invite researchers, practitioners, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to collaboratively engage with Internet and society and improve our understanding of this new field. To discuss research collaborations, write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Research Director at email@example.com.
CIS is grateful to its primary donor, Kusuma Trust founded by Anurag Dikshit and Soma Pujari, philanthropists of Indian origin for its core funding and support for most of its projects. CIS is also grateful to its other donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and IDRC for funding its various projects.