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Grants:IEG/Digitisation drive for Malayalam Wikisource

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Digitisation drive for Malayalam Wikisource
summaryThis project is aimed at increasing the userbase, number and quality of book on Malayalam wikisource by a digitization competition, thereby sourcing more books (via Libraries or free licensing) and giving community training. This project also aims at spreading them to people without internet access via offline versions and epubs.
targetMalayalam Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons
strategic priorityincreasing reach, improving quality, increasing participation
themeoffline outreach and partnerships
amount$ 27741.33333
contact• manojkmohanme03107(_AT_)gmail.com
this project needs...
created on17:43, 30 September 2014 (UTC)


This project is aimed at increasing the userbase, number and quality of book on Malayalam wikisource by a digitization competition, thereby sourcing more books (via Libraries or free licensing) and giving community training. This project also aims at spreading them to people without internet access via offline versions and epubs.

Project idea[edit]

  1. Increasing the availability of books in Malayalam Wikisource
  2. Generate more interest among users and increase their participation in Malayalam Wikiprojects
  3. Build partnership with libraries and governmental institutions for bringing books into Malayalam Wikisource
  4. Motivate more authors to free license their works
  5. Increase the quality and quantity of content by typing contests and proof reading competitions
  6. Increase reach of Malayalam free knowledge projects by creating offline and Epub versions of the books from Malayalam Wikisource

Background and problem statement[edit]

Malayalam Wikisource growth chart (2014 sep)

Malayalam Wikisource is the most active Wikisource project among indian languages . Indian language wikiprojects are facing unique problems such as unavailability of reference materials in digital form, unavailability of functional OCR solutions etc . Malayalam wikisource is addressing this issue by sourcing many public domain books and recruiting volunteers for typing the pages and proofreading them .Even though there are many state-run institutions and libraries engaged in scanning books for their digitization, a lot of works whose licenses have expired are not yet available for the public. In 2014 January we organized a digitization (typing & proofreading) competition in Malayalam wikisource as a part of wikisource's 10th anniversary celebrations, in partnership with various Govt agencies and NGOs . This program, under the leadership of User:ManojK, was a grant success in sourcing rare public domain books in digital format from Kerala Sahitya Academy , a Govt institution promoting Malayalam language literature. The digitization contest for individuals and schools generated 12500+ pages from 150 public domain books . 234 users participated in the individual level competition and nearly 500+ school students (from 140+ school's under teachers guidance) participated in the school level competition. Malayalam wikisource community also prepared Wikisource offline CDs in June 2011 (v 1.0) and October 2013(v. 2.0) . We also succeeded in convincing many authors to license their books under creative common licenses. Licensing of these books under free license is helpful to generate more encyclopediac content and references for Wikipedia articles in Malayalam. Therefore, digitization is important for languages like Malayalam which do not yet posses much digital archives. This proposal is for expanding such efforts of experienced volunteers in a systematic and organized manner.

Project goals[edit]

  1. Increasing the availability of books in Malayalam Wikisource
  2. Generate more interest among users and increase their participation in Malayalam Wikiprojects
  3. Build partnership with libraries and governmental institutions for bringing books into Malayalam Wikisource
  4. Motivate more authors to free license their works
  5. Increase the quality and quantity of content by typing contests and proof reading competitions
  6. Increase reach of Malayalam free knowledge projects by creating offline and Epub versions of the books from Malayalam Wikisource

Project plan[edit]

Grantees are primarily organizers and community facilitators of the following tasks:

  1. Building partnership with prominent libraries and government institutions and to source copyright expired Books(scanned/not) to Wikimedia commons. Scanning of books will be done through volunteer efforts and expenses for purchasing the equipments will be supported by this project.
    1. Organize a 2nd Edition of Malayalam Wikisource Digitization Competition(WSDC2015) for typing and proofreading books sourced from step 1
    2. Train School teachers for adding books to malayalam wikisource and organize school level competition of WSDC2015 (Trainers will be Malayalam Wikisource volunteers , their expense and travel will be met by this project)
  2. Work with various Authors/copyright holders of important literary works for freelicensing those works
  3. Prepare Offline version of Malayalam WikiSource CD/DVD(V3) and epub version of books (done through volunteer efforts. Only technology/production expenses will be part of budgets)


Phase 1: Jan -June[edit]

Jan- March

  • Sourcing more public domain rare books
  • Collecting , scanning and uploading the public domain books collected from various sources.
  • Explore partners and sponsors for digitizing competition
  • Score board matrix tool development


  • Malayalam Wikisource digitizing competition in April
  • Digitization camps in in Important libraries for scanning/photographing rare books
  • Convince authors and get more books released under free licenses
  • WSDC2015 Prize distribution event and release event of books under free licenses

Phase 2 (July- December)[edit]

Focus Schools

  • 3 Regional wikisource digitization workshops for school teachers and starting of school level wikisource digitization competition (1 month period) . Schools with maximum participation and digitization will be rewarded.
  • Wikisource Offline CD/DVD, and epub preparation
  • WSDC2015 Prize distribution event in districts with CD+epub release (1 x 14 districts of Kerala state)


Sl. No. Budget Item justification (INR) (US$) ₹ 60 = 1 $
Phase 1 (Jan -June )
1 2 Persons x ₹ 15000 PM x 6 months 2 persons working 50% of their time visiting libraries, scanning/sourcing books ,building partnerships and publicizing event 180000 3000
2 Events Press and Publicity WSDC2015 Prize distribution event ₹ 100000 + 5 events in Libraries X₹ 30000 250000 4166.666667
3 Prizes and Certificates As Ebook Readers /Tablets/Books 125000 2083.33333
4 Travel & Accommodation Library Visits + Visiting Authors ₹ 10000 PM X6 months 60000 1000
5 Consultant S/w Developer 1 x ₹ 25000 Software Development and Testing for Scoreboard 25000 416.6666667
6 Digitization(Scanning) Equipment rental expense for scanning books 100000 1666.666667
7 Research & Documentation Audio Video Documentation of participant experiences 20000 333.3333333
8 Consumables/Printing/Stationery/Swag 25000 416.6666667
9 Phone, Internet Charges 1500 per month per coordinator 18000 300
10 Miscellaneous 3% of subtotal(lumpsum) 24090 401.5
Total 827090 13874.83333
Phase 2
1 2 Persons x ₹ 15000 PM x 6 months 2 persons working 50% of their time visiting schools , training and running competition 180000 3000
2 Events Press and Publicity 3 Regional Events ₹ 30000 + 14 District events X ₹ 25000 440000 7333.333333
3 Travel & Accommodation "School visits in 14 districts" 60000 1000
4 2 person x ₹ 25000 1 month Volunteer support for development of offline CD and epubs 50000 833.3333333
5 Offline CD/DVD Printing CD Preparation and printing 20000 333.3333333
6 Research & Documentation Audio Video Documentation of student experiences 20000 333.3333333
7 Consumables/Printing/Stationery/Swag 25000 416.6666667
8 Telecom/Internet 18000 300
9 Miscellaneous 3% of subtotal(lumpsum) 24390 406.5
Total 837390 13956.5
Phase 1 + Phase 2 (Total) 1664480 27741.33333

The project is planned as a one year competition with 2 phases: one for individuals and the other for schools. We know that the IEG timeline is 6 months but , if it is approved together we can go together with a single announcement and work towards school participation and partnership building in first Phase itself and transition to second phase will be easier without any hurdles and delay.

Community engagement[edit]

All stages of the project will be utilizing community involvement and expertise of volunteers. All major decision points will be discussed in Village pump . Malayalam Wikisource volunteers will play an important role in all steps of this project and experienced volunteers will be used as the resource persons workshops and training.


The focus of the program is building sustainable set of new contributors and active editors, building more books and increase the quality of article by typing and proof reading. The project will focus on building a sustainable relationship with libraries and Govt Institutions for ensuring rare books availability to wikisource project . The school level initiative is towards building and expanding the partnership with schools in Kerala state and to generate more contributions from school-going students.

Request for logo permissions[edit]

We request WMF to grand us special permission to use Wikisource logo on offline Wikisource CD/DVD, Participation certificates and Press and publicity materials for this project.

Measures of success[edit]

  • Apparent growth of Malayalam Wikisource contributors
  • Increase in page count on Malayalam Wikisource
  • More visitors to Malayalam Wikisource pages
  • Increase in the total content (number of total books) available in ML Wikisource

Evaluation tools[edit]

  • Quarterly growth of no. of articles and books
  • Quarterly growth of no. of total editors
  • Quarterly growth of no. of new editors
  • Quarterly growth of no. of active editors
  • Quarterly growth of no. of very active editors
  • No. of page views
  • No. of articles
  • No. of mentoring interactions
  • No. of edits (Article, Other main space edits)
  • Publicity and reports through print and electronic media
  • More Wikipedia articles citing books from Wikisource as Reference

Get involved[edit]



Manoj, from engineer background,a farmer by profession, is a long time administrator and outreach evangelist for Wikisource and Wikimedia Projects. He is also a contributor in FOSS and Language Computing Projects. An amateur nature photographer, he is also an avid contributor to the Wikimedia Commons. Manoj was the General Convene for the highly successful ML Wikisource digitization contest in January 2014. Manoj was the main organizer for Malayalam Wikisource offline CD project 2013 version , numerous community workshops and outreach programs.


Sugeesh is one of the most prolific contributors and outreach spokesperson among Malayalam Wikipedians. His role in coordinating students and others to contribute to Wikisource and Wikipedia was well recognized during the past few years. He is also one of the regular graphic designers for Malayalam communities outreach workshops and media releases. His team has been instrumental in bringing some of the oldest ever printed books in Malayalam to modern limelight.


Balasankar, is a sysop at Malayalam Wikisource and he developed a score bord mathrix for WSDC2014. He is an M.Tech student specialized in Computer Science and Engineering.GNOME Foundation Member and and a active contributor Malayalam l10n Projects. Swathanthra Malayalam Computing volunteer and he is a web administrator of FOSS Community of India. He also writing technical posts in his blog and Swathanthram, A Free Software magazine in malayalam.



Anivar Aravind , is a technology and program management professional spending his free time with various free software and free knowledge projects. He is the present secretary of Swathanthra Malayalam Computing , a language technology developer collective and umbrella network of various indian language free and open source projects. He is a wikisource contributor and worked on free-licensing various contemporary knowledge literature books and made it available in wikisource. He is part of wikisource user group and helped in designing Malayalam Wikisource digitization contest 2014 last year and connected it with various partner organizations.

Collaboration with another Project team[edit]

This project intends to complement and collaborate with the Palm leaf digitalization Project (PLD-MW), another IEG-initiated project. While the PLD-MW project will help digitize the material collected through this project (in addition to their already identified collections), our team will arrange to harness as much sources as possible from potential archives. By such collaboration, we hope that both projects will maximize their output by mitigating the efforts in an efficient manner.

Manoj and Sugeesh will also be associated with the other project as interface and collaboration coordinators.

Community Notification[edit]

  1. Community support/Consensus at Village Pump of Malayalam Wikisource
  2. Community support/Consensus at Village Pump of Malayalam Wikipedia


Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the talk page of this proposal).

  • Community member: add your name and rationale here.

Support Support As an active user & sysop @ ML.Wikisource I support this initiative as the last one did invite huge volume of open texts in to the Malayalam Wikisource and we could retain a bunch of the contestants as active users even after the event. If we can do this with more robust action plan and more strict execution, we can grow the validated content volume in considerable size. This will attract much more active users. --Manuspanicker (talk) 05:33, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Support Right from the beginning of the Malayalam Wikisource project some eight years ago, one of the real difficulties our volunteers have met with, is the easy retrieval of source documents. Though there are hundreds of libraries and other private collections in the state of Kerala that contain valuable and deserving wikisource material, approaching those institutions and individuals effectively and administering the actual work of digitization meticulously with a time-bound commitment through mere volunteer efforts have not been an easy task. Such efforts required repeated travel, regular meetings, intensive follow-up and consistent communications. Organizing the actual digitization process and creating a set of measurability matrices for performance appraisal etc. has been another difficult terrain for the community. The present model of pure voluntary projects are not working well to this end. By dedicating and self-assigning a small team who are already familiar with the kind of tasks involved and then further bound by a stipulated project that also compensates for their time and work should be the way to go.

As a very active community member, a senior mentor and also in the capacity of an executive member and treasurer of the Wikimedia India Chapter, I strongly endorse this project with a lot of optimism. I also hope that this proposal will evolve by itself to become one of the role models that can be readily adapted to many Global South communities who face the same realities. ViswaPrabhaവിശ്വപ്രഭtalk 12:21, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Support--Sivahari (talk) 11:16, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Support-- Sajal Karikkan --Karikkan (talk) 13:20, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Support --ShajiA (talk) 13:32, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Support--‌Arunravi.signs (talk) 19:12, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

  • Its an excellent project to rediscover the hidden treasures of Malayalam literature. Arunravi.signs (talk) 19:14, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Support --Sreejith Koiloth (talk) 14:40, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Support--Shaji (talk) 16:32, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Support--Tonynirappathu (talk) 04:36, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Support--Rahmanuddin (talk) 09:41, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Support-- This will be very useful Arkrishna (talk) 22:19, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Support -- Malayalam Wikisource was in the limelight for their zero cost initiatives aimed at school students enabling them with digitization skills. Malayalam Wikisource also successfully organized a digitization contest which oversaw the digitization of several texts. I am sure that this new project will also be a great success, considering that it is being led by the same team which executed the past two projects. I am endorsing this grant request. --Netha Hussain (talk) 09:29, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

  • The project is clearly laid out and seems eminently feasible in the time frame and budget proposed. And I support any well-developed project that increases contributions to Wikisource! Tniranjana (talk) 10:53, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Support--Mrutyunjaya Kar (talk) 07:00, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

  • Support Support Glad to have supported the earlier digitization competition (from CIS-A2K) held during January 2014, which was quite successful. Happy to see this project proposal from ML Wikisource community. However, they need to focus on sharing the challenges and lessons beyond their community. They are still to write a decent blog post about the earlier event. Siko and others at IEG have to chase them on documentation and reporting ;) Cheers and best wishes!--Visdaviva (talk) 12:13, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
Visdaviva,Thanks for the wishes. Please allow me to explain this matter as a member of WSDC2014 team. At first CIS-A2K was one among 4 partnering organisations apart from Malayalam Wikisource community in WSDC2014 and you were part of Organizing commitee along with 7 other members including me. The partner roles were more in terms of sharing responsibilities and each partners took care of various tasks apart from sponsoring prizes. Kerala Sahitya academi offered books in digitized format and provided their hall for function free of cost, IT@School project of Govt Kerala invested expenses for teacher training on wikisource editing and issued a circular asking schools to participate in competition , Swathanthra Malayalam Computing offered technical and volunteer help for running the competition and sponsored one prize (Tablet) . Considering the geographical distance between Bangalore and Kerala, CIS-A2K's involvement was mainly as a financial supporter for remaining prizes for individuals, book packs for schools, certificates and prize distribution event expenses. CIS-A2k transferred INR100000 ($1666.67) towards these expenses. Clearly, CIS-A2K was an equal partner with same responsibility in 2014 program and not a donor agency who can analyse results only through reports. Last year this competition and associated effort kept the active team members occupied full time, especially General Convener User:manojk. All of this was unpaid volunteer effort. If we had quality time to invest, we would have published at least few blog posts in WMF blog itself. One of the major reasons and rationale for applying for this IEG round is to address some support for volunteer time and expenses for organizing 2015 competition. Learnings from last year and addressing shortfalls of 2014 competition are equally addressed in 2015 plan. And unlike last year where we sourced support for prizes and events from partners, this is a direct grant request to a WMF to address the program expenses. In short Siko and other at IEG does not have anything to fear about the team here. Thanks for giving an opportunity to clarify things here --AniVar (talk) 03:57, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying this AniVar. Apologies if my light-hearted comment were to have come across as a criticism or to suggest anything negative of the excellent work done. If it did, then it was totally unintentional. Needless to reiterate, I firmly believe that this is a great project and deserves all the support!--Visdaviva (talk) 18:04, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Support Support ----విశ్వనాధ్.బి.కె. (talk) 15:05, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

  • I had worked in the past with the applicants on digitization projects of Malayalam and I am quite confident about their expertise and skills on this area. (Endorsing on my personal capacity as a Malayalam wiki contributor) Santhosh.thottingal (talk) 04:30, 29 October 2014 (UTC)