Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Youth Skill Development Program to Document Oral Culture in Endangered Indian Languages

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statusNot funded
Youth Skill Development Program to Document Oral Culture in Endangered Indian Languages
We aim to train youth from North East India and work with academicians and researchers in North India in technical skills involved in language activism. In order to achieve this we will build upon the toolkit we are currently working on and will be working on audio-visual documentation training of volunteer youths similar to Indigenous Audiovisual Archives through_Wiki_tools_in_Cambodia.
start date2022-02-01T00:00:00Z
end date2022-10-31T00:00:00Z
budget (local currency)6981480 INR
amount requested (USD)92962 USD
grant typeIndividual
funding regionSA
decision fiscal year2021-22
funding program roundRound 1
applicant and people related to proposalUser:Amrit Sufi

User:Nitesh Gill User:Dugal harpreet User:Gill jassu User:Dr. Rajwinder Singh User:Sukhan saar User:Bogreudell User:SGill (WMF)

User:PDas (WMF)

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Applicant details[edit]

Wikimedia username(s):

User:Amrit Sufi

User:Nitesh Gill User:Dugal harpreet User:Gill jassu User:Dr. Rajwinder Singh User:Sukhan saar User:Bogreudell User:SGill (WMF) User:PDas (WMF)


Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?

Applied previously and did receive a grant

Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?


Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?


Organization details[edit]

What is your organization or group's mission?

The following information is about the fiscal sponsor for this project:

Anudip Foundation transforms lives by creating aspirational livelihoods through digital inclusion in emerging economies. A nonprofit company with operations in India and USA, Anudip has been empowering motivated young job aspirants from difficult backgrounds since 2007.

If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)

Website -

Grant proposal[edit]

Please state the title of your proposal. This will also be a title for the Meta-Wiki page.

Youth Skill Development Program to Document Oral Culture in Endangered Indian Languages

Where will this proposal be implemented?


Indicate if it is a local, international, or regional proposal and if it involves several countries? (optional)


If you have answered regional or international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.

What are the main challenges you are trying to solve and your proposed solution?

As per UNESCO’s World Atlas of Endangered Languages, India is home to 197 languages in the endangered category. Without proper intervention and involvement of the people in digital spaces, they are under the threat of disappearance. Several Indian languages are oral and do not have representation in digital spaces, especially Wikis. In order to facilitate the appearance of these languages in the digital space the indigenous youth need to feel involved and empowered enough to bring their language online. In order to quash the hegemony of a handful of languages in a linguistically and culturally diverse country it is important that the cultures and languages are not only given space in digital platforms but also that the people practising these are empowered and that technologies made useful to suit various contexts.

North-East India and North India are geographically two of the most dotted with languages in the endangered category as per the UNESCO’s Atlas of World Languages in Danger.

We aim to train youth from North East India and work with academicians and researchers in North India in technical skills involved in language activism. In order to achieve this we will build upon the toolkit we are currently working on and will be working with the youth similar to the Indigenous Audiovisual Archives through_Wiki_tools_in_Cambodia

With the involvement of professional videographers we are going to train youths to capture their culture and digitize it. We also aim to use Wikisource as a repository of oral records and history, therefore we aim to train them in transcription, therefore enabling not only the media recording of culture but also diversifying the digital library.

We are going to implement the Oral Culture Transcription Toolkit we are currently working on. It is a unified toolkit that uses the oral history elicitation protocol from Wikitongues, the technical aspects from the OpenSpeaks toolkit and the workflow to add the multimedia content to Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource that we will map in this project. We have tested it with three volunteers so far and it will be finalized based on their feedback. This toolkit will be implemented in the proposed project with the volunteers, at the end of which we will make edits as required.

What is the main objective of your proposal?

We aim to train youth from North East India and work with academicians and researchers in North India in technical skills involved in language activism. In order to achieve this we will build upon the toolkit we are currently working on and will be working on audio-visual documentation training of volunteer youths similar to Indigenous Audiovisual Archives through_Wiki_tools_in_Cambodia.

Describe your main strategies to achieve this objective and the main activities you will be developing as part of these strategies.

We are going to test out two approaches in this project. We will work in the Northern part of India in collaboration with a university and academics/researchers. In the NE India region we are going to work on the grassroot level with indigenous youths/ individuals and partners.

In the northern part of India, we will work with researchers and academics. The Center of Punjabipedia at Punjabi University, Patiala is going to partner in this project. They will help us with recruitment and institutional collaboration. We will focus on 6 languages in this region. We will include trips to various places in Himachal and Punjab with the participants. These trips will include training on documentation. We aim to utilize the learnings of the ongoing academic research while also benefiting scholars with training in technical expertise.

In North-East India we are going to work with indigenous youth of Manipur picked with the help of individuals and partners. Here we will be hosting training sessions with professional videographers for audio-visual documentation and conducting photowalks. We will also include training sessions for editing and contributing to Wikimedia and Wikisource by introducing the toolkit.

We will train the volunteers to ethically record languages and cultures. After the conclusion of the training we will assess the pros and cons of both these methods. We will do a comparative study of both methods. Learnings from this project will inform the future efforts in this field.

Some of the focused languages* will be:

  1. North India
  1. Critically endangered
  1. Definitely endangered

North-East India

  1. Critically endangered
  1. Vulnerable languages

  • Based on UNESCO’s list of endangered languages

Please state if you will be carrying out any of these activities within your programs? Select all that apply.

Organizing Meet-up online, Organizing Meet-up offline, Workshops, Edit-A-Thons, Photowalk

Are you running any in-person events or activities?


Please state if your proposal aims to work on any of the identified content knowledge gaps?

Geography, Language, Cultural background, ethnicity, religion, racial

Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or thematic focus.

Education, Culture, heritage or GLAM , Diversity

Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Select all categories that apply.

Geographic , Linguistic / Language, Socioeconomic status, Digital Access

Please tell us more about your target participants.

Our target participants include students and indigenous youths, our attempt is to sensitize both groups to the importance of digital spaces for expansion of academic as well as traditional knowledge and self-identity. We will retain them by training them, providing them support and communication one-on-one, inviting them to get involved with related projects/workshops on cultural documentation.

Do you have plans to work with other Wikimedia communities, groups or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?


Please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.

We will be involving members of Punjabi Wikimedians User Group for the North-India region.

On-Wiki messages or links:

International Calls:

Additionally, Anudip Foundation will be working at the grassroots level in Manipur and employing various Mobilization and Communication techniques to engage local youth from the state.

Will you be working with other external, non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?


Please describe these partnerships.

Punjabi University, Patiala: Venue for trainings, Recruitment of researchers and other in-kind resources.

Anudip Foundation: Digital literacy, Curriculum development, Monitoring and evaluation, Mobilization and communication.

Wikitongues will contribute to this project by offering archival support for all video documentation elicited by this project. This will include structuring and processing metadata for individual video files, and by backing up all documentation within Wikitongues archives and at the U.S. Library of Congress. Wikitongues will also contribute to technical training for more complex aspects of oral culture documentation, such as video captioning.

How do you hope to sustain or expand the work carried out in this proposal after the grant?

As we are going to engage researchers and university students, an educational institute will be deeply involved in North India. The center of Punjabipedia situated at Punjabi University, Patiala is willing to be involved in this project. They will provide us with in-kind resources to organise workshops and meetings.

The second approach is to work at grassroot level with indigenous youths. We will work in partnership with Anudip Foundation for recruitment of indigenous youths and their training. The foundation will help us to locate local youths from North-East India. They will also provide digital literacy skills to the youths via training sessions. In addition to these, they are also experts at local communication via the usage of local means of transportation and communication, thus ensuring inclusivity in participation of the youths. In order to maintain consistent and qualitative engagement of the youths they also have a monitoring and evaluation program in place.

We will focus on the above two strategies and do a comparative study of impacts and possibilities of both. After analyzing the work with both partnerships, we will plan for the next program or project.

Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?

Amrit Sufi (Project Coordinator) is the project manager of the Oral Culture Transcription Toolkit project. She has been a university lecturer. She has also facilitated Rising Voices’ Language Digital Activism Workshops for India.

Nitesh Gill (Project Consultant) is a long-term Punjabi Wikimedian who has been engaging with various Indic communities in both professional and volunteer capacities. She is pursuing her PhD in Punjabi language and literature at the University of Delhi.

Alakananda Ghosh is the General Manager for Resource Mobilization and Communications at Anudip Foundation.

Kaihru L (Researcher and Advisor - North-East India) teaches English Literature at Delhi University. Currently pursuing folklore and philosophy of the people for academic writing. He speaks Mao dialect, native to Senapati district of Manipur, North-East India.

Rajwinder Singh (Researcher and Advisor - North India) is an Assistant Professor, Punjabi department, Punjabi University. He is a tech expert and coordinator of PunjabiPedia.

Dugal Harpreet (Researcher and Trainer) She has been a Punjabi Wikimedian for 4 years. She is working on a Punjabi Wikisource project and participated in the Oral Culture Transcription project.

Jassu Gill (Researcher and Trainer) She is a part of Punjabi Wikimedians user group and participated in the Oral Culture Transcription project.

Sukhan Saar Singh (Filmmaking Workshop Coordinator) is a cinematographer and Alumni of Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute. He will be coordinating the filmmaking workshop for North-East India.

Daniel Bogre Udell (Advisor and Archivist) is the Founder of Wikitongues and will be providing archival support to the project.

Praveen Das (Advisor) is Senior Partnerships Manager for South Asia at the Wikimedia Foundation. He is advising on partnerships with organizations and institutions for this project.

Satdeep Gill (Mentor) is a Program Officer with the GLAM and Culture team at the Wikimedia Foundation.

In what ways do you think your proposal most contributes to the Movement Strategy 2030 recommendations. Select a maximum of three options that most apply.

Invest in Skills and Leadership Development, Innovate in Free Knowledge, Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt

Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here. (optional)      


Learning, Sharing, and Evaluation[edit]

What do you hope to learn from your work in this fund proposal?

The project is planned with two types of partners and aims to test two strategies- reclaiming of indigenous knowledge and involving academics in oral culture documentation. In doing this we are attempting to understand the gap between academic research and traditional knowledge and therefore attempt to bridge it. We thought about testing the strategies after 4 months of project evaluation.

In order to engage more people and to document content we need a team with researchers, advisers, contributors and editors. We are working in two different regions as well as with two different organisations: A. Educational institutes are important to this project as their presence will enable ease in engaging researchers and university students. Punjabipedia will be fully involved in this project to provide technical support, field work support. They also have some experience communicating with local people and recording cultural content. B. Our involvement with grassroots organisational collaboration will provide skill development, digital literacy training, monitoring & evaluation, mobilization and also will help to prepare curriculum for trainees. The foundation will help us to locate youths in North-East India and will train them in digital literacy.

These two organisations will support us on different levels. After experiencing both, we will evaluate, analyze our tests and find the issues and most important focus areas. This project will help us design next steps and projects.

Core Metrics[edit]

Enter a description of the metric and a number in the target field. If the metric does not apply to you, enter N/A for not applicable.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of participants Total number of participants including organizers involved 40
Number of editors Total number of new registered users engaged and existing users engaged 30
Number of organizers Number of organizers involved including partners and workshop trainers 10
Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
Wikimedia Commons Audio-Visual files uploaded on Wikimedia Commons 100
Wikisource Transcriptions of audio-visual files added to Wikisource 50

If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation.


Additional Metrics[edit]

Enter a description of the metric and a number in the target field. If the metric does not apply to you, enter N/A for not applicable.

Additional Metrics Description Target
Number of editors that continue to participate/retained after activities Number of editors that will be retained after the project. We are aiming at around 30 percent retention. 10
Number of organizers that continue to participate/retained after activities Number of organizers that will be retained after this project and will be involved in future projects. Aiming at around 40-50 percent retention. 5
Number of strategic partnerships that contribute to longer term growth, diversity and sustainability The number of strategic partnerships that will continue contributing and collaborating with Wikimedia communities and projects. 1
Feedback from participants on effective strategies for attracting and retaining contributors N/A N/A
Diversity of participants brought in by grantees N/A N/A
Number of people reached through social media publications N/A N/A
Number of activities developed N/A N/A
Number of volunteer hours N/A N/A

What other information will you be collecting to learn about the impact of your work? (optional)

We will be getting detailed feedback from the participants and Wikimedians after the project to learn about the challenges along with what worked and what didn't work.

What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?

Commons and Wikisource categories for content related metrics

On-wiki project page for participants related metrics and individual statistics using tools from wmflabs.

How do you hope to share these results so that others can learn from them?

Create a training workshop to show others what we learned, Share results on social media, Share results with our communities, Participate in one on one peer sharing session with other grantees, Develop learning material for other users, I would like to receive support from the Foundation to discover how I can share my learning, Share it on Meta-Wiki

Financial Proposal[edit]

What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency. If you are thinking about a multi-year fund, please provide the amount for the first year.

6981480 INR

What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?

92962 USD

Do you want to apply for multi-year funding?      


If you have calculated it, please provide an estimate of the year 2 or year 3 request.


Please share your budget for this proposal.

What do you do to make sure there is a good management of funds?

We are working with the fiscal sponsor, Anudip Foundation, who will ensure a good management of funds. This is a requirement for them due to auditing purposes.

How will you contribute towards creating a supportive environment for participants using the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy?

We will ensure a healthy environment for all the participants and share about the policies after recruiting the youth and researchers. We will also ensure that the policies are followed afterwards and create a mechanism and point of contact in case there is a complaint.

Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.

Staffing plan or organogram:
Other public document(s):

Final Message[edit]

By submitting your proposal/funding request you agree that you are in agreement with the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct.

We/I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.