Grants:Project/Rapid/Hindi Riddles

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Hindi Riddles
To upload text of 13th century Medievel Hindi riddles of Amir Khusrow to Wikimedia Commons and import them to Wikisource then translate them to English and Hindustani, and then feature them on Wikipedia.
targetWikimedia Common, Wikisource, Wikipedia, Wiktionary, in the Hindi, Braj Bhasha, English, and Urdu languages.
start date09/15
end date02/15
budget (local currency)INR 133,154
budget (USD)US$ 2,000
grant typeindividual

Project Goal[edit]

Choose one or more of the following goals. You can add or delete goals as needed.

  1. Organize a community project
  2. Recruit new editors
  3. Add or improve content

Project Plan[edit]


Scanned text of Khaliq-e-Bari from Rampur Raza Library as digitised by the Rekhta Foundation. The title of the book is Khaliq-e-Bari 1287. This edition was published in 1870.

In this project a team including language instructors, students, and interested people from the public will meet to transcribe and translate riddles written by en:Amir Khusrow. In the 13th century, Khusrow composed poetry in Delhi which included sets of riddles. These texts have been celebrated continuously in India and beyond since then. At the start, this project will be working with one particular text from 1870 which was scanned by a library and shared for distribution in the public domain.

The core team includes several language instructors at an institute in Delhi which teaches Persian language, Braj Bhasha, Urdu, and Hindi to students who either wish to learn a modern language or who are doing research on medieval texts. The agenda for this project is to import a source text to Wikimedia Commons, transcribe the text into digitized text in Wikisource, then translate the digital text into other languages so that the riddles can be enjoyed by a contemporary audience. Once the texts are managed, they will also be linked through relevant Wikipedia articles.

The riddles are poems of 5 short lines. Each step of processing takes one person a short amount of time. For example, a beginning student can transcribe the Medieval Hindi, a more advanced person can translate Medieval Hindi to Hindustani, lots of people can translate Hindustani to Hindi, and another person can translate Hindustani to English. In any language, the person reading the poem is supposed to guess the answer to its riddle.

This project will be coordinated through a series of in-person Wikipedia training and editing events. When people gather together to edit, people can share training help each get started creating and editing Wikimedia content. These texts are a cultural treasure of Indic language which are not readily available to the general public but are a general interest.

  1. If applicable, what benefits have you seen from doing this kind of meeting in the past?
    India has a great appreciation for its historical culture, including poetry. The riddles themselves are short, clever, and still relevant today. Because there is already a demand for more access to more poetry, poetry readings, and poetry lectures, this seems like a good way to preserve heritage and publish content to share. The new part of this will be publishing to Wikipedia.
  2. How will you let participants know about the meeting?
    We have an existing social network. We will advertise through email list and will partner with local educational institutions in the area.
  3. How will you keep participants engaged after the meeting is over?
    We will have regular meetings over the next five months. Anyone who attends the first meeting, will be invited to subsequent meetings. We will invite people who already passionate about Hindi riddles are already doing work to promote them.
  4. Is there anything else you want to tell us about this project?
    We are trying to start with a simple project which has a likelihood of success.


Note: In addition to your project-specific measures of success, you will also be asked to report on some Global Metrics at the end of your final report. Please keep this in mind as you plan, and we'll support you as you begin your project.

  1. Number of total participants: 15 (with an emphasis on diversity of participants)
  2. Number of people who will help organize the event: 3


5 meetings, once a month, INR 26,630 per meeting, INR 133150

  • renting the space which includes computer and internet (INR 7,500)
  • food and soft drinks (INR 750 per person times 15, INR 11250 per event)
  • local travel for attendees (INR 300 per person times 15, INR 4500 per event)
  • advertising, in-person visits to invite partner organizations (INR 3380 per event)


  • Support In 2008 Ali (user:Ataqi) was my Hindi tutor in the United States. After he moved to India, I visited Zabaan Language Institute where he teaches now, and was impressed by their commitment to language study in addition to being a place for instruction. Zabaan is a great partner for the Wikimedia community because it has a history of providing Urdu script instruction to locals and Hindi language instruction for expats, which means that it is an organization with a social commitment to both local and international culture. Ali himself has lived in both the United States and India, so I know that he can anticipate both what is possible to do in India and what kind of expectations the international Wikimedia community will have for reporting. The Hindi riddles of Amir Khusrow are classic for their content and famous for their author, but are not present online as readable digital texts in either their own languages or translations. I am sure that through Ali, Zabaan and its social network will develop a new appreciation for Wikimedia projects as a platform for collaboration and outreach. Delhi is a capital city with too few Wikimedia contributors, and after the last regional WikiConference in India, the time is ripe for more projects in India. Despite being centuries old, the text addressed by this grant is accessible to modern readers and is likely to get attention for the Wikimedia community if this grant is funded. Blue Rasberry (talk) 02:11, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support I support this grant because it will help in engaging Wikimedians with Hindi Wikipedia. I would be happy if user:Ataqi can give an approximate target for each of his goal. -Sailesh Patnaik (Talk|Contribs) 05:54, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support Yes, a project that we need. (And sorry for being late; but better late than never :) ) --Millosh (talk) 19:57, 6 October 2016 (UTC)