Grants talk:PEG/Sujay25/Wikipedia Treks Kalindi Khal

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GAC members who support this request[edit]

GAC members who support this request with adjustments[edit]

  1. --DerekvG (talk) 14:44, 5 September 2015 (UTC) I will support this request, having read the questions and comments I would like to suggest to the organisers and WMIN to plan and execute a few (prefrrably more then 1) events where you present report your trek, to/with volunteers that don't make the trek to edit more articles in different languages and illustrate with the pictures more articles that could use illustrations, perhaps write a report in the form a wiki artcle of the trek , these event could be useful to promote future editions and interest wikipedians t make better use of the collected material

GAC members who oppose this request[edit]

  1. See below. MADe (talk) 20:34, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

GAC members who abstain from voting/comment[edit]

GAC comments[edit]

Comments MADe=[edit]

It looks like a good idea, supported by the right (local!) people.

The majority of the project grant and the budget is about the trip itself, and how to organise it practically. I miss a bit the aspect of promotion/marking/volunteer involvement. How do you propose to organise it? Will we be able to follow the trip using social media (Twitter)?

Secondly, you go into details to describe the mountaineering experience of the team members. What experience do the teammembers have with the local fauna and flora? It will be important to correctly taxonomize during your trip!

For personal interest, I see the three first members have a lot of mountaineering experience but no wiki experiencE. The Wikipedians at the other hand have only a Basic Rock Climbing Course. How did you link up, what is the link between the two groups? MADe (talk) 17:40, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

since my earlier comments, the organisers did not reply to my comments. However, they added a number of outreach events. I have the feeling these are not really part of the grant request. The money request reads too much like a holiday trip, with a no outreach and communication to our community. I do not want to spend community money on this. MADe (talk) 20:34, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Hi MADe,
Very sorry for the delay in reply.
  • Regarding the promotional activities we have a plan to organize a press meet after the completion of the trek.
In this press meet we are expecting quite a few journalists and media personnel for coverage.
We will officially announce the date and time of a photographic slideshow event. Media will be publicizing this event to common people as well as mountaineers and trekkers.
In this slideshow event the major focus will be to display the photographs along with the narration of the experience from the team. Along with the photographs there will be a brief introduction to Wikipedia and its sister projects. Regarding this slideshow we are collaborating with a mountaineering organization. As the slideshow event will be viewed by the people from different interest groups they may join as new user. These "New User"s will be the resource for the next Workshops and edit-a-thons.
These workshops and edit-a-thons will be conducted by the core group and the fellow Wikipedians.
The major focus on these workshops and edit-a-thons will be to create or expand the articles and add media files to commons related to Wikipedia treks Kalindi khal.
By continuous mentoring and interactions these new users will be able to contribute into different projects easily.
  • We are in process of developing a Facebook and a twitter page for this event.--Sujay25 (talk) 22:09, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Community comments[edit]

Usefulness of content[edit]

  • Suppose that you collect pictures during the trek. What will you do with these pictures? Please list now the places on Wikimedia projects where these pictures will be used. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:14, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you very much Blue Rasberry for your query. All of these pictures will be uploaded in commons in a category "Wiki Treks Mountain" and subcategory "Wiki treks Kalindi Khal". Not only images but we are going to upload videos also. These videos will contain how to use mountaineering gears and equipments. We are also going to explain the techniques for surviving in mountains at high altitude.
  • All these media files will be used in Wikipedia, Wikspecies, Wikivoyage and other WMF projects--Sujay25 (talk) 21:03, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • I second the questions being raised here - can the team include 1) a list of articles they have researched and improved in preparation for this expedition 2) a tentative list of the phenomena and artefacts that they expect to document and the associated Wikipedia articles 3) a list of reliable sources that they have collated so as to be able to write any encylopaedic content. Shyamal (talk) 06:20, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Some queries about the planning and basis of the trek[edit]

  • To add to what has been said / asked above - I have the following queries

1. Is there a list of documentation accessed in the planning of this trek. The Kalindi trek is a high but not unfrequented trek and there is already available, in various mountaineering journals and expedition notes , a lot of information.

2. There is a mention of global warming - could there be a clarification on how the expedition expects to document the change (if any) caused by global warming. Will there be before and after pictures, has there been an attempt to collect before pictures. How would High resolution images address this concern.

3. Apart from photographs, videos and GPS readings what other surveys would be undertaken and what methods used - for example for plants, birds, mammals, and other life forms. It would be relevant to say here while the proposal mentions 'north india' harboring a great diversity of plants, in specific a significant part of the route is Glacial or Glacial like and is quite sparse in vegetation.

4. With regard to the actual journey there is a mention of support staff - porters and guides hired for the journey. If so how many would there be and who would this support team comprise of, their qualifications, provisions for gear for them and safety guidelines. Further what would be the acknowledgement of such people in the final wiki articles. In this context would it also be possible to qualify the impact of such a large group on a fragile and vulnerable environment and what precautions are being taken to minimize the impact.

5. From the main page there is a link to Himalaya Beacon and in the summary details of each member there is a mention of many treks, some of them in the recent two -three years. There is also a Examples Parangla Trek, Ronty Saddle, Paachu and Jawahar Valley, however none of these have an wikipedia page as yet. Would it be possible to start with creating pages for these treks / places, based on information.

--Ramwik (talk) 05:03, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Review of Proposed Content Development and other queries[edit]

--Ramwik (talk) 18:41, 8 September 2015 (UTC) Hi

Am unsure who has a right to say something here. Am a donor, of sorts to wikipedia, a user, and by way of disclosure am a trekker, an outdoor educator, a forester, a birder and general naturalist, I have been on the Kalindi route - starting from Mana (badrinath) and via the pass ending up in Gangotri. Fact being we continued trekking onwards and through Himachal all the way to Khardungla Pass (Ladakh).

Some time back had asked questions (just above) and they have been left unanswered, maybe since I am neither on any Wikipedia board or committee. so does the right to have questions / queries answered only lie with those who may or may not provide the funds. Having said all this my specific queries are below (apart from the unanswered ones posted earlier)

1. Will there be a contingent of support porters, if so how many and who are they. What specific provisions of gear are being made for them. Will they be insured ? In essence what people and mountaineering ethical guidelines would the group be adhering to.

2. There is a link to Proposed Content Development And some references, has any one gone through this. What is the basis for this listing.

For example - Capra ibex or Alpine Ibex is mentioned as one of the mammals proposed for documentation. The route to Kalindi is no where near the Alpine Ibex's range and as such the only useful information that will be added is "absent from Kalindi"

Similarly what is the basis for the bird list. With the exception of the Alpine Chough all the others are pheasants. It would be nice to have a clarification as to what altitude ranges are these Galliformes expected to be at and for how much of the proposed route does their habitat exist and how much time will the group be spending in such habitat. Gaumukh is at about 4200 meters above sea level by which altitude many of the pheasant way out of range. Further the list does not mention what it may actually possible to see - Like the redstarts, pipits, rosefinches, snowfinches, possible raptors, and other Corvids.

While on birds it would be interesting to know the basis for including the Tibetan Snowcock instead of the Himalayan Snowcock.

  • On Plants*

Then there is Pinus_armandii / Chinese Pine - why does this figure in the list of proposed content development, [wikipedia page] clearly again indicates this is not to be found in the Himalaya, let alone India Himalaya. This is a distribution map of this plant

These are just examples and not a detailed review of each proposed item of content, they are however indicative of the lack of preparedness and background research by the group.

Shouldn't the basis for such "proposed documentation have been either very specific species with specific agenda's and with significant background knowledge / research for each such specific item or very generic where everything feasible is spotted, identified and documented again on the basis of some sound scientific methods. It would also have been nice to have seen background research specific to this region.

There is in existence a Gangotri National Park, it is also designated an Important Bird Area, both are on the basis of significant and valuable wildlife research and in turn for region specific natural history research.

This was asked earlier and left unanswered - with the tough route conditions and the time it takes to actually negotiate the glacier and the pass how much time is the group going to spend on such natural history documentation. What scientifically acceptable methods (atleast within Wikipedia's guidelines) are to be used. This methodology would be of interest to many people who spend some amount of their time investigating the higher altitudes.


Who is Wikipedia Treks Mountain?[edit]

  • The grant says "This team of WTM comprises total nine members; among them three wikipedians". Who are these people? Is this the Core team? Who is invited to join the trek - only the core team? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:14, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, this is the core team & these team members are wikimedians who have a highly active participation in the Bengali community. We would have invited others but the trek is very difficult & physically straining. All members of the trip - Wikimedians or otherwise have undergone certified training courses(as seen in the table). Since this team requires specialized members, that's why only these many members are there. Other members can join in this project for online and outreach activities.--Sujay25 (talk) 21:03, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • The team mentions various organizations that are involved in mountaineering (from which they have received basic training) 1) how does this expenditure compare with the numerous mountaineering expeditions done without funding from WMF 2)If there are numerous people making such trips, can they not be introduced to the idea of Wikimedia Commons and free-licensing? Shyamal (talk) 06:20, 25 August 2015 (UTC)


The organization is mentioned as Wikimedia India Chapter. Does this mean that the project is endorsed and run by the chapter? Is there an official statement on this? Are chapter-level project discssion and member comments/votes on this project proposal available somewhere? Shyamal (talk) 03:40, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Shyamal. Wikimedia India Chapter is endorsing this project. Sujay25 & Schwiki had explained about this project to us & this was discussed in our Quarterly EC meetup on 15th august. Yohannvt (talk) 04:48, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
As far as I know, Wikimedia India Chapter is registered as a society and members are expected to be involved in decision making. So I suppose members were asked to comment on the proposal. What we are looking for are minutes of the discussions, the proposal and the suggestions of the members, executives and so on. Surely it was not just approved as is. Shyamal (talk) 05:56, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
The Board of WMIN is at liberty to take certain decisions which are in the interest of the community & the movement. If members disagree with the decision taken by the board(In this case the endorsement), they can always start a discussion on the WMIN mailing list.Yohannvt (talk) 10:37, 28 August 2015 (UTC)


The proposal says "There will be a documentary for the whole project". Do you mean a video documentary? Who will make this? Can you make any promises of what will be in the video, or production specifications? Can you say anything like "the documentary will be at least 3 minutes long and 3 Wikipedians will speak in it?" Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:14, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

  • yes, there will be a video documentary
  • I shall be capturing the whole video, after returning back, Santanu will edit and finalize the documentary.
  • the video will be of a combination of the mountains and peaks along with the species, flora and fauna in that particular region of Himalayan range. We can also have a plan to include short interviews of local people.
  • the documentary will be at lest 15 min long and not only the three wikipedians, but also all the trek members will speak and put their inputs.--Sujay25 (talk) 21:03, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Bangla language[edit]

I noticed that the Wikipedians here speak Bangla. Is there any possibility of some collaboration with Wikimedia Bangladesh in addition to Wikimedia India? WMBN works mostly in Bangla. Can you find anyone in that chapter who would be willing to endorse this project? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:20, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

  • There are many scopes for collaboration with both Bangla speaking communities. Already, we have posted in . As you can see there is one endorsement as of now. Expecting more from our Bangladesh community.--Sujay25 (talk) 21:00, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Some objections and alternatives - aimed at WMIN[edit]

This project has been declared as being endorsed by WMIN. Under these circumstances I believe my comments need to be aimed at WMIN rather than at the proposers of the project themself. Here they are. Shyamal (talk) 12:41, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

  • Unfair to others - There are numerous contributor to Wikimedia Commons who have hitherto travelled at their own cost and contributed images and media. Many of them are extremely knowledgeable, identifying the subjects and choosing images that have encyclopedic value. Would WMIN fund any member and cover travel expenses in a similar way?
  • Lack of partnerships - There are a number of specialist organizations that exist to support specialized interests. In other words, Special Interest Groups exist independently of the Wikimedia movement. Partnership with these groups ought to be the way to go, because it adds the greatest value and is a viable long-term option. There are a very large number of mountaineering, trekking and travel groups operating in the area of the proposal - many of them with qualified subject matter experts involved (with masters or Ph.D. level expertise in geology, paleontology, glaciology, botany etc.). Some organizations like the Youth Hostels or the Himalayan Club could easily be introduced to the idea of contributing images related to travel under a free-license. [One of the proposers kindly sent me a mail in response to my earlier mail explaining that the team members had interest and expertise in photography, ornithology (actually said someone was an ornithologist!), lepidoptera, botany and geology - I have not seen the publication record of the said members but based on their wiki activity I am unable to see an acceptable level of expertise] In terms of these subjects, there is a lot more to see at mid-altitudes and there is no ethnology involved once you go above the tree-line.
  • Potential for content improvement not visible - There is a vast literature on the Himalayas (See for instance ) and none of the proposers appear to have substantially contributed to articles related to the project. There are a few image additions and minor edits. Adding images is probably the easiest activity. It is possible to add a large number and it can appear impressive but using these images in articles is a lot tougher. Even tougher is to make articles of sufficient depth and value. If the list of proposed articles that will be augmented by this project is offered, it will be easy to demonstrate that relevant images can be sourced without the need for this project and that images are *not* the stumbling block for most part.
  • Costing - The proposal costing is also somewhat disturbing. I see the proposed costs as something disturbingly akin to the ploy of a tele-sales commercial, unintended though it probably is. The full cost of the expedition is a large amount which we show here and the amount we ask is only a fraction of it - ie it appears as if you are saving a great deal of money and therefore that this is a very valuable mission to fund. Someone with some interest in sailing could show how expensive a yacht is and what special training it takes to be on it and write up a proposal asking for a fraction of a supposed budget to be defrayed. Someone interested in skydiving or gliding could put a cost of the sport and ask for a fraction of it to get some aerial photographs. [And of course we can always point out that there is a shortage of aerial images and mariners views from around India] [The Telesales method for those who are not aware of it is to show how much you save by buying a product and these figures are often dramatically boosted and augmented by delivery and voice effects]
  • Low impact - The Wiki Loves Food is an excellent case to study for comparison - it might be considered successful if the number of images is counted but if we look at image usage in articles and the quality of articles containing them - we will see that the impact is low. Of the 9129 images in the category for 2015 - 247 have been used in articles - about 2% (using ) Wiki Loves Food however is a far more inclusive project - and the expenses are low and only for prize money and it is quite different in the way of functioning (as also things like Wiki Loves Earth, Wiki Takes * ) Compare this level of image usage with some Indian users: User:AshLin 222 used out of 362 images - 61% used in articles; User:Vinayraj: 2594 used out of 16086 16% ; User:Jkadavoor 638 used out of 1342 47%; User:Shyamal 6710 used out of 11984 56% used in articles.
  • Alternatives not considered - Here are some alternate ideas one can think of for the 2 Lakh INR being sought - if you took a 7000 rupee compact camera (would be even cheaper if second-hand) and lent 25 of them to a well-established organization we could do a variety of interesting experiments - views of the mountains through the eyes of Sherpas or views of an Uttarakhand village through the eyes of a resident over the course of year. I am fairly certain that the partner organizations to support the idea can be found.

Reply to your Objections[edit]

Hi Shyamal- sorry for the delay in replying to your questions. I was purposely waiting one week , to reply to your questions.
Lets start then
  • Unfair to others?? WMIN has never been unfair to anyone. We have tried to help as many community members who have approached us. You can look at our microgrants page where you can see that the no. of microgrant requests have massively increased as compared to previous years & we have mostly approved all the grants. If any grant request was lacking, we have worked to improve it.
We try to work with the community members who have applied for the grants to us. We work with them, help on their impacts after which only we disburse the grants. WMIN has helped Sujay25 and Schwiki in the same way.
I do not have any problem with grants that have been tried and tested. I have myself been involved in projects that have indirectly benefitted from such grants. See my extended comments below on what having a constitution and what just/fair processes mean. Shyamal (talk) 06:19, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Shyamal, I request you to please introduce us to any such community members who you know as mentioned in this point, who would want help from WMIN in Monetary or non-monetary terms (like creating PEG etc)
One very well-known example below of a Commons contributor needing a camera upgrade. If you can state up-front that contribution can be supported, I can guarantee that we have a very large crowd queing up. Shyamal (talk) 06:19, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Please tell this individual or any more such individuals to apply in our microgrants page[1].I as an individual cannot state upfront whether we can support him,the Executive committee shall discuss internally, take inputs from the community & then only be able to say anything on it.Yohannvt (talk) 10:52, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Lack of partnerships - Please understand that this is a pilot project. No project will be designed perfectly or flawless in the first go. As per the replies given to Alex’s questions, the organizers have already replied about the partnerships they are planning to do. But even if further partnerships have to be explored, it is first important to have a successful pilot project, after which further planning can be done.
  • Potential for content improvement not visible - I regret to say that you are overlooking the achievements of this community member who has applied for the grant. If you check, both Sujay25 and Schwiki are very well known commons contributor & have enough evidence of a proven track record of organizing similar events but in different domain.
Commons alone is not content. Some of the target articles listed by the applicants demonstrate a serious lack of research and expertise. I am not however going to go down that path since there are more serious issues to consider here. Shyamal (talk) 06:19, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Shyamal, if you feel that the applicants demonstrate lack of research & expertise, you can always assist them. I am very sure you can mentor them in this field.Yohannvt (talk) 10:52, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Costing - I am saddened that a well-known English community member like you is equating this to a tele-sales commercial. The way how other contributors as you mentioned pay from their own pocket, as seen in the grant request, the proposers also have arranged for expenditure from their own pocket or via other means. I suggest you to subject the grant & its applicants to good faith & see what the results are. Depending on this we can advocate for or against the event when any future grant is put forward.
There is no need to be sad. Since you have declared that this is to be a pilot, it means that the requirements can be scaled back, a more proximate part of the Himalayas could be explored at much lower cost and the results examined based on a far-less-ambitious proposal. Shyamal (talk) 06:19, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
I hope you understand that rescaling or replanning can result in delay which will endanger the project to be delayed to the next yearYohannvt (talk) 10:52, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Low Cost - Thank you for mentioning “Wiki Loves Food” (WLF) as an inclusive project. Meanwhile you also have mentioned that this project has a low impact. Here, again I must point out your short sightedness. WLF had a Phase 1, which saw 729 images uploaded (, for which we have seen a 31% image used (using ). The number of images that you mentioned ie 9129 images, were actually uploaded for Phase 2. Now, when you have almost 10,000 pictures uploaded for this project, we can’t overnight have high images usage. This is a constantly involving process. WMIN has taken it up to increase the usage of images which we will do over the next one year. Before we start WLF 2016, we aim to have a high image using %.
WLF is not a one-man show but a community driven project. I know you have mentioned other statistics but it would be unfair to compare user uploads & uploads for WLF. The reason is that the user can use images contributed by him into article on which the user is collaborating, but in our case, its not so. To increase image usage we have suggested many Wikimedians throughout India to include WLF in their events they are planning. Actually one of the editors who has currently applied for PEG for one of his workshops has also agreed to include a session on WLF & encouraging attendees to use images from WLF for their articles on Wikipedia.
It seems like you are saying that collaborative community projects take more time for actual usage of images than images added by motivated individuals. Shyamal (talk) 06:19, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
You can deduce any meaning that you feel, but my point is that awareness of WLF is needed to increase Image usage in the categoryYohannvt (talk) 10:52, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
I hope these should solve your objections aimed towards WMIN. I would anyways point your attention to the endorsements for the Project on the page. Please remember the endorsements by the different community members are from different parts of India & not only limited to Bengal.
To conclude, I would like to say that no Project is perfect, all projects are flawed, but if the idea is a good one, we can try improving it and making it a better idea instead of out rightly saying it’s a bad one. Yohannvt (talk) 05:42, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Excellent point, I have given you more ideas than you have ever asked for. So where can we discuss these ideas? Shyamal (talk) 06:19, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Shyamal, I think you are going off perspective. If you feel you have a good idea related to this project, contact the Person who has applied for the grant.If you have an idea which you want to collaborate on with WMIN, contact me,any board member or our Program director. On WMIN website you will find all necessary contact info.Yohannvt (talk) 10:52, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
@Yohannvt: - sorry for my delayed response. I was away trekking in the generally avoided hot and sunny Eastern Ghats which is extremely unexplored. Of course, as always most of my pictures will go into Wikimedia Commons despite the fact that I spend my own limited income on this. First of all, I am very happy to see that you have indicated that the Chapter has decided that this is as a pilot project. If so, might it not be more sensible to make it less ambitious. Since the idea is to document the Himalayas, the part nearest to the applicants is not 1300 km away in Garhwal but about 500-600 km north as the crow flies. Would the Chapter not recommend local exploration rather than something that involves a signficantly longer distance of travel and far greater logistic cost and difficulty? Darjeeling and beyond or Bhutan (we hardly have anything in Dzongkha)? Shyamal (talk) 03:44, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
This is a high altitude trek (highest is around 19,000 feet). Such treks are not there in the Darjeeling area.About the Bhutan idea, I suggest we stick to Indian treks as of now and later concentrate on Bhutan. Also, from what I see the team leader & the deputy leader are from nehru institute of mountaineering based in uttarkashi which is in the same state as the trek is planned in. Yohannvt (talk) 10:52, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
I will respond to the other operational and policy related points separately - some of them are not specific to this project proposal and have to do with the process and policies followed by WMIN. I am not going to take any of the ad hominems to heart since my own objections were largely impersonal, also by definition individuals will be short-sighted but organizations need to sit on the shoulders of individuals and see further (which is what my other objections are about). Shyamal (talk) 03:58, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
About the process & policies, please do pick these points up on India mailing list. Also, I don't see any ad hominems here directed to you, since what we are doing is an open & impersonal discussion. To be very frank, I still feel many of your comments made like tele-shopping were unwarranted, but still You, me and all the volunteers here are giving their time & energy to the cause. If you feel that the project can be improved on, please contact the people who have applied for the grant & give your inputs. Yohannvt (talk) 10:52, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

Responses - questions on policy and process followed[edit]

I have to make a very extended response with more context for non-Indians here based on my observations of the Wikimedia Movement from my involvement in 2002 to 2015 and my observations on the working of the Indian Chapter. I am of course highly supportive of the Chapter and would like it to improve and interact more with the wider community that includes me. Shyamal (talk) 06:23, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

In the absence of policy statements, this looks too much like an ad-hoc discretionary decision of the executive committee of the Wikimedia India Chapter. Most of us who are early adopters of the Wikimedia Movement have appreciated the culture of the Wikimedia Movement where policies and guidelines are evolved through bottom-up consultation, consensus, and decision making where required by elected representatives. These processes stand in contrast to many colonial and authoritarian systems that are accepted and in use in India.

Explicit formulation of Chapter role and philosophy.

The aims of the Foundation are associated with knowledge which really is infinite and unbounded. The activities of the Foundation and the Chapter do however have practical limitations and the scope needs to be defined, re-evaluated and evolved over time. The role of the Chapter is broadly to support activities within the Indian political and geographical region that are in line with the aims of the Wikimedia Foundation. The Chapter adds value to the Foundation by being aware and sensitive to the specific context of the region and its range of languages. The Wikimedia India Chapter is registered as a Society under the Indian legal framework. This means that it has a set of executives who are elected by members. The Society is the legal model used by a number of "clubs". Clubs are formed for the benefit of a group of individuals who form it. The executives are voted according to the benefits accorded to the members. Dissent, criticism of the system and insubordination by members is normally not acceptable. The philosophy of the Wikimedia Foundation is something far removed from this kind of a membership-oriented organization and aims to benefit all beyond members. What this implies is that the Chapter cannot merely use the legal framework required under Indian law to guide its functioning but needs to formulate an extended philosophical guide.

Considering that the elected members keep changing, this constitution/guide/policy/philosophy document needs to be clear, explicit, open, transparent and evolved by consensus (and because the benefits are not supposed to be merely for members, the need for openness to the involvement of all possible stakeholders cannot be be considered optional). I have not seen such a document nor have any philosophical principles been stated in the statements made by the spokesperson(s) chosen by the Chapter. To be fair, this has been the operation mode even in the past and is not the fault of the current spokesperson (Yohann) and my comments are not to be taken personally. The very personal and emotional response from an elected member writing on behalf of the Chapter and all its members is somewhat unexpected.

Shyamal I don't see how is my response emotional or personal. I am just supporting a community member who approached WMIN to help & support him on his PEG. & if unknowingly I was personal in any way, I apologize. Yohannvt (talk) 11:09, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
I was not seeking an apology, merely surprised by the official wording of the Wikimedia India Chapter. As far as I understood and was trying to confirm repeatedly, you were responded here as an elected spokesperson on behalf of the Chapter Executive Committee and all your responses were interpreted as being the consensus voice of the Wikimedia India Chapter. If you are merely responding as a community member and not confirming the Chapter's endorsement and stand on this in official capacity, I think it would be important to indicate it clearly. Shyamal (talk) 16:40, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
I think its very clear from my statements & replies that i am talking in official capacity on behalf of WMIN. You are clearly misinterpreting the point here. Yohannvt (talk) 17:49, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
Explicit policy on paid and borderline paid-activities

The conflict and delineation of activities as volunteer and paid professional activities is something that is a constant one and will always be a grey area. Whether the Chapters should also have the same delineations as the Foundation are unclear. By and large the idea of volunteer contribution in the Wiki[p|m]edia Movement (or indeed many forms of crowdsourcing / citizen science) had worked because of the lowered cost involved in bringing together the work of people in distributed geographies and times with varying skills. The idea of funding travel to aid photography or to produce travelogues for Wikivoyage or content for Wikipedia is therefore an area of conflict. The specific idea that a self-selected group of people from Kolkata should travel about 1300 km west to the Garhwal region to document the Himalayas because of a supposed gap in knowledge a whole slew of questions. To support or to not support them without a clear policy statement would be unjust simply because a very large number of us do incur expenditure on various things that are part of our interest. We however would like to see more people to benefit from our interest and expertise.

  • Should we cover the expenses involved in following our interests or work in our area of expertise? If so, what are the criteria? Have a uniform set of criteria been applied for all cases so far and to cover potential cases in future? Evolving a policy that is applied uniformly for all applicants and not neccessarily in this specific instance would be what is called "just" or "fair". Not following an explicit policy would be "unfair" - hope that answer a question raised.
Specific questions to be answered based on guiding criteria that are explicitly documented by the Chapter
  • Has the supposed gap in knowledge of the Himalayas been discussed?
  • Assuming that the gap is indeed real, have solutions to filling that gap been brainstormed?
  • Is the trek by a very specific self-selected team to a part of the Himalayas quite far from their home area appropriate for a pilot project?
  • Are the claims to expertise made by the self-selected team verified? How was it verified?
  • Does the activity build long-term partnerships with expert-organizations or special interest groups?
  • Does the activity build community?
  • Does the activity have potential for spinoffs?
  • Is the activity sustainable?
  • Does it involve local stakeholders?
  • Does it involve the relevant and established special-interest-groups associated with the field?
  • Has the costing been verified? Are there alternatives? Can material be hired rather than bought?
How would the criteria hold if applied to a series of fictional applications that follow
  • Member X claims that research is a bottleneck. Wants to build up a library of books relevant to a field so that X can edit content on that area.

Would WMIN+PEG support such a funding requirement or would WMIN help tie up with a relevant library or organization dealing with that field?

  • Member X claims that Wikivoyage does not have details on how to visit a specific location. X would like to be funded so as to backpack this remote region and find out how to visit, travel and explore this region.

Would WMIN+PEG support this?

  • Member X lacks a good enough camera and seeks funds to buy a new SLR kit.

What criteria would WMIN+WMF use to support this? [Note that this is not fictional and actually had an Indian commons contributor going through a crowdfunding approach to achieve this

  • Member X notes that Wikipedia has a size bias and does not cover vital microscopic subjects related to India. X is an expert on a field that looks at miscroscopic objects needs to acquire a tabletop electron microscope so that extremely difficult to obtain images of microscopic subjects.

Would WMIN+WMF fund this or will it be preferred to enable a tie-up with an organization that is willing to give time at the instrument?

  • Member X claims to be one of very few experts on topic Y which is not having sufficient coverage on Wikipedia. X would like to conduct research and contribute content if funded.

How would WMIN+WMF examine the expertise claim?

  • Member X claims to belong to a very rare and vanishing ethnic group and would like to document life within the group if funded for various technical means for it.

Should this be within the scope of WMIN/WMF?

  • Member X claims to belong to a very closed religious faith about which Wikipedia has no information or is claimed to have biased information. X demonstrates the ability to work where no-one else would be allowed and would like to be funded to conduct video interviews and other forms of documentation.

Is this within the scope of WMIN/WMF?

Hi Shyamal. We appreciate your constructive contributions to the discussion about this grant request. However, the majority of the comments in the section above are related to the policies and processes of the Wikimedia India chapter. We encourage you to move these comments to a more appropriate forum, such as the Wikimedia India mailing list or wiki. For comments on the grants process more generally you can post to the PEG discussion page. We have just closed our community consultation on the grants programs, but if you have additional feedback, please feel free to email us directly at grants"at" Please do review the Grants Friendly Space Expectations for more guidance on how to most effectively participate in grants discussions. Thanks, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 17:04, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
@AWang (WMF): Thank you for the comments. I can only note that the reason for raising process requirements is because the proposal has to be given extra weightage as it is being endorsed by no less than a national Chapter and it would have helped to hear the explicit consultation process behind the endorsement. I am sorry if this was an inappropriate forum to request it. Shyamal (talk) 04:10, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
I am also somewhat surprised that this form of paid content contribution by a self-selected team is supported but on the other hand something like Grants_talk:IEG/Islam_in_Andhra_Pradesh has basic objections to paid content development rased by User:Siko_(WMF). This project would have had mine and a lot others wholehearted supporting it if the model originally proposed by User:Boddhisatwa of Wiki Treks Mountains had been followed, where groups of interested volunteers meetup in a suitable locations close to them and upload images and have funds only for prizes for the best contributions. Shyamal (talk) 04:47, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

WMF comments[edit]

Hi Sujay25 and Schwiki. Thank you for this exciting grant request and your engagement in the discussion so far. I enjoyed talking with Santanu yesterday to get a better understanding of the project. We understand the organizers have put together a good team of experienced Wikimedians and people experienced in the mountains and local areas. Below are some of the items we discussed as well as additional questions we have on the request.

  1. We understand you are planning the trek for September. The grant request was submitted August 18th, which does not give the GAC, community or staff adequate time to review the request. From my personal experience in the Himalaya, October and November are still prime trekking and photography season. If the team is able to delay the trip until then we will have a much easier time moving forward with the request.
  2. As Shyamal wrote above, we are very interested in know more about the current content gap on Wiki projects related to this area. We expect the team to have a list of articles to improve or create and research on reliable sources that would support writing those articles.
  3. It would be great to know more about the photography experience of the other members of the trip. Having them create accounts and upload some of their images would be helpful and give them an introduction to the projects before the trip.
  4. What conversations has the team had with the existing mountaineering community about releasing existing photos? Is there interest in this? Would they be motivated by a photo competition? We discussed how a photo competition of this nature (publicized at the weekly mountaineering club meet-ups) would have been a good way to get a lot of content without much effort before embarking on a more intensive trip.
  5. The team is planning to do a number of outreach and content integration events after the trek, but this is not explained in much detail in the grant request. While we realize you do not need funding for these, it would be helpful to have more detail on these as it gives us a better understanding of the overall potential impact of the project.
  6. If one of the goals is for the content captured to be used on wiki projects, we would like to see discussion from the broader editing community about their level of interest in writing about the area and the article list created for the project.

We are looking forward to your responses. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 23:35, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

  • Thank you very much Alex for your interest in Wikipedia Treks Kalindi Khal.
  1. This trek is extremely time specific and entirely contingent upon nature. The different regions of the Himalayas can be visited in different time of the year. In Nepal you can visit up to November. Sikkim Himalayas you can visit throughout the year excluding rainy season. But in Garhwal Himalayan range the situation is a bit unusual. Here you have to visit either before monsoon or post monsoon till the last week of September. In this period of time, due to less snowfall, the crevasses remain open and noticeable. Chances of white out are also least. Trekking in the month of October and November in this altitude (5968 mts /19578 ft ) in Garhwal region will escalate the chance of calamity, which is very common in this category of cross-country treks. Also, to negotiate the challenging environment, we have to organize for specialized gears and additional High Altitude Porters. Ultimately, the entire project costing will get increased.We understand the GAC, community and Staff members will be having extreme narrow time frame for decision-making. But we shall be enormously delighted, if they consider this unique project as an exceptional circumstance.
  2. We are developing the list of articles to be covered in this trek here which give us a very clear idea about the content gap in different Wikipedia projects.For the photographic contest, we can ask for the high quality Himalaya related photographs, which anyone can contribute. Regarding, content development, in the edit-a-thon, we will approach school or college students to write articles. We can also organize online edit-a-thons for this purpose. The reliable resource books or periodicals will be provided either by the school or college library or us.We have already started talking with a local college and they are interested in working as online volunteers for this project.
  3. Mr Dibyendu Nundy have already created account, he will start upload his photographs.Anupam Mondal and Asish Das are going to create account and upload images form their previous treks. As they are not familiar to the wikipedia environment, Schwiki and Sujay25 have started to give them necessary training by one to one interaction. Schwiki and Sujay25 are also working with their previous trek images which will be uploaded.
  4. WTK project team had a detailed discussion with Mr. Tapas Kangsabanik, one of the key members of BHORUKA MOUNTAINEERING TRUST here in Kolkata. He is enormously concerned to host this kind of slideshows and encourage Wikipedia Treks Mountain to his peer group of distinguished mountaineers and trekkers. This type of promotional activity will increase a progressive vibe into the mountaineering community and will be beneficial for the photo competition. As several non-mountaineer enthusiasts visit these kinds of slide show events, the prospect of involving more individuals into the photographic competition event rises. But as most of the mountaineers are either in trek and expedition or preparing for upcoming expedition like us (post monsoon is the best time here in Himalayas for trek and expedition). So, this may take a bit more time to get the actual picture. The team is planning to interact with at least four mountaineering associations locally before their departure.In the forthcoming years, WTK project team will synchronise with Indian Mountaineering Foundation, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports to participate in this event, where they can involve their students into this project. All of the institutes are having gorgeous resources of archived materials, which will be beneficial for the improvement of Wikipedia articles. These institutes can also be approached as GLAM projects.
  5. Each outreach will be done in two segments. First segment is the photographic contest and the second one is the content creation activity. We are developing the list of articles to be covered in this trek to get a very clear idea about the content gap in different Wikipedia projects. And for the photographic contest, we can ask for the high quality Himalaya related photographs, which will be open for participation. Regarding content development, edit-a-thons (online as well as offline) with school or college students, will be very much effective with ready reference available in the form of books and periodicals.
  6. Actually to engage larger editing community before departure is challenging due to shortage of time. However, we have started interacting with editors to evaluate their level of interest in writing about the articles related to WTK. We also have a plan to incorporate the Indic Language groups along with the special interest group for this part of the project in next edition of the project in coming years.

Please feel free to ask more questions regarding the project.
Thank you !!!
--Schwiki (talk) 20:24, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Schwiki. Thank you for the thorough responses to my questions. We are very interested in the community engagement and content integration plans after the trek has concluded. We would like to see more concrete measures of success in the proposal around these activities. To us, this is more important and impactful than just increasing the involvement of the core team. Some measures of success to consider include, the number of outreach activities, number of participants (new and active editors), number of photos integrated in articles, and number of articles improved/created. You discuss a number of activities above, but please think carefully about the team's capacity to organize these activities in the time frame you set and if there are additional costs to do these. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 00:39, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Alex for your valuable suggestions. We have modified our measure of success part in our proposal. We have estimated this realistically to our strength and time frame. Since this is the pilot project the actual figures may vary. We have already started talking with WMIN regarding the suggestions from DerekvG.--Sujay25 (talk) 21:53, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

Notes on approval[edit]

Hi Sujay25 and Schwiki. Thank you for your thorough and prompt responses to questions from the GAC and community. We appreciate all the feedback received on the proposal from the GAC/community/WMIN and the time invested in thinking about the impact of the project both here on the discussion page and on the Wikimedia India mailing list.

While we understand the concerns raised by community members above, we do feel that the project is worth funding as an experiment. The team is lead by local, experienced Wikimedians with a track record for organizing events and has a good amount of support from the community. We have funded numerous photoexpeditions in the past in many different communities and have found them to be a successful way to both generate quality content and cover content gaps. We have encouraged all groups, including this organizing team, to focus on engaging the community through editathons, workshops, and a photo contest in order to integrate the new content into articles after the expedition. These events will both target content experts (mountaineers) to hopefully get them interested and knowledgeable about how to contribute to the Wikimedia projects, as well as experienced Wikimedians who can take advantage of the new content and begin to integrate it into articles. From our perspective, this is the most important aspect of the project -- community engagement and integration of high quality and new content. We will be excited to see what the team is able to deliver and if this type of project can and should be repeated in the future. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 17:11, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Delightful and good luck to the grant recipients. May other Wikipedians in India follow this lead and likewise make requests of this sort and other sorts. More funds and grants for projects in India, please! Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:00, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your continued support to the Indian community!! on behalf of WMIN -- Yohannvt (talk) 18:17, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Congratulations to the team. My only suggestion at this point is that you do not actually trek for the sake of reaching any summits or destinations in time but go slow and look around carefully, document as much as you can. Remember that camera batteries discharge rapidly in cold weather. Shyamal (talk) 04:18, 11 September 2015 (UTC)


@MADe: @Bluerasberry: @Sujay25: @Schwiki: There was rapid approval of this project without sufficient process as this was intended to meet deadlines but are the results of this project forthcoming? According to the schedule the main visit nearly about a month ago - we are all looking forward to see a stream of images. Shyamal (talk) 07:11, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

Another workshop in the region[edit]

Those who have been interested in this project may find this Himalayan_workshop of interest. It is open to participation. Shyamal (talk) 04:48, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Sharing experience of my first Wikipedia project[edit]

Very recently I have come to know from the writings of some Wikipedians in Bn-Wiki mailing list that some queries have arises regarding Wikipedia Treks Kalindi Khal 2015[1]; of which Reports, Financial report and proposed activities have no so far been done etc been submitted. Hence, being a very new and novice member of the then Kalindi khal team, I wish to share my experiences of the said expedition.

I was then a just beginner and novice Wikipedia, having no idea about the regulations and procedure of Wiki activities related to any wiki event. Santanu Chandra and Sujay Chandra da who were previously known to me because of mountaineering activities, registered me to Wikipedia and after a few days they proposed me to go to Wikipedia Treks Kalindi Khal 2015. I was too happy to get such a chance to take part in a Wiki project at my Wiki-age of 2 months. Being a newcomer, I followed every word of the senior wikipedian dadas.

When I asked them for the expenditure of mine, they informed me that a grant of Wikipedia will come afterwards to support the huge total expenditure of the 9 member project. They instructed me to give Rs 25,000/- for a part of my own expenditure and told that the rest of my expenditure shall be adjusted from the Wiki grant to this effect. This made me happy to learn that some part of my expenditure shall be borne by Wikipedia and I submitted my Rs 25,000/- to Santanu Chandra and Sujay Chandra da in two parts. I have zero idea about the pros and cons regarding a wiki grant and above all, when the wiki grant for the kalindi khal expedition was done, I was not at all a Wikipedian; I came to Wikipedia world later.

We stared for Kalindi khal expedition from Kolkata on 11th Sept’2015, a nine member team. Trek began from Gongotri on 16th Sept 2016. After reaching Bhujbasa Sujay Chandra da had some physical ailments and he started back for kolkata on 18th Sept'2016. From Vasuki Taal Santanu Chandra, Dibyendu nandi, Prosenjit Dutta and I started back for Haridwar ( then for Kolkata) on 20th Sept 2016 and the rest 4 members moved towards Kalindi Khal. While travelling back to Kolkata news came in train that the 4 members have successfully completed the Kalindi khal expedition and on their way to Mana village. It brought a grand joy to me that the wiki expedition became a success.

Some day later, Santanu Chandra da informed me that wiki grant had come in hand and the rest of my expenditure (except 25,000/- I had given earlier) was adjusted from the grant amount and so I needed not pay anything more for my expenditure. Then I was directed to prepare a report of the expedition programme which I made ready and submitted[2]. But having no idea of writing a wiki event report, unfortunately my report becomes a travel account. Later I was asked to submit a few articles[3] and photo uploading which also I did. Hence, I asked the dadas what more things I would have to do regarding the project and was told by them that they will later inform me about further activities when necessity arose.

Hence, on reading the mailing list and requisite references, I am astonished and bit more confused to learn that in spite of the passage of one no requisite reports, proposed activities etc were not submitted/done. More over I am really spell bound to learn from the mailing list of Bn-wikipedia that there was a grant of Rs. 51,880/- against my name for my expenditure of the expedition. Thus, as the Wikipedia Treks Kalindi Khal 2015 project is on questions in mailing list, being a team member I have thoroughly shared my full knowledge and experiences about the said Wikipedia Treks Kalindi Khal 2015.

Thank you --Atudu (talk) 16:58, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Reply to Atudu[edit]

@Atudu: I feel quite ashamed that some community members can misuse public funds in such a way and also got money from you. I would WMF to look further into this case and take strict action. I would also like the community to make sure we don't endorse such big projects without seeing any pilot projects from the grantees. Such cases are not good for the movement.--Satdeep Gill (talk) 05:16, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

Atudu, thanks for sharing your experience about Wikipedia Treks Kalindi Khal. I came across this on facebook where an editor requested a community input. I advised him to share this on the Wikimedia-I list if need be, knowing fully well that a social media like facebook is not the appropriate venue to request community input and I understand that doing that on facebook may somewhat be considered as outing the concerned users. However, having glance through your comments above and the grant in question, I have to agree there is an issue that needs to be addressed. I do not see a serious problem, anyway. I plan to do a through review of the entire scenario this week and will surely leave a useful comments here. NahidSultan may want to comment on this. All the best. Wikicology (talk) 08:35, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
Atudu, Thanks dear for sharing your experience with other wikimedians. I got to know about this from a fellow wikimedian. As the allegations have no been proved yet, I'd keep my comments reserved on this one. But the issue definitely needs intervention from WMF's side and hopefully the matter will be resolved soon. I know your beginning is not an ideal one but I hope your wiki journey will be great. All the best --Dr. Manavpreet Kaur (talk) 17:16, 31 October 2016 (UTC)


Grant report overdue[edit]

Hi Sujay25, this grant ended in February 2016, and a grant report should have been submitted by the end of April 2016. Please follow the instructions on this page to create and submit a report for this grant, and to submit documentation of expenses. It sounds like there has been some confusion about the amount of money that each participant contributed to the trek, so in your report we would like to see documentation of how much each person paid and whether they were reimbursed using grant funds. Please let us know if you have any questions. --KHarold (WMF) (talk) 15:44, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

Dear KHarold (WMF), as per your instructions we are preparing a report for this project. I would like to know, i) How can I send the actual bills to WMF? ii) Regarding our co-wikimedian's contribution of INR 25,000/-, INR 15,000/- was spent in the trek as like other Wikipedians personal contribution. Approximately INR 10,000/- was spent in her personal hiking equipments including tent, apparel and footwear. How can I incorporate this expenditure in the report? Thank you.--Sujay25 (talk) 08:48, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Detailed split up of my money given for Kalindi Khal Trek 2015[edit]

@KHarold (WMF) and AWang (WMF):I have some delay in commenting regarding the remarks of Sujay Chandra as I was in Jayanti, Buxa Tiger Reserve busy with the field work of my Wiki Loves Butterfly project.

I am truly surprised and baffled to read the write up of Sujay Chandra regarding the point of my giving them Rs 15000/- for the trek; as he has mentioned. Strangely enough, I cannot understand the head and tail of his motto in saying such words when they themselves have taken Rs 30000/- from me in 4 parts from which they have brought Apparel ( 2 half pants[1] and 2 t.shirts) and Footwear (Quechua Forclaz 100)[2] (but no tent) for me from Decathlon[3]. From that context I mentioned earlier that I had given him Rs.25000/- for my expenditure in the trek.Now I wish to highlight the detailed split up of my given money to Santanu Chandra and Sujay Chandra.

Date Place Amount Purpose
21st August 2015 Kolkata Rs. 15000/- Trek Expenditure
21st August 2015 Kolkata Rs. 5000/- Buying Apparel and Footwear
14th September 2015 Uttarkashi Rs. 9000/- Trek Expenditure
!8th September 2015 Bhujbasa Rs. 1000/- Supplying funds to Sujay Chandra for his journey back expenditure

Moreover, Sujay Chandra has mentioned in his write up that Approximately INR 10,000/- was spent in her personal hiking equipments including tent, apparel and footwear. But surprisingly no tent was bought for as my personal hiking and the 3men tent was bought for the team members (distinctly and defiantly not for me). So I am baffled to read the said write up that how can a whole 3 men tent bought for the Kalindi Khal Expedition Team is included in my personal hiking. Moreover, the said tent in question belongs to them as usual and I have just taken part in using the tent along with my team mates during the days of the trek only. That’s what all I have to say. Thank you --Atudu (talk) 07:30, 8 November 2016 (UTC)