Lingua Libre Project with Marathi Community
CIS-A2K started working with some linguists from Marathi community on Lingua Libre (LL) project with an introductory session in November 2020. As part of Marathi language fortnight, Wikimedia Introductory session was organised for several community members from various places on 23 January 2021. After this workshop, a group of women showed specific interest in Lingua Libre project. Therefore, training workshop on Lingua Libre was organised on 29 January 2021, in which 25 members participated. A prolific speaker from India on Lingua Libre, Tito Dutta also imparted training in the workshop. In this workshop the importance of LL project and process of recording & uploading were demonstrated. The hands-on activity was done to clarify the doubts and trouble shooting. The other aspects like, planning process for the group, how to develop the lists, the integration with Wikidata Lexeme project and application of LL content in other free knowledge projects were also discussed.
The members started developing the lists according to their interests like cuisines in India, articles & tools in daily usage, festivals in India, Marathi alphabets, verbs and their forms etc. As part of Women's History Month activity, the women's group decided to achieve 10,000 recordings on Women's day. A milestone of 10k recordings was crossed on 8 March 2021. There was a set back to this activity due to shut down of LL website for two months. Due to consistent follow-up sessions and enthusiasm of the group, total 14,000+ recordings have been uploaded by 25 women on Wikimedia Commons.
This activity has created a cohesive group of women interested in creating knowledge in language sector. This was completely online program which generated significant contributions in less period with negligible resources.
Consistent skill trainings with thematic groups give concrete outcomes.
A small group of women from this group have started working on Lexemes project. The integration of audio and text in Wikidata is planned.
Women's History Month
Due to pandemic restrictions, various online activities were conducted during Women's History Month, March 2021. The content creation in different project was taken up by women's groups. CIS-A2K's partner organisation, Lek Ladki Abhiyan conducted two events in collaboration. On 8 March, three hour online event was organised for women activists across the state on knowledge creation regarding social, legal, health issues. Total 42 women attended this program. Total seven short films on the theme, 'Women at work' were created. These videos capture the grassroot struggles of women entrepreneurs in different sectors which are primarily male dominated. These include construction industry, transport, laundry, lather craft etc. The short films were uploaded on Wikimedia Commons. This concept is very well received by three more organisations. They have shown interest in working with us on this theme. Women's day was celebrated with Jnana Prabodhini's Sanwadini group working on Lingua Libre, Audio books and Lexemes. On 9 March, two hour online discussion, experience sharing, brainstorming on future plans was done. Total 24 women participated.
The two organisations continued bridging gender gap activities for the third consecutive year. The online nature of the programs created more scope of participation from distant areas of the state. This diversity enriched the interactions.
Women participate pro-actively and express their views firmly in an exclusive women only online event. The online platform is also comfortable and convenient for them.
Few gender based organisations have shown interest in online skill sessions for free knowledge creation. Some women authors wish to release their books on Wikimedia Commons. These projects will be continued in the next program year.
Wikisource Audio books Project
A introductory session on Wikimedia projects was conducted on 23 January for 45 active citizens from different cities in Maharashtra. Few members in this group have previous experience of recording content for differently abled students. Hence around 15 women expressed their readiness to work on Wikisource audio books project. First training was conducted on 5 February 2021, in which 22 members participated. The session covered process of recording & uploading, the precautions to be taken while recording, gadgets used in the process and selection of completed books on Marathi Wikisource project.
After the first session, few members started recording the books. The samples were shared and evaluated by each other in the social media group created by the members. As the members were facing difficulties and needed guidance from experienced Wikimedian, an expert session was conducted with active Gujarati community user Modern Bhatt who has uploaded several audio books. This event on 17 March 2021 was attended by 24 members. The demonstrations and discussions about the sample recordings were useful to resolve many issues being faced by members of the project.
The online sessions connected similar experienced members to each other and develop this audio books project. This is the first of its kind in Marathi language community and will be uploading first batch of audio books on Marathi Wikisource project. This has also created partnership between two language community members.
As Marathi Wikimedia community lacks audio books experience, it collaborated with Gujarati and Bengali community members, who are experts in this sector. This cross-learning promotes inter community collaborations and networking.
The recording and finishing of audio files is in progress. There were frequent gaps in the activity due to the pandemic. The completed audio books will be reviewed and uploaded in the next quarter.
The re-licensing campaign continued in this year also. The major re-licensing was done by the organisations - Tarun Bharat Sangh and Manavlok. Manavlok released books of their founders - Dwarakadas Lohiya and Shaila Lohiya. The individual authors include Ramesh Sharma, Bhaskar Girdhari, Madhav Gadgil, Pradeep Purandare, Anil Shidore, Santosh Gondhalekar, Rajnish Joshi, Mangala Apte, Mrunalini Phadnavis, Sudha Kothari and Kaustubh Tamhankar. In this program year, total 136 books were relicensed and uploaded on Wikimedia Commons. The promotion of free license concept was done through Facebook live session, Media publicity during 'Reading Week', Appeal on Marathi language day and Online release event by reputed university. All the books were digitised by institutional partner, Vigyan Ashram.
Due to consistent re-licensing over the last 4 years, the concept of content donation is getting positive response from the authors and their heirs as copyright holders. Now, without any efforts, through mouth publicity by previous authors and some promotions during occasions, every month about 2-3 copyright holders approach us.
The first meeting with copyright holder on re-licensing process is very important. The convincing explanations on 'Why' and 'How' questions are crucial. One has to be well prepared about the possible queries and doubts before this session.
The more systematic efforts will be taken up through preparation of database of authors and their heirs as copyright holders. A small booklet on work done so far will be published and used for promotion. A short video featuring the authors who released their works would be prepared.
On the occasion of Wiki Loves Monuments 2020 contest in India, CIS-A2K mobilised five groups of active Wikimedians and citizens across Maharashtra state. The members of these groups were trained in copyright rules, contest guidelines and uploading process through a series of workshops. A total of 16 members from different places contributed 324 images on Wikimedia Commons. The groups were involved in listing of monuments, acquiring official lists from Government departments and on-Wiki documentation. These groups consisted of INTACH Pune & Solapur Chapter, photographers from Satara, Wikimedians in Ichalkaranji and Vigyan Ashram, Pabal Wikimedians. Online training workshops were conducted for five groups on encyclopedic content, copyright issues, licenses, and the uploading process. INTACH, a national organisation working on heritage conservation also actively collaborated in building heritage lists and uploading images.
The organisations involved in Maharashtra Gene Bank project (MGB) have taken initiative to generate content related to biodiversity under CC-BY-SA in Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia and Wikisource. CIS-A2K is facilitating this process through online training sessions. First online session on 'Introduction to Wikimedia projects' was conducted on 23 October for organisations involved in Maharashtra Gene Bank Project. Total eight members participated in the three hour session. The second session on Wikipedia was conducted on 24 December 2020 for 15 participants. The third session on Wikimedia Commons was organised on 29 December for 15 participants. The Project category has been created in Wikimedia Commons.
The thematic organisations, photographers and Citizen forums already involved in documenting heritage and biodiversity for many years were connected to the Wikimedia movement. They are planning to release their archives in Wikimedia Commons.
There is a great potential in approaching repositories at the organisations and photographers for free release of valuable images.
Partnership meeting will be conducted with potential groups.
Project Jalbodh is ongoing activity in collaboration with various organisations to enrich water related content on Wikimedia Projects. Under the Paani Foundation's Water Cup Contest, villages in drought affected Beed district of Maharashtra have taken great efforts for water conservation with facilitation from Jnana Prabodhini, Ambajogai organisation in Beed district of Maharashtra. The volunteers from these villages have taken initiative to build knowledge about these activities in Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. First training program was conducted on 17 August 2020 for eight members on Wikipedia editing and uploading on Commons. This process will be replicated for other village articles.
The articles created in the first phase are - जायभायवाडी, मांडवखेल, व्हरकटवाडी, and राडीतांडा. The images are being uploaded in Category:Natural resource management in Beed district
CIS-A2K has also started sessions with district level consortiums working on water issues in collaboration with Jal Biradari organisation. Total four such introductory online sessions on Wikimedia projects were conducted in April 2021 in which total 47 activists participated.
The re-licensing of water related content to build reliable reference resource was also continued in this program year. Our institutional partner, Tarun Bharat Sangh released 90 valuable books which were uploaded on Wikimedia Commons. Two subject experts, Pradeep Purandare, Shaila Lohiya and Santosh Gondhalekar also re-licensed their books on water related issues.
The structure and process of Project Jalbodh is getting positive response from the knowledge repositories on water issues. More and more organisations at the grassroots are being connected to the Wikimedia movement.
The organisations working on water issues are based in rural and less developed areas. There are hurdles in connectivity during online activity. At least two physical training sessions are necessary for hands on exercise.
The follow-up sessions are planned quarterly for district-wise groups of organisations.
The first training session on Wikidata Lexemes was conducted for 10 Marathi community members on 26 August 2020. The technical expert User:Mahir256 guided the members with demonstrations and discussions on queries. The session was moderated by User:Bodhisattwa (CIS-A2K). After this session, the linguists along with other technical members have worked upon the forms of verbs, adjectives and nouns in the last few months to create a vast database of around two lakhs forms in excel sheet. To initiate the further step of integrating this database with Wikidata, the technical group was formed. The introductory session of this technical group was conducted on 14 March 2021. Due to difficulties during pandemic, next stages could not be completed. The activity will be resumed in the first quarter of next program year.
Documentation of endangered languages
CIS-A2K is exploring collaborations with several organisations in North-East region of India for the last two years. The knowledge about this region as well as the various language communities are very less represented in Wikimedia projects. The region has rich tribal culture and diversity of languages. The focus of this project is on offering barrier-free open access to resources of North East Indian languages. North-East India is home to more than 200 languages, out of which 82 are listed as Vulnerable, 63 as Definitely Endangered, six as Severely Endangered, 46 as Critically Endangered and six as Extinct (The Guardian Dataset). One of the volunteers group, VANI working on vulnerable and endangered languages approached CIS-A2K for collaboration. First session for orientation on Wikimedia projects and to decide the components of proposed project was conducted on 3 June 2021. In this session two coordinators of VANI participated. The current scope of the project covers four spoken languages in the two states - Adi, Idu Mishmi, Khasi and Nishi.
Focused attention towards language enthusiasts resulted into initiation of the above projects in respective languages for the first time. The experts in linguistics are getting connected to Wikimedia projects through such thematic projects.
It is difficult to get combination of language expertise and computing or technical aspects in these projects. This dependency delays the progress.
The Lexeme project will be taken up to next level with inputs from leading Indian and global Wikimedians working on such projects. The project on languages of North-East region of India would be launched in next three months once the resources are finalised.
The report of the GLAM Mapping study was published on Meta Research on 23 October 2020. The blog on CIS website was also published. The study was published in GLAM Newsletter for October 2020. The links of this report were shared with the community on Marathi Wikipedia village pump, Wikimedia mailing list, Wikimedia India mailing list and Open-GLAM mailing list. The Marathi translation of the report is also made available on Wikimedia Commons.
Exploring Knowledge repositories on Water resources
The objectives of this study were to - Document the nature of major online and offline knowledge repositories on water resources and their impact on creating awareness among civil society, Identify and develop the form of locally relevant digital knowledge resources on water that are accessible in regional languages and to explore the process of building digital archives on water knowledge resources.
The online sessions were conducted with eight organisations to finalise the questionnaire. The selection of organisations based on work areas - Awareness, training, planning/designing of projects, execution on ground, monitoring & evaluation, documenting/building archives and research was initiated after this. However, as the representatives were unaware of the Wikimedia projects, at least one in-person meeting was necessary. As the second wave was severe in Maharashtra, travel restrictions did not allow these meetings. The study will be continued in the next program year with revised timeline. More details can be seen here.
Partnerships with GLAMs
The official process of collaboration has been started with 150+ year old Public libraries in Pune and Satara. They are ready to cooperate in digitisation of rare content. Around 100+ public domain books are to be digitised and uploaded.
The discussions with Kashibai Gawand Museum at Satara, Apte Wachan Mandir Museum at Ichalkaranji and Kalashram Archive at Adilabad are in progress. The documentation of artifacts, paintings and displays will be taken up shortly.
The partnership proposals are developed with Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan in collaboration with West Bengal Wikimedians User group (WBG) to document Rabindra Bhavana Museum and Sangit Bhavana. The digitisation and archive project with the School of Cultural Texts & Records, Jadavpur University is also planned. All these projects will be started once the pandemic restrictions are removed.
Knowledge Dissemination strategy
CIS-A2K would initiate discussions to design 'Knowledge Dissemination Strategy' with organisations like Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL) working in the knowledge sector. To design the broader strategy and process, aspects like - methods of knowledge creation, nature of target audience, channels of delivery - will be delved upon.
CIS-A2K has facilitated a digitisation centre at Vigyan Ashram, Pabal in Maharashtra. In the last three years, the rural youth have digitised over 35,000 pages which were then uploaded on Wikimedia projects. Inspired by the documentary, 'Savitri's online daughters' on digitisation activity by rural women at Vigyan Ashram, few organisations have shown interest in developing such scanning centre. Our partner, Lek Ladki Abhiyan has taken initiative to set up a digitisation centre to build 'Savitribai Phule Women's Archive' on gender issues. One day training of six persons from Lek Ladki Abhiyan was conducted at Vigyan Ashram, Pabal. CIS-A2K has handed over scanner to the Lek Ladki Abhiyan organisation. The Satara Public Library would cooperate for the digitisation of public domain books. This digitisation centre will cater to the content coming from Western Maharashtra districts.