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CIS-A2K/Events/Van Bodh Workshop for content development on Forest Resources at Gadchiroli

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Tribal Research & Training Institute (TRTI) and Mumbai University together organised this workshop to initiate the process of building knowledge resource on forests, tribal culture and biodiversity. In this first workshop, 50 youths from tribal areas of Maharashtra participated. The usage of Wikimedia projects and Open Source Apps for documentation of resources was explained with hands-on activity in this workshop.


CIS-A2K has been building partnerships with major state government departments in Maharashtra to promote free & open knowledge resources. One such effort resulted into official Govt.Resolution of Tribal Research & Training Institute under State Tribal Development department on Expert's Study Group Formation for developing Open Knowledge Platforms. Community Advocate for Marathi Language is representing CIS-A2K in this group. The mandate of the group is given in GR. We will be facilitating primarily No.1 & 2, which says - Developing new and utilising existing Open & free platforms like Wikimedia Projects to build knowledge resources on Community Forest Management, Development of training modules in Unicode & make it accessible by common man, Digitisation of reference books, training booklets, govt docs, archives,images etc and making it accessible. These contents will become a part of "Van Bodh Knowledge repository".

Mumbai School of Economics and Public Policy, Mumbai University has formulated a "Diploma course in Community Resource Management " with the support of Tribal Research & Training Institute, Pune and experts in the field . This is a pioneering attempt to impart diploma level education to rural, especially tribal youth without any condition of academic qualification. The course is being run at Mendha(Lekha) an hamlet in Dhanora block of Gadchiroli District in Maharashtra.


  • To develop the cadre of tribal youth in open knowledge creation
  • To train the participants in open source apps for data collection & mapping
  • To generate content on villages and local biodiversity with the community
  • Basic editing skill training in Wikipedia and Commons projects
  • To prepare long term plan of documentation of forest resources and socio-cultural aspects of the area

Event details[edit]

  • Date : 2-5 October 2018
  • Venue : Village Mendha (Lekha) in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra (On Google map)


  • 50 youth from 40 villages of Maharashtra


  1. Introduction to Unicode, Smartphone features for working in own languages, GPS basics, Geotagging, Maps & tracking
  2. Introduction to Wikimedia projects - Wikipedia, Wikisource, Commons
  3. Basic skills in editing
  4. Offline Data collection using Epicollect,[1] free open source mobile app
  5. Offline mapping of land & forest resource boundaries, navigation using OsmAnd[2] mobile app


As a knowledge partner of TRTI, CIS-A2K participated in launching of the course program on Community forest management and initiated the process of open knowledge creation. The participants were trained in basic Wikipedia editing, capturing geo-tagged images, uploading the images on Commons. The opensource app Epicollect was also taught for data collection. The smartphones will be used for this. The mapping app OSMAnd was also introduced. It is decided to facilitate creation of around 100 village articles with their forest resources and management plans. This was the first pilot workshop during this visit. The online followup sessions for Wikipedia editing are in progress. The WhatsApp group is formed to support and take reviews of the process. Under this content development project Van Bodh, we already got 13 books for Wikisource under CC-BY-SA licence. It is valuable material on forest, tribals and biodiversity.



  1. https://five.epicollect.net/ Epicollect5
  2. https://osmand.net/ Official Website of OsmAnd