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West Bengal Wikimedians/Reports/Annual Activities/2022

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West Bengal Wikimedians
User Group


The West Bengal Wikimedians User Group has completed its 6th year since its recognition in February 2017. Thanks to the funding approvals from the Wikimedia Foundation under different grant programs and with fiscal support from Kiwix, the user group was able to continue its projects and programs which were running for last few years. Digital conservation of nature, culture, history and heritage had been the priority of the user group since its existence and this year was no exception. Wiki Loves Butterfly and Wiki Exploration Program, which are designed to proactively seek and document butterflies and heritage structures respectively continued this year with better photographic equipment which were purchased specifically for that purpose. Like previous years, photographic competitions like the Wiki Loves Monuments and Wiki Loves Food were also organized on Wikimedia Commons to bring media contents from amateur and professional photographers and proofread competitions and campaigns were held on Bengali Wikisource to create new searchable texts of public domain books in Bengali language. The user group continues to collaborate with like minded organizations and GLAM institutions to digitize their contents and two such partnerships are ongoing currently. All these offline activities are not only limited to the state of West Bengal, but are stretched beyond the borders in other eastern and north-eastern states of India too. At the end of this activity year, more than 27,000 files have been uploaded through direct or indirect support from different user group programs and more than 40,000 files have been uploaded through the competitions it has organized.

All the funded user group projects and programs are run by volunteers without any salary component. It is due to the dedication and commitment of the volunteers to the cause of open knowledge, which has helped to deliver significant amount of impactful output over the years, but several of the limitations and shortcomings of the volunteer run model has always been felt. As part of the prior movement strategy conversations, the user group has always prioritized to work towards building a sustainable system for itself so that it can effectively serve for at least for the next decade, if not more. Keeping that in mind, it has started looking for options compatible to the law of the land and planning for a sustainable future of its own despite having very little supports and long lists of obstacles. The details of these activities and experimentation are not included in this report.
THasan (WMF), The other Kiwix guy and Christina Malouf Contomichalos for all the financial support this year!

Nature and Environment

Wiki Loves Butterfly - Phase V (second half)

5 states
27 districts
35 field-works
2767 uploads
23 valued images
304 quality images
11 featured images
84 articles
7 new participants
₹ 654492 spent

Wiki Loves Butterfly is a field documentation project to identify and digitally conserve live butterfly species in different parts of India, which has been running for the last six years by a dedicated group of volunteers. This year, the team concluded the second half of the fifth phase of the project with the funding from the Wikimedia Foundation for which the final report has been submitted. In the entire fifth phase, the team conducted 67 field documentations in total, out of which 35 visits happened this year. The team reached various hot-spots in Changlang and Lower Subansiri districts of Arunachal Pradesh; Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Jorhat, Kokrajhar, Kamrup and Kamrup Metropolitan districts of Assam; Dimpaur, Kohima and Zunheboto districts of Nagaland; North Sikkim district of Sikkim Alipurduar, Bankura, Birbhum, Darjeeling, Paschim Bardhaman, Paschim Medinipur, Purba Bardhaman, Hooghly, Howrah, Jhargram, Kalimpong, Kolkata, Nadia, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas districts of West Bengal in this phase. It has also co-organized two national level butterfly meets at Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh and Raimona National Park in Assam along with noteworthy butterfly organizations from all over the country and the forest department of the concerned provinces. An awareness program was also conducted in a school at Pasingdang, North Sikkim and few butterfly photo-walks were conducted in different places in West Bengal to engage newcomers.

One of the most noteworthy achievements of this phase was to record a live gynandromorph specimen of Athyma inara inara (Himalayan Colour Sergeant) at Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal having female characteristics on the left side and male characteristics on the right side. This was the first documentation of a live gynandromorph butterfly of the said subspecies in India and the finding was published on a scholarly article. A diff blog post was also published on this finding.

Footprint of Wiki Loves Butterfly in fifth phase


Wiki Loves Monuments 2022 in India

1 month
5796 images
409 participants
312 new users
₹ 70,422.66 spent

The user group organized Wiki Loves Monuments photographic competition in India for the fifth consecutive year during the entire month of September, 2022 to increase the media content of different built heritage structures located in the country. This year, we have brought a new member in the organizing team to take care of the promotion and jury selection process of the national competition. For the first time, we have engaged professional photographers from outside of Wikimedia volunteer community as jury members and oriented them with the judging process. We have also added few features in the tables of monuments to display the columns for co-ordinates with dynamic maps and locator images for districts, so that participants can have ease to locate the monuments on maps and identify the right monuments to upload. Unfortunately, we had to remove Wikidocumentaries based upload feature as the site was undergoing major maintenance.

This year, 409 photographers uploaded 5,796 images in total, out of which 6.19% of total uploaded images are used in different Wikimedia sites till now. 76% of all the uploaders were new users. The ten winners were selected by the jury members within deadline. Like previous year, this year too, prizes were also declared for the photographer with highest number of uploads and also for the photograph of an monument located in West Bengal which gets into top 10 of the national contest. The user group designed the prizes and sent the promised gift vouchers, swag materials and digital certificates to the winners. The user group will continue to organize this competition again in 2023.
DesiBoy101 for working silently in the background tirelessly to enrich data about Indian monuments!

Wiki Exploration Program

7 phases
9 districts
100 places
3714 uploads
₹ 132,073 spent

The user group has been running a program to proactively search and document heritage sites in a cost-effective way in multiple phases. For the last five years, small teams were sent to different areas locate in the state of the West Bengal under this program. Last year, Amitabha Gupta planned and executed 7 phases covering 9 districts of the state. A Sony ILCE-7M3 camera and a Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS lens were purchased and assigned to Amitabha specifically for this purpose. A drone operator was also given assignment in 3 phases of this program to get aerial videos and images of the monuments. The team covered heritage structured in the districts of Hooghly, Bankura, Purulia, Howrah, Nadia, Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Bardhaman, North 24 Parganas, Purba Medinipur and Paschim Medinipur.

Footprint of Wiki Exploration Program this year

Wiki Explores Semaphore Towers - Phase I

Semaphore or the optical telegraph was a communication system during the British colonial times before telegram was invented. It was a relay system to send and receive information by sending and receiving signals to the adjacent towers and was introduced in India by the British in early 19th century with a plan to link the then Calcutta to Chunar Fort. After the advent of electric telegraph, semaphore towers were abandonded, and few are still standing erect. A phase of exploration was planned to specifically focus on these towers which were located in West Bengal. 3 districts were covered to document 9 Semaphore towers. A drone operator was assigned to take aerial videos. 228 media files were uploaded and data of these towers were created on Wikidata.

Wiki Explores Howrah - Phase II

After a brief phase last year, another phase was organized to document built heritage structures located in Howrah district on 14th and 15th November, 2022. In this phase, the villages of Banuchak, Dakshin Maju, Dhasa, Ganeshpur, Garbalia, Garh Bhabanipur, Ichanagari, Kalikata, Kanupat, Kulia, Kurchi Binodbati, Mellak, Naikuli, Narikelberia, Narna, Penro Harishpur, Sitapur and Udaynarayanpur along with census towns of Amta and Khalor were covered and 623 images were uploaded. Wikidata items of all these built heritage structures have already been created and linked with relevant categories.

Wiki Explores Purba Bardhaman - Phase IV

The fourth phase of Wiki Exploration was organized to document heritage structures located in the villages of Ambana, Amra, Baikunthapur, Bamunara, Bhaita, Bharatpur, Chhora, Debpur, Dignagar, Hatgobindapur, Kayrapur, Khatnagar, Maro, Nasigram, Panduk, Rayan, Saktigarh and Shyamsundar in the district of Purba Bardhaman from 17th November, 2022 to 19th November, 2022. 611 images were uploaded and Wikidata items of all the built heritage structures located in these villages have already been created and linked with relevant categories.

Wiki Explores Paschim Bardhaman - Phase I

The district of Paschim Bardhaman was targeted for the first time in this year under this program. The villages of Panagarh and Katabera, census towns of Bamunara, Khandra, Ukhra, Konardihi and Kajora along with different neighbourhoods of the municipal city of Asansol were covered. A drone operator was assigned to take aerial shots of the heritage structures located in these places. 565 files have been uploaded on Wikimedia Commons till now. Wikidata items of all these built heritage structures have already been created and linked with relevant categories.

Wiki Explores North 24 Parganas - Phase I

It was decided to document the heritage structures located in the district of North 24 Parganas in an organized way. The municipal cities of Bhatpara, Gobardanga, Halisahar, Kanchrapara, Khardah, North Barrackpore, Panihati along with the villages of Barakpur and Gopalanagar were covered and 461 images were uploaded. Wikidata items of all these built heritage structures have already been created and linked with relevant categories.

Wiki Explores Nadia - Phase II

The second phase of the Wiki Explores Nadia was a two-days field-documentatopm to seek and document the archaeological and historical sites in the villages of Aranghata, Barnia, Bhajanghat, Bilwagram, Birohi, Gobindapur, Juranpur and Subarna Behar; census towns of Kulia, Matiari and Phulia and municipality cities Birnagar and Chakdaha located in the district of Nadia district from 23rd and 24th January, 2023. In this phase, 458 media files were uploaded on Wikimedia Commons so far. Wikidata items of all these built heritage structures have already been created and linked with relevant categories.

Wiki Explores Paschim Medinipur - Phase III

The third phase of the Wiki Explores Paschim Medinipur ran for three days in January, 2023 by which heritage places located in Basanchhara, Bhairabpur, Birsingha, Brahman Basan, Harirampur, Hosenpur, Jaykrishnapur, Kadirpur Fakirbazar, Kamargere, Kashiganj, Khordda Bishnupur. Lakshmipur, Mahakalpota, Manglai Shyamballavpur, Rabidaspur, Rampur, Sahachak, Sarberya, Shridharpur, Singhachak, Suratpur and Surnarayanpur along with a temple in the municipal city of Chandrakona. Till now, 768 images have been uploaded. Wikidata items are also being created.
Aritra Biswas, Dibyendu Biswas, Anirban Dey, Alinda Bardhan, Sujoy Das and Mukut Tapadar!


Wiki Loves Food 2022 in India

1 month
593 images
96 participants
47 new users
₹ 17100 spent
The user group organized a month long public photo competition named Wiki Loves Food 2022 in India on Wikimedia Commons from 1st November, 2022 to 30th November 2022 for the second consecutive year. The event got little attention from food photographers this year as the restricted diet on central banner failed to provide visibility to the event, which affected the event in a very negative way. Due to that, the number of submitted photographs were drastically reduced compared to last year and the jury members failed to select 10 winners from the competition from that small pool. In this competition, 96 photographers uploaded 593 photographs, out of which 4.15% distinct images were used in different Wikimedia sites. The user group designed the prizes and sent them to the winners. Due to the low participation, it has been decided to not organize the event in coming few years.

Filmi music datathon

15 days
15 enrollments
3720 new items
6800 edits
2410 new references

During the occassion of the 10th birthday celebration of Wikidata, the user group organized a 15 days long data-thon focusing on music produced and used in Indian films in different languages. Indian films are famous worldwide for their musicals, popularly grouped as the genre of filmi music. Although it has effects on contemporary Indian culture, the musical genre is still very much underrepresented on Wikidata and that's why the user group wanted to bridge some data gap. Although the enrollments were very few, the datathon managed to get 6800 edits, create 3720 new items on film songs along with 2410 new references. At the end of the datathon, filmi music was the top genre for musical works on Wikidata with 4897 items and 1634 items of films were linked with their songs. 522 playback singers, 322 composers and 294 lyricists were linked with their filmi musical works at the end of the datathon.

Distribution of film songs spread over years grouped by their languages at the end of the datathon.
Moebeus for your guidance and help!


Research Institute of World's Ancient Traditions, Cultures and Heritage

1 Wikimedian-in-Residence
sponsor: CIS-A2K

A GLAM project has been initiated at the Research Institute of World's Ancient Traditions, Cultures and Heritage (RIWATCH) located in the village of Khinjili near the town of Roing at Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh in the North-eastern part of India. RIWATCH has an ethnographic museum and a collection of photographs, audio and video files depicting the rich cultural tradition of different tribes and indigenous people of Arunachal Pradesh and North East India at large. CIS-A2K had made contact with the institute back in 2019 for a possible GLAM project but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting nation-wide restriction of movement, further communication was postponed. Communication with the institute was resumed again on January 2022 and after receiving their positive response, it was decided to have a field visit during the month of March, 2022. West Bengal Wikimedians User Group was formally approached to help facilitate and execute the partnership. Kime Rilla, a resident of Itanagar and a close associate with RIWATCH, was given Wikimedia training by the user group personnel and assigned as Wikimedian-in-Residence (WiR) for the GLAM partnership. Vijay Swami, the executive director of the institute, has released all RIWATCH digital contents under CC-BY-SA 4.0 license. Slow internet is the major challenge of this GLAM project which has hindered the smooth uploading of the media files on Wikimedia Commons. A scanner was also provided by CIS-A2K to the institute to digitize the collection of Tibetan Buddhist canon which was presented to the institute from Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. The digitization is currently stalled due to the non-availability of the WiR due to her professional career and another alternatives are being sought.

The digitized version of 1st volume of Tengyur. There are 224 volumes of Tengyur and 108 volumes of Kangyur present in the musuem which are getting digitized.
Subodh (CIS-A2K) for making contact with RIWATCH and arranging for logistics and
Mr. Vijay Swami for hosting us and providing valuable logistics to inititate and run the program!

Bengalee Association Bihar

1 Wikimedian-in-Residence
₹ 4663 spent
Primary meeting with Bengalee Association Bihar
Bengalee Association Bihar is an organization based in the city of Patna in the neighboring state of Bihar created during the British colonial rule to protect the rights and preserve the language and culture of the Bengali speaking population residing there. Among its many activities, this organization took the responsibility of publishing the oldest English weekly published from Bihar named Behar Herald since 1938, which started its journey in 1875. Even if the journey of the newspaper was not very smooth due to lack of resources, the quality of its reporting was held in high esteem, with frequent publications of articles from renowned personalities from all over the country. An initiative was taken by the user group to engage with the organization for a GLAM partnership to digitize Behar Herald, which were in a very dire condition without any maintenance due to lack of resources. After the organization authorities have kindly agreed to have their collection digitized, a short visit was taken to check the current condition of the newspapers, catalogue them and to discuss logistics and strategies to run a digitization program. A rapid grant proposal was funded recently to purchase a scanner and assign a Wikimedian-in-residence (WiR) to complete the digitization project. A CZUR Pro 18 has been purchased recently and a person has already been identified to be trained as WiR. The digitization is expected to start very soon.

International Museum Day 2022 Wikidata competition

14 days
305 enrollments
1660 new items
5642 edits
9710 new references
sponsor: VSN
Wikimedia Austria invited West Bengal Wikimedians User Group to organize a Wikidata competition concerning museums located in West Bengal during the occasion of the International Museum Day 2022 from 4th May, 2022 to 18th May, 2022 along with different other affiliates from around the world. Volunteer Supporters Network had offered to sponsor the prizes for the 3 top winners for the West Bengal competition. A dynamic map locating museums in West Bengal were created by Wikimedia CH. An outreach dashboard was also created to track the progress for the West Bengal competition. The competition created 1660 new items, added 9710 new reference statements and 1.9 million new words placing it within the top 3 countries/regions where most content was produced along with Germany and Poland.
Manfred Werner (WMAT) for inviting us and sending the prizes and
Ilario for creating the map for museums in West Bengal!

History and Legacy

Subhas Chandra Bose 125th birth anniversary campaign

12 months
₹ 0 spent
23rd January, 2022 marked the 125th birth anniversary of Indian freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose. The user group had been running a campaign to bring reference materials related to Bose for last 2 years which continued until 23rd January, 2023. In this second year, the main focus was to bring archival documents related to Bose which are declassified by various governments. The most prominent of these included the documents declassified by the Government of India which is popularly called as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose papers. The metadata of the documents were created on Wikidata and files were uploaded on Wikimedia Commons using OpenRefine and Pattypan. Apart from the declassified documents, 260 issues of the English edition of the organ of the Indian Independence League named Azad Hind published from Singapore during the Japanese occupation in 1944 and 1945 were also uploaded on Wikimedia Commons. The newspaper provided unique perspective of the Indian National Army and people involved in the Indian freedom struggle operating from South-east Asia during World War II along with their relation with the Axis powers.

Rabimas proofread competition

3 months
20 participants
4962 proofread pages
₹ 4428 spent
The user group organized a 3-months long proofreading contest on Bengali Wikisource from 9th May 2022 to 8th August 2022 celebrating the occasion of the birth and death anniversary of Nobel laureate author Rabindranath Tagore. This was the fourth iteration of the same event which happened last year. 33 books written by Tagore were selected for the participants to proofread. 21 people enrolled and 20 people actually participated in the contest proofreading 4962 pages in total. The promised prizes were designed by the user group and sent to the winners.

Swadhinatar Amrit Mahotsab proofread campaign

1 month
10 participants
1142 proofread pages
₹ 0 spent
15th August, 1947 marked the 75th anniversary of Indian independence from British colonial rule and the nation entire celebrated the day through different programs. The user group also took part in the celebration in its way by running a proofread campaign on Bengali Wikisource for books related to the Indian independence struggle. 11 such books were identified for the campaign, for which 10 participants proofread 1142 pages in total.

Indic Wikisource Proofreadathon - Bengali Wikisource version

15 days
8 participants
1105 proofread pages
sponsor: CIS-A2K
CIS-A2K organized a 15-days long proofread contest from 1st March to 16th March 2022 on all Indic language Wikisource projects. West Bengal Wikimedians User Group decided to co-organize it locally only for Bengali Wikisource. 11 books, all written by female writers, were selected for the competition. 6 people enrolled, and 8 people actually participated in the contest proofreading 1,105 pages in total. The prizes were taken care of by CIS-A2K officials for all participating Wikisource communities including Bengali Wikisource winners.
Jayanta (CIS-A2K) for organizing the event and sending the prizes!

Bangladesh Liberation War proofread competition

1 month
24 participants
3524 proofread pages
₹ 2583 spent
West Bengal Wikimedians User Group worked together with the Wikimedia Bangladesh chapter under the collaborative banner of the Bangla Wikimoitree to organize a proofread competition on Bangladesh Liberation War during the month of December, 2022 to commemorate the birth of Bangladesh in 1971. 15 volumes of a documentary book series named Bangladesher Muktijuddho: Dalilpatra (Bangladesh Liberation War: Documents) were focused for this competition to generate reference materials on the subject. 24 participants proofread 3524 pages within the timeframe. The winners were declared and prizes were sent by the user group and the chapter accordingly depending on the nationality of the winners.

Vocabulario em Idioma Bengalla, e Portuguez

sponsor: WMUK
Vocabulario em Idioma Bengalla e Portuguez, the first Bengali grammar which was written by a Portuguese missionary named Manuel da Assumpção and was published in 1743 from Lisbon, Portugal, has high historical significance. There are very few copies of this book available worldwide, out of which, two copies are there in the British Library. Although there were few attempts to manually copy the entire book in the 1920s, but the book did not have any digital version anywhere on the web and that is why, it was decided to get it digitized and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. The British Library was contacted and quotation of the digitization service was requested. Wikimedia UK was requested to pay the cost of digitizatization, which they kindly agreed. After the digitization and payment, the British Library sent a batch of jpg files containing the pages of the book. It was soon identified that some of the pages were missing and the information was shared with the library, for which they digitized the missing pages from another copy and sent them back. The jpgs were converted to a pdf file and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, an item on the edition was created on Wikidata and an index page was created on Bengali Wikisource for users to proofread.
Lahariyaniyathi for connecting with WMUK and
Daria Cybulska (WMUK) for sponsoring the digitization cost!

Community Support and Sustainability

Infrastructure support

1 camera
1 scanner
1 laptop
internet for 2 volunteers
₹ 360900 spent
The user group has heavily invested on building infrastructure support to run its projects for a long time. A Sony ILCE-7M3 camera and a Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS lens were purchased to support Wiki Exploration Program. A CZUR 18 Pro scanner was also purchased to start the digitiization with the GLAM partner Bihar Bengalee Association. The user group has also purchased several reference books on built heritage, flora and fauna of the region to build a future library and engage Wikimedians to generate more referenced quality content on the subjects. Apart from this, the user group also provided internet support for a year and a laptop for three long term volunteers upon their request.

Bangla WikiMaitree

The user group continued its engagement with Wikimedia Bangladesh to work on the collaborative network and a futuristic thematic-linguistic hub in South Asia named Bangla Wikimoitree (Bangla Wikifriendship) which was created last year. Regular monthly online meetings were held since its formation and a physical meeting happened at Wikimedia Summit 2022 in Berlin. The proofread competition on Bangladesh Liberation War was held jointly under the banner in December, 2022 and several more plans are getting discussed to engage closely with each other this year.
Tarunno for long discussions and future plans!

Supporters and Partners