Insight Bureau: Odia Wikimedians organized a two day regional Wikimania event on 13-14 August, 2022. This event is an extension of one of the largest community events in the Wikimedia movement.
The Wikimania regional event organized by the Odia Wikimedians User Group concluded after two extensive days of discussions and reviews. The event was inaugurated by Manoj Kumar Mishra, the IT Secretary of Odisha. He offered his department’s support to help the community expand the work to promote language and for digitalization of literature. Apart from the Wikimedians from Odia and Santali communities, Manavpreet Kaur from Wikimedia Foundation had also joined the event. She spoke about affiliate growth and available support. She also introduced the community to the ongoing discussion about Hubs and the Movement Charter Drafting Committee’s work.
Founded in 2002, Odia Wikipedia is one of the oldest South Asian language Wikipedias and has recently turned 20. Odia Wikipedia is now the largest collection of free- knowledge available in the language on the internet. Odia community members come from all walks of life, contributing to an increase in the number of articles from approximately 630 to almost 16,000 articles in the past ten years.
The community managed to get the data from the Odisha States Covid Dashboard under a free license – and were able to upload government awareness resources like videos on Covid on Wikimedia commons for free and easy dissemination. This collaboration was not something new- the Odia Wikimedia community has been collaborating with the Odisha government since 2017- its direct impact worth noting as the Government of Odisha became the first state entity in India to release most of its social media posts under a free Creative Commons license. There are many notable achievements of the community to preserve their language and culture while helping Odia speakers access information and knowledge in their native tongue easily on their mobile devices.
Mrutyunjaya Kar, a veteran Odia Wikipedia editor and admin has over 250K edits, who is instrumental in connecting Odia Wikipedia articles with Wikidata and creating Wikidata entries for potential articles.
Sangram Keshari Senapati, another Odia Wikipedia editor who has been writing one article every day since 2017 – amounting to over 2,100 articles. Sangram is only the 3rd person in the world to complete #1000WikiDays challenge – adding one article everyday for 1000 days.
Dr. Subas Chandra Rout who has created over 2,000 articles, mostly medicine-related topics, which are read by nearly 50,000 readers (highest among all non-major Wikipedia language editions). Aliva Sahoo who has created over 500 articles most of which are biographies of notable women.
During this event, the community discussed the policies and guidelines of Odia Wikipedia, and also designed the basic guidelines and criteria for enhancing the overall quality of content. The community unanimously agreed to all the proposed suggestions.