More online free content in Telugu Wikipedia soon

by Prasad Krishna last modified Feb 19, 2015 03:18 PM
Wikimedians gather at Tirupati for a strategy meet.
More online free content in Telugu Wikipedia soon

Telugu Bhashodyama Samithi founder-president Sakam Nagaraja (second from right) presents a copy of the book ‘Pachanaku Sakshiga’, a masterpiece on Chittoor dialect, to Wikimedians at the two-day strategy meeting in Tirupati on Sunday. —Photo: By Arrangeme

The article by A.D. Rangarajan was published in the Hindu on February 16, 2015. T. Vishnu Vardhan gave his inputs.

While Wikipedia is emerging as the ‘knowledge corpus’ in various Indian and global languages, the Telugu version will no longer be left behind. With around 62,000 articles from an array of subjects like literature, cinema, science, language and culture, more online free content is expected to be made available in Unicode format very soon.

For the first time, Telugu Wikimedians from across the country gathered in Tirupati for the 11th anniversary celebrations, which turned out to be a strategy meet on improving online content and also a forum to review the progress achieved thus far.

Interestingly, most of the 55 participants, who have been actively writing on the forum, came face to face for the first time.

Though there are 40,000 registered Telugu Wikipedians, hardly 80 of them are active writers, in a sense that they contribute for at least one hour a week. Unfortunately, there is not even a single writer from Tirupati, says T. Vishnu Vardhan, Programme Director (Access to Knowledge) of Bengaluru-based The Centre for Internet and Society, which is funded by the Wikimedia Foundation.

“We have come to plant the seed here”, he told The Hindu . Titled ‘Andariki Annamayya’, a novel programme has been launched to digitise all the ‘Kirtans’ of the saint-poet, to be made available in searchable Unicode format for the benefit of surfers.

Pawan Santosh of Hyderabad, T. Sujatha, a Chennai-based housewife, A. Rajasekhar, a pathologist from Hyderabad, Sultan Khader, a Bengaluru-based software engineer and Venkataramana, a Srikakulam-based government teacher bagged the ‘Komarraju Lakshman Rao Wikimedian Award’ for the year 2014, for editing, providing quality content, holding outreach programmes and their active role in policy decisions.

Sakam Nagaraja, editor of Abhinava Prachuranalu, gave away the copyrights of his book ‘Pillala Pusthakam’, a compilation of 88 Aesop tales with exquisite art by Bapu, to Wikipedia.

“Anybody can have free access to the content hereafter”, he announced.

In a bid to encourage preservation of regional dialects, Mr. Nagaraja, who is also the founder president of Telugu Bhashodyama Samiti, presented them copies of the book ‘Pachanaku Sakshiga’ written by Namini Subramanyam Naidu, considered a masterpiece on dialects, as it is heavily loaded with Chittoor slang.