Malayalam Wikipedians organising the first Indian language conference “Wikisangamothsavam”
(Kollam, Kerala, April 18, 2012) The Malayalam Wikipedia community is organising the first ever Wikipedia conference for an Indic language in Kollam, Kerala between April 28-29, 2012. “WikiSamgamothsavam” (which translates to “Wiki community celebration” - is expected to get more than 200 participants, including 50 school children
Malyalam Wikipedia (http://ml.wikipedia.org) is the Malayalam version of Wikipedia (the free online encyclopedia) – and has more than 23,000 articles (as of April, 2012) which get 25 lakh page views per month. (There are 20 other Indic language Wikipedias which are active including Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Nepali, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.) The Malayalam community, nearly 100 person strong, is one of India's biggest communities.
“The event seeks to celebrate the achievements of the Malayalam community, plan new projects as a community and welcome more Malayalees to the community. E-malayalam, free and open knowledge, copyright and cyber-freedom are the highlights of the conference this year”, said Kannan Shanmugam, a teacher based in Kollam.
“There are 30 sessions including how teachers can use Wikipedia, improving articles on Kerala's history, and digitizing literature ”, explains T.K Sujith, an advocate from Allapuzha.
V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai (Vice Chairman, Kerala Council for Science, Technology and Environment) will inaugurate the event which will also have sessions by K. Anwar Sadat Executive Director, IT@School Project, Barry Newstead (Chief Global Development Officer, Wikimedia Foundation), Dr. B. Ekbal (ex Vice-Chancellor, University of Kerala.) It will be concluded by Prasanna_Ernest (Mayor of Kollam).
“There is a workshop planned for the general public interested in learning how to write on Malayalam Wikipedia as well as a conference for school children“, adds Anoop Narayanan, a Bangalore-based engineer and a member of organizing committee.
Ramesh N.G, a software engineer shares his insights on why people contribute to Malayalam (and indeed all other local languages) Wikipedia, "We share a common love for our mother tongue and a passion for sharing free knowledge. We edit Wikipedia because we want to improve the information available in Malayalam so that the common man has free access to it."
Registration for WikiSamgamothsavam is open now. Those interested may participate as delegates in Wikisamgamotsavam-2012 by registering their names at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHhrRkFXNEF6SmU4LUhudkdJV2NNLWc6MQ. For more details visit: http://ml.wikipedia.org/wiki/WP:WS2012EN or call +91 94475 60350. For specific press queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.