Dear Bishakha,

                       Are you not defeating the fundamentals of Wiki
movement by your view point:Quote"There were questions about how to take
this knowledge to colleges in the state without access to the internet or to


On Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM, jayanta nath <> wrote:

> Dear all,
> Apologies for this big delay in reporting - between work, travel and the
> rest of my life, I've been in a spin.
> As previously announced on this list, Sanhita, a gender resource centre in
> Kolkata had offered to host a half-day session on 'Gender, Information and
> Technology' to explore, understand and plan how women's studies departments
> in Kolkata's colleges might create content related to 'gender/women's
> studies/women' on Bengali wikipedia, for use by colleges across West Bengal
> (and of course, by anyone else).
> The workshop was held on 18 March at the Seagull Media Resource 
> Centre<>where the Kolkata 
> wiki10 celebrations had been held in January - Sanhita
> took on the venue rental and snack costs. Sanhita currently works with 18
> women's colleges in Kolkata and West Bengal: it creates and distributing
> information resources in Bengali on women/gender. It would like to
> collaborate with a technological platform such as Bengali wikipedia to
> further its goal.
> Biswarup Ganguly, Jayanta Nath, Arnab Dutta and Rimi Chatterjee were the
> wikipedians from Kolkata who led this workshop, along with Soma Sengupta of
> Sanhita. I was invited along to bridge the gap between gender studies and
> wikipedia. The entire workshop was conducted in Bengali; there were 30
> participants - 28 women and 2 men, quite the gender reverse of other
> workshops I've attended. Please see the 
> photos<>that 
> Biswarup took to get a visual sense of this.
> Each of the 30 participants used English wikipedia - only 1 knew of Bengali
> wikipedia; none used it. All the participating teachers are not necessarily
> intending to edit wikipedia themselves in Bengali, but are 'gatekeepers' to
> students. So they were more interested in a conceptual understanding of
> wikipedia during this preliminary planning session, than a hands-on editing
> demo.
> Given the academic nature of participants, the first question was about the
> authenticity of articles. How is this established? Along with talking about
> the need for references and citations and the no original
> research/verifiability principles, two examples [1} [2] were shown. The talk
> page on Babri Masjid [1] was also used to demonstrate one aspect of the
> editing process - how authenticity is constantly challenged and
> renegotiated. The page on Begum Rokeya [2] attracted considerable interest,
> since she was a pioneering figure in undivided Bengal to whom this group
> could relate. The lack of citations about her was brought up, and the oral
> citations project [3] was cited.
> In a similar vein, the following pages were also discussed in detail:
> Feminism portal [4], Gender Studies category [5] and Gender Studies project
> page [6] - to see if something similar could be launched in Bengali
> wikipedia with those present and others who had expressed interest via
> email.
> Since some of those present saw themselves as advocates, we clarified that
> wikipedia is not an advocacy platform, it is a knowledge platform - and
> discussed NPOV etc in this context.
> There were questions about how to take this knowledge to colleges in the
> state without access to the internet or to computers. We discussed the
> creation of offline CDs and PediaPress books, using online content.
> All in all, there was great excitement around the prospect of
> collaboratively creating gender-related content on Bengali wikipedia - Arnab
> and Jayanta demonstrated this. Rimi spoke about how she uses wikipedia with
> her students, while Biswarup did a quick demo of Commons.
> All of us felt "a positive energy" (to quote Rimi), specially about the
> "practical concrete questions about next steps" (Jayanta). One disability
> rights activist from an NGO called Sruti had suggestions for improving said
> page in Bengali wikipedia - and
> Sanhita confirmed that several participants emailed back the next day with
> good feedback.
> Hopefully, with this optimistic start, this will now go places - and
> contribute not just to Bengali wikipedia, but also to reducing the overall
> gender gap. A special thanks to Jayanta, Arnab, Biswarup, Rimi, and Soma for
> excellent coordination, planning, camaraderie and teamwork to make this
> workshop a grand success.
> Cheers
> Bishakha
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]
> [5]
> [6]
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