Dear Bishakha,

                      I agree with you on the mix of online and offline
methods to realize Wiki mission.Bu the problem is the velocity with which
the goal can be achieved and the resources and the cost. The simile
that comes to the mind is "the difference in sending 1000 invitations
through e-mail and achieving the same
through the post office."

                      Yes, India is a poor country and to reach the target
only through "on line methods" is beyond
reality in the next 20 years. All my support goes with your offline
methods,but my concern is that route shall
further widen the digital divide. But as long as the action is alive it is
okay for a country of our magnitude
and problems.

                       I hesitate to advocate---but my thinking is--we the
Wikians may have a different movement to
bulldoze the Govt of India to spend 5% of GDP on IT infrastructure alone for
the next 10 years for the upliftment of the country.When one Anna Hazare can
achieve so much in 5 days, a parallel movement is
believably possible. Am I dreaming too much?

                      Hi Wikians "All the best"

On Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 6:11 PM, Bishakha Datta <>wrote:

> Dear Gokul,
> As I understand it, we need to use a mix of online and offline methods to
> realize our mission: "Imagine a world in which every single human being can
> freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment."
> Given this, I don't see why the spread of this knowledge through CDs and
> PediaPress books would be against the wiki movement - am not suggesting
> replacing the use of wikis or online methods, but adding to or supplementing
> these through CDs/books/offline methods etc.
> "Investing in offline products to broaden the movement's reach to
> populations who will remain disconnected from the Internet" is one of the
> planks of the strategic plan [2] currently being implemented. This is
> already happening in some projects, including Wikipedia for Schools.
> Cheers
> Bishakha
> [1]
> [2]
> On Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 11:44 AM, gokul das <>wrote:
>> 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
>> computers."Defend.
>> Gokul
>> 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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