On Saturday representatives of Mumbai Wikipedia Community, Amitabh Kundan
and Pranav (User:Wheredevelsdare), came over to Pune for discussing the
forthcoming Wikiconference India 2011 and met up with representatives of
Pune community, Sudhanwa Jogalekar, Radha Mishra, Suhel Bohra, Srikeit,
Harshad Gune and Ashwin Baindur. The Wikimedia India chapter was represented
by Arjuna Rao Chawala (chapter President), the Wikimedia India National
Office by Hisham Mundol.

The Pune Wikipedia Community acknowledged the great honour done by Mumbai
community in asking the Pune community to co-host the event and promised all
cooperation. Subsequently in the evening meetup the members of the Pune
Wikipedia Community were informed about this prosal and the Pune community
unanimously agreed to particpate and support the venture.

Pranav gave a presentation on the progress so far - the suggested dates for
finalisation i.e. 5 to 7 Nov 2011, the proposed venues for the meetup, the
accomodation, a marquee event featuring Jimbo Wales and a social
get-together. Also discussed at the meeting were the proposed makeup of
organising committee, the modalities, likely budget, and other issues. The
Mumbai meetup where they will discuss these issues is being held next
weekend. After that we assume the planning will begin in right earnest.

Kudos to Mumbai community for all the footwork and hard work put in to date.

In the evening we had the Monthly meetup. Bishakha Datta, Trustee, Wikimedia
Foundation graced the meeting with her presence. Attendance was excellent
with 50 plus people turning up. Most of these are the eager young aspirants
of the Campus Ambassador program. The meeting began with Arjuna Rao Chawala
giving a presentation on the India chapter. He mentioned the short history
of raising the chapter, its aims and goals and that the chapter has now
started soliciting membership. It was my privilege to be the first person to
apply for Wikimedia Foundation membership from the community andd I do hope
I get serial number 1 in the membership list ;-).

http://wiki.wikimedia.in/wiki/File:WikimediaChapterFirstMembershipApplicationFromAshwinBaindur.jpg

In all, 24 applications were handed over from Pune community right there and
then and others will follow soon.

Hisham then addressed the aspirants. He mentioned the role they would play
to bridge the gap between people who have the freedom to edit Wikipedia and
those who actually do so. He encouraged them to join one of the finest group
of people in the world - Wikipedians. He outlined the sequence of events,
the training they would receive. He said that due to the need to start off
the program right away, the program would begin with those aspirants who
already had the skills being looked for especially the knowledge of the
Wikipedia world. Howeever, there was an overwhelming need of campus
ambassadors; if we say one per class of 50, Pune would require hundreds and
thousands of them. So everyone who applied but was not selected in the first
round was considered an ambassador in waiting and with the help of
interaction and training provided by the Pune community they would be
prepared for the next rounds of selection. The aspirants responded with
interest and a lot of questions.

It was interesting to note that amongst the young folk were some adults who
wanted to give back something to society. Coming from varied walks of life,
they were yet another face of altruistic Indian society. We also had a
couple of professors of the Pune Colleges attending out of their own
interest. They were keen to bring these programs into their institutions.

LLastly, the community was formally informed about the proposal to co-host
the Wikimedia India Conference 2011 which was unaimously approved.

This meetup was quite productive and the Pune community took the contact
details of all participants, promising to get back to them soon.

Warm regards,

Ashwin Baindur
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