Hi Folks

I'm deliberately opening a new mail chain on this.  This is at the risk of me 
being told off for doing so - but I believe that email protocol is one thing - 
but communication philosophy is (arguably) even more critical.

I (and personally upsetting to me, others at India Programs - namely Nitika & 
the Campus Ambassadors) have taken some beating over the past few days.  Some 
has been personal and not been circumspect or constructive; not pretty.  I have 
been touched by the offlist messages of comfort and support that I and the 
others have got.

I am exceedingly worried about the impact it has had on team morale.  To all 
those who have criticised the India Education Program, spare a thought for the 
volunteers who have helped out on this.  I want to tell the Campus Ambassadors 
to be strong and keep your chins up.  You guys have been incredible.  Hand on 
heart, you have given your hearts and souls and have conducted probably the 
single biggest Wikipedia outreach program in the world.  (btw, I really don't 
care if someone wants to tag this as {citation required.})  You have taken time 
out of your working lives and college days.  I know how tough it's been  - 
conducting more than 100 in-class sessions, working with so many students and 
faculty, reaching out on email and talk pages and SMS and mobile calls and 
social networks and in canteens, poring over student entries, learning 
Wikipedia policies, figuring out new tools to help your work, building 
relationships  with other editors across the globe, doing the back-breaking 
documentation that's been required on project & course pages, and I can go on 
and on and on.  I know that sustaining this level of motivation and energy over 
months has been hard on you.  I also know some of you faltered.  I know some of 
you wanted to scream and kick someone some times, maybe even many people many 
times! Keep the faith, guys.  

I am sorry for the personal attack on Nitika.  To her, I want to publicly 
apologise.  I know her to be hard-working, diligent, honest, competent and an 
all-round professional.  She's new and she's learning and has and will make 
mistakes - like all of us do.  It is fantastic to have her on the team.  Period.

The program is a pilot - and we made a ton of mistakes.  Sorry, let me rephrase 
that.  I led the initiative so all responsibility should be mine.  I made a ton 
of mistakes.  I promise the following.  We will have a thorough, honest and 
fact based evaluation.  We will be open to make all the changes that are 
required.  We will not let the events of the past few days force us into a 
bunker mentality.  We will be open and we will be intellectually rigorous.  We 
will learn and we will improve.  The India opportunity is massive - and our 
ambitions are huge.  It is also fraught with challenges.  Unless we try and do 
things - new and tough and complex things - we will never be able to realise 
our true potential.

I know that some who have participated in these exchanges are driven by an 
awe-inspiring love and passion for Wikipedia.  I urge you to continue to come 
forward and work with others and us.  Come forward early though - and stay 
engaged through the journey.  It will have ups and downs.  

On communication, I urge everyone to maintain WP:CIVILITY and WP:NPOV in all 
our interactions.  On this - and to be fair - quite a few other interactions 
recently on totally unrelated topics (and involving a whole host of others), I 
daresay we have drifted from core Wikipedia principles.  These should apply to 
us to all our community's interactions as religiously as we apply them to our 

I would urge folks who agree with me to write back.  Even a +1 will do.  Let's 
hear the voices of the quieter folks.  Let's hear from the folks who don't 
always get involved in mailing list exchanges out of either apprehension or 
apathy.  Let's move forward. 

Warm Regards,


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