Quite heart warming to hear about this... hope we have something like this
in Delhi soon :)

On 26 December 2011 14:01, Sudhanwa Jogalekar <sudhanwa....@gmail.com>wrote:

> Report on Wikipedians participation in CMDA IT Expo, 2011- (15 to 18 Dec.
> 2011)
> About CMDA:
> CMDA, Pune is an association of Computer and Media dealers in Pune. It is
> a registered organisation and is ISO 9000 certified. Recently, it is
> declared as the best Computer dealers association across India by DQ Week
> magazine. Website: www.cmdapune.org
> *About IT Expo: *
> CMDA organises IT expo every year.  This was 14th year of the expo and was
> held during 15-18 Dec 2011. As per CMDA organisors, the no. of visitors
> this year was about 40000.
> About our activities:
> CMDA gave us a 2m X 2m stall. The usual cost for  the stall is about Rs
> 25,000. However, considering that we are not doing any business activities
> and are working for a social cause, this was given to us GRATIS. The stall
> allocation was confirmed at a very late stage. As such, the call for
> volunteers was also sent very late and we were running short of people to
> man the stall.
> On day 1, (15th Dec), user:Mahitgar, Sudhanwa, Hisham and Nitika started
> the activities in the morning session. Flex banners were put up and the
> printed handouts were ready to be distributed. Hisham and Nitika came all
> the way from Delhi for this. They also got some T shirts for distribution
> to the right people. Our stall was the last stall in the expo and was
> adjoining the seminar hall. After the inauguration, people started visiting
> our stall. The chief guest was visiting all the stalls and he visited our
> stall also. He was pleasantly surprised to see our activities
> (non-commercial, social cause) in the expo.
> On day 1, second half was handled by Ashwin and Mahitgar. We had printed a
> handout to create a generic awareness about Wikipedia. This was in English
> on one side and about Marathi Wikipedia on the other side. Initially, we
> had about 200 handouts printed as the response was not known to us.
> Ultimately, we had to make many copies many times as the response went on
> increasing day by day.
> Day 2 (16th Dec) was managed by Mahitgar, Ashwin, Abhishek and some other
> CA volunteers. For the CAs, it was a great experience to interact with the
> people face to face and answer all kinds of their queries. This was totally
> different from the usual CA activities where they interact with people who
> are already much aware of Wikipedia and editing and may be other projects
> too. Abhishek and some others managed the stall till afternoon and later on
> by Sudhanwa and some others like Pratik. In the evening, Mahitgar gave a
> talk on the topic “Marathi Wikipedia- Challenges and Future” in the seminar
> hall which was received very well.
> Day 3 (17th Dec) was a hectic day being Saturday, the weekend. Mahitgar
> and Sudhanwa handled the 1st half. Ashwin joined with his spouse for a
> couple of hours. Mandar joined in the 2nd half till the day ends. There was
> really an energetic crowd who visited the stall and asked many many
> questions.
> Day 4 (18th Dec) Mandar handled the stall since morning for whole day. He
> was alone there till lunch time when some more volunteers including Ashwin,
> Mahitgar came to help him  out.
> Being a Sunday, the fourth day was very hectic and most crowded. Some more
> volunteers like Lochan Makheja (Hindi Wikipedian from Pune) were also added
> but it was still difficult to address all the visitors to our stall. Even
> with 4 volunteers at a time, we were not able handle the running crowd at
> peak hour on Sunday evening.
> We had kept a notebook at the stall and noted down names and contact
> details of the people who were interested in further Wikipedia related
> activities. During the 4 days of expo, we have collected names and contact
> details of the interested people and that number is about 250!! That is big
> enough to have multiple wiki-academies in Pune in the next few months. Our
> guesstimate of the no of people visited our stall is about 3000.
> While many visitors knew what Wikipedia is, most were not aware that it is
> also available in Indian languages, especially Marathi. The few who were
> aware of both were not aware of other projects like Commons, Wikisource
> etc. People were mostly unaware of the implications of copyrighted and
> freely licensed information.The expo gave a very good opportunity to
> interact with the people directly and get a feel of what the common people
> understand/know about Wikipedia. Here are some USUAL questions that we
> faced in the expo.
> 1. What is the price of Wikipedia? I want to buy some copies. :-) (to be
> specific - Wikipedia kitne me bech rahe ho.... )
> 2. You are not selling anything here? !!! Then why are you in the expo?
> 3. You are not getting anything from Wikipedia, then why are you standing
> for whole day on the stall?
> 4. If anyone can edit Wikipedia, what is the assurance that the content is
> correct and authentic?
> 5. Can you edit Wikipedia in Marathi/Hindi? How?
> 6. If I write any article on Wikipedia, will there be my name on the
> article?
> 7 If I type some search string in Marathi (Devanagari), you get search
> pages in Marathi/ Marathi Wikipedia?? !!
> 8. If I type in English (Roman) on English Wikipedia,can I get pages from
> Marathi Wikipedia?
> 9. When and where you meet? I want to join your activities.
> 10. What? You can directly edit content on the Wikipedia?
> Apart from this, in the expo we could interact face to face with Marathi
> Wikipedia users and the activity helped in explaining Marathi typing in
> more easier way.This interaction  will help in improving related help pages
> on Marathi Wikipedia.  (Marathi Wikipedia sandbox has a good number of
> trial and error edits of people trying to type in Marathi using phonetic
> facility and still not succeeding in their effort)
> It was also observed that the number of visiting women was good but at
> times the stall being small, it was crowded and they could not come forward
> to listen amongst the jostling men. Next time we should give a thought to
> request and hopefully get additional space (and also women volunteers) for
> addressing women.
> The happiest experiences were when school children were stopping their
> parents saying “Papa Mummy Wikipedia Stall !!’ and that naturally made
> those parents stop at our stall and see what it was all about. it would be
> great if we are able to get academic fraternity and more volunteer support
> as many such expos will be forthcoming in the near future. It would be
> great to arrange such expos in  bigger education campuses too.
> Remarkably, this was a second consecutive year for the expo having a
> Marathi Wikipedia seminar. Last year’s talk was given by Abhay Natu and
> this year Mahitgar spoke on “Marathi Wikipedia: Challenges and Future”.
> Mahitgar used the opportunity to focus on areas where Marathi language has
> scope to provide significant knowledge. Mahitgar opined that all the
> technology is available and volunteers are there to support the activity.
> The real challenge is to bring back the confidence of the people that they
> can avail all the knowledge in their own language by cooperating each other
> through projects like indic language Wikipedias. Thanks to Wikimedia
> projects, the key of the future is in their own hands.
> *Expenditure:*
> We had asked for a grant to GAC on almost the last minute and it was
> sanctioned very quickly. (Money yet to be received in the account)  We have
> asked for about 11000 INR that includes printing, stationary, CD/DVD
> burning, etc etc. Out of this, we spent about 5000/- Rs. (Expenditure
> details yet to come from the volunteers) Remaining money was not utilised
> as additional activities like CD burning, making some goodies like
> stickers, key chains etc. could not be done as all the volunteers were
> stuck up at the stall itself. The amount will be used for the given purpose
> but for/during our further activities like Wiki-academies.
> *Pictures:*
> Abhishek has already uploaded some pictures and will be uploading some
> videos also. Sudhanwa is uploading some photos in the category "CMDA IT
> Expo 2011, 15-18 Dec" on commons*. We will also try to get some pictures
> from the expo organisers.*
> *Conclusion:*
> With the kind of manpower we had and the time and money in hand, the kind
> of outreach we achieved is extraordinary. Almost 3000 people interacted and
> of these 250 showed interest in future activities!! Some of them are very
> useful people like librarians. We met some editors also in the expo. Some
> of them are from rural area and are doing work in Marathi!! All of them
> were unaware of the presence of the Pune Community and we were able to get
> some dedicated new members to the community.
> Probably, considering the outreach we had and the response we got in the
> expo, it is even worth paying for the stall next year!!
> We can do much better next time if we get enough time span for planning
> and execution of activities
> --
> ~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!
> web: www.sudhanwa.com  blog: www.sudhanwa.in
> Twitter: sudhanwa Check on FB, Linkedin for more.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
> Wikimediaindia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l
Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit 

Reply via email to