Dear Mitra, why don't you join the chapter and we can work something out
for Delhi too :) Hope to catch up with you in Delhi!

On Mon, Dec 26, 2011 at 4:51 PM, Mitra sharma <> wrote:

> Quite heart warming to hear about this... hope we have something like this
> in Delhi soon :)
> On 26 December 2011 14:01, Sudhanwa Jogalekar <>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:
>> *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:  blog:
>> Twitter: sudhanwa Check on FB, Linkedin for more.
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Noopur Raval
Arts and Aesthetics
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Ph: 9650567690
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