Dear all, Firstly let me begin with tons and tons of apologies as I am terribly late with this report and in no way can I justify being such late. Unfortunately, due to various reasons primarily studies and traveling, I could not come out with this faster.
Wikipedians in Kolkata met for the 10th time at Atmabikash Samiti on the 19th of Hamy, 2012. There was a large number of members upto at least 10 people, my memory is a bit clouded now. Incidentally, being a bengali and well as being born and brought up in Kolkata, this was my first meetup with the Kolkata community. I had just met Jayanta da at WikiConference 11 where we shared our stories of Wikipedia. To be honest, it was one of the warmest welcomes I've received. The meetup started with informal introductions, as I knew none and other than Jayanta da, none knew me. I told them my story of IEP student to Campus Ambassador to editor and promoter of the Wikimedia movement, while they each told me theirs. The date on which it was held, 19th May, was also special, which was unknown to many of us and this was highlighted by guest of honour, Dr. Mohit K Ray, who has a Ph D in Engineering and is an Environmental Consultant. We all know about 21st February <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_21>which started the Bengali Language Movement <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengali_Language_Movement>, now celebrated as International Mother Language Day. However, it is unknown to most of us that an event of equivalent importance occurred on the 19th of May also in our country. The event which was not initially on Wikipedia and has now been added reads, "1961 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1961> – 11 bengali martyrs gave up their life in a police firing in Silchar<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silchar>Railway Station, Assam <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assam>, while demanding state recognition of bengali language in the Bengali Language Movement<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengali_Language_Movement#Legacy>." Dr. Ray highlighted how little is know about such an event within our own country. He also discussed the growing separation in linguistic differences between the bengali language spoken by Indians, (i.e. West Bengali) and the bengali language spoken by Bangladesh. He also cited how the history of Bengali language is bifurcating into two streams based on these differences. However, after and intense discussion as to what then should be the future of Wikipedia, Jayanta da pointed out that till date, other than a few spelling disputes, there have not been too many arguments between Indian (Bengali) Wikipedians and Bangladeshi Wikipedians regarding Bengali Wikipedia. In fact the collaboration that both countries enjoy is unique in its own in that the two countries are united by bengali wikipedia sharing common goals and interests. Other than this pivotal topic, other topics discussed brought forward by both Jayanta da, Kalyan da, myself as well as everyone present were: 1. How Bengali Wikipedia is increasing day by day. 2. How it the need of the hour is to increase Indian editors in Bengali Wikipedia as Jayanta da pointed out in WCI 11, (95% contribs are from Bangladesh). 3. How to engage various institutes and libraries into putting content into Wikipedia. 4. How to engage the already interested youth of West Bengal into editing Wikipedia. (As in previous instances, they have already showed a lot of energy and interest). 5. How to better conduct meetups, and spread the news about the meetups. However, each of these topics required vast discussions and as such, it was decided to put these on the agenda list for the next meetup. We all shared a cup of tea and the meeting was put to a close. I've tried to keep this report as short and simple as possible. My experience with the Kolkata community was truly wonderful and am proud to be part of such a bunch of warm loving individuals who accepted me into their inner circle without having to jump too many hoops. I hope I can keep on contributing to their efforts in every which way I can in the future. Wish the Kolkata community all the best for the next discussion. Just a few points of observation (my two paisa): 1. The discussions need more control and organization. Most of us generally started on the same topic but the discussion kept on spiraling to a whole bunch of different topics which Kalyan da kept on mentioning. 2. Due to the absence of a laptop, we could not do any online editing. Though this was the result of confusion, maybe we could have a rotating system of who brings the laptop in time. 3. We need to plan more frequent meetups so that as a community we can function better. 4. If possible have online editing sessions, because as a community only a handful of the people were really experienced with editing, most of the people present were very new with just a few edits clocked in. If we want to be taken seriously, everyone must edit and build up their own experience, otherwise we will never figure out what exactly are the problems that need to be addressed going forward. -- Regards, Debanjan* - Lets make this world a better and more informative place*
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