Greetings Everyone,

I am back from Chandigarh after attending one of the two amazing sessions
at British library. The session on day 1 (24 August) was held by Subha and
the session on day 2 (25 August) was held by both of us. We are writing a
summary of the two events.

*Day 1 (24 Aug): Introductory Session*
There was a news coverage in Hindustan Times ( regarding
this session. The members of British Library were informed (members above
16 years) by British Council's mailing list (
We had 32 participants for the first day. There were people of all
different age groups and various different backgrounds, surprisingly more
elderly people than youngsters! People came from Ludhiana, Mohalli and
Panchkula (Mohalli and Panchkula are two nearby cities) have joined for
this session. Subha asked all of them to introduce and speak about their
Wikipedia experience and interaction as a user. Many of them asked
questions in the beginning itself which was beneficial with spending some
time to know each other. The participants were taken through the
presentation by questioning about "Who edit WP and why they edit". They
were asking a lot of questions in between so the intro session was longer.
Most people still were not believing that Wikipedia articles could be
edited by people like them. So Subha decided to do some vandalism ;-) One
of the participants volunteered for creating her user account and we
changed the year of Chandigarh declared as being the "cleanest city" of
India. Then she corrected it and Subha explained how experienced editors
correct such mistakes. The participants were showed only few formatting
like Bold, Italics, Linking and Heading and showed the "Help" tab from
which they can learn more. Majority of them had doubts about credibility
and they brought examples of many articles having wrong information. So the
rest half of the session was spent discussing about the low visibility is
one of the reasons of articles with wrong information and how more editor
contribution is essential for articles of Indian context. They were also
shown articles with cleanup/"More citations needed" maintenance tags and
how they could be improved.

*Day 2 (25 Aug):* *Editing Workshop*
Day 2 saw 10 participants from the previous day (including a
sports-blogger, a techie, 4 students, a ELT trainer, a pediatrician and a
lady from Ludhiana who created her user account on Day 1 and brought her
father for Day 2) and 4 new student participants. Subha and me talked
briefly about what is intended for the editing session. All of them created
their user accounts, some of the participants helped the new participants
to create their user accounts. They chose various different articles
including articles of local importance (Banka Bihari temple, Chandigarh,
Paratha (few raised the question why it is not spelt as ParaNtha!!)), Assam
tea, etc.

The audience were really patient and asking more questions about "What is
there for me", "What are we going to do next". So we all gathered for a
photoshoot and discussed about setting up a wiki club so they stay
connected. They were excited to hear that Chandigarh British Library
Wikipedia club ( will be
India's 3rd Wikipedia Club.

We all shared ideas and about how they will be continuing editing after the
session is over. Now a facebook group has been created ( to guide the new
editors with editing.

*Meeting with Christina and Varinder:*
After the session got over we had a meeting with Christina (Manager) and
Varinder (IT Head of Brit Lib). One of the Tribune columnists (Renee Singh)
and a participant also joined us. We explained how the wiki club will
function and would help them also. Being a Library they could involve many
of their members in this. A new lady editor from Ludhiana has shown
interest for conducting workshops in her town. There was a sports-blogger
and a techie who explained how the local blogger community (over 125+
bloggers) meet up regularly and blog actively. This is a community we could
explore more to promote Wikipedia amongst techies. What we found is British
Library is quite open to ideas and showed interest for this collaborative
model. The participants were asking can we define positions for the wiki
club also so that people having different interest could take up lead for
different activities.

Post event steps:

- Emails with thanks and appreciating their interest were sent to the
- Formal opening of the club is done on Wikipedia ( and
participant new editors have been informed about this.
- Help/Support desk on facebook is set to provide online support. (
- Press reports are being prepared to be sent to newspapers
- We are working on distributing responsibilities among new editors.
- Discussion for next meetup and keeping them updated in a regular basis.
- Hand-holding

*Meeting with the curator, Chandigarh Museum:*
We have met the curator of Chandigarh museum. After explaining about GLAM
projects she showed interest and asked to send a proposal. As there is no
active community we are currently focusing on building a community in
Chandigarh. But, this could run as a good GLAM project in the future.
Meeting with Shital Parkash, former Prof. in Public Administration, Panjab
University, Chandigarh:
*We met a former Professor of Public Administration of Panjab University,
Shital Parkash. He is also an author and is known in the city Professor and
Academician community. He could help us with reaching out to Punjabi media,
Professors for a community building exercise for Punjabi Wikipedia.

Piyush and Subha
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