Dear Wikimedians all over the world, One of our stalwarts at ml Wikimedia community, Wikiuser:BabuG <https://ml.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Babug> ( https://ml.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Babug) expired yesterday night.
Despite having paralyzed due to a severe stroke and severely affected by several subsequent health problems, he was guided to Wikipedia by his son, Dr. Ajay, another prominent Malayalam Wikipedian, as a possible remedy to escape perpetual loneliness. His real world name was G. Balachandran.He was born on 14th October 1938 in a small village off North Parur, Ernakulam District, Kerala, the Southernmost state of India.He joined the Armed Forces Engineering College and then continued to serve the Indian Armed forces for long many years. He started contributing to Wikimedia, particularly to Malayalam Wikipedia, in the year 2008. His initial contributions to Malayalam Wikipedia were based upon a pulp-converted digital Encyclopedia, released by the Government through GFDL licence then. He continued to create even more full-featured articles on his own, later. By 2014 October 18 - the day he edited last in Wikipedia- he had 1935 full-blown articles initiated and expanded by himself in ml.wikipedia.org. Besides, he also contributed more than 350 images to Wikimedia commons and a handsome amount of contributions to Wikisource, Wikidata and Wiktionary. He always attributed his renewed energy and life's aspirations to the Wikimedia mission, for having returned to a meaningful life after a 20-year long and frustrating solitude while constrained to an immobile chair. Ever since 2008, he stood up and started walking and moving around. His was an extreme example for us in Malayalam WP to showcase how Wikipedia can change lives. In almost all our Wikipedia Outreach sessions, we utilized this great example to motivate and excite the newcomers to WP. Tory Read mentioned about BabuG thus, in a document <http://cis-india.org/internet-governance/india-chronicles.pdf>, a review on the state of Indian Wikimedia Communities, in 2011: G. Balachandran, a septuagenarian who lives outside of Ernakulum in Kerala > state, said that working on Malayalam Wikipedia helped him recover after a > stroke left him paralyzed. “He’s much sharper now,” said his wife Jagadamma > K. “He’s made a lot of new friends, and that’s been good for his health.” For us in Malayalam Wikipedia, today is a black day, for having lost a great beacon on our voyage to ultimate openness and freedom in knowledge and wisdom. Yet, we feel, BabuG has made his life stamped immortal for ever and has shown us the pathway we should follow in continuing our humble contributions to the ultimate cause of mankind. -ViswaPrabha (On behalf of Malayalam Wikimedia Community) http://ml.wikipedia.org
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