Featured Wikimedian/Women Month/2019
Wikimedians are users of any Wikimedia project and members of the Wikimedia movement. The Featured Wikimedian of the Month process is similar to featured article or featured picture. Wikimedia India has been undergoing this activity since 2011, however for the first time on Women's Day, Wikimedia India and the larger Indian community is celebrating the Women’s Day on Friday, 8th March in a unique way of storytelling on Featured Wikimedian of The Month platform.
Aaryaa Joshi with User Name : आर्या जोशी is a primarily a Wikimedian who edits on Marathi Projects. She was introduced to Wikimedia Projects by fellow community member User:सुबोध कुलकर्णी and since then for the last three years she has been constantly creating articles and promoting open knowledge. Two of her created articles have also featured on the main page of Marathi Wikipedia. She attempts to expand stubs articles and improving references for the existing articles.
She believes that encouraging women participation through the activities like edit-a-thon, organizing workshops for introducing Wiki platform in Women schools and colleges are practices worth following. She is a researcher in Sanskrit and Indology.
Sumita Roy Dutta who also holds User Name:Sumita Roy Dutta is a Wikimedian primarily on Bengali Language Projects. Formerly a TATA Steel employee, she took voluntary retirement and now devotes most of her time on Wikimedia projects. Being a software person she learnt about the Wikimedia projects and later during her interactions with fellow Wikimedians User:Bodhisattwa and User:NahidSultan she got an all-round exposure.
Her favourite area of interests are editing on female biographies, Himalayan mountains, translations and creations of SVG files, uploading pictures of fauna, particularly birds on Wikimedia Commons. She believes more focused mentoring for women and senior citizen is the needful intervention to have. She believes that women inclusive programs like Wiki Women for Women Wellbeing helps in nurturing talents in terms of both organisers and editors.
Parvathi Sridharan with User Name : Parvathisri is a Tamil Wikimedian who largely edits on Tamil Wikipedia. During her school days, while she was searching for Tamil novelist Mrs.V.M kothainayaki for her project and couldn’t find any information on Tamil Wikipedia, she immediately created her account and started contributing. Since then, she hasn’t ever looked back. She has created more than five hundred articles out of which forty three of them have featured on the main page. She is the only second women to become an administrator.
Parvathi believes that there have been more women volunteers in the recent past, however all of them have not stayed back. She believes that technical simplicity and more user friendly approach would help in bringing more volunteers to the movement. To reduce gender gap women of all age group and profession needs to be approached rather than a select few.
Sejal Khatri with User Name:Sek2016 is a Media-Wiki developer from Pune, Maharashtra presently undergoing her scholarship for Master’s in Computer Science from University of Washington, United States of America. She has in her capacity as an intern, designed and developed the user profile pages for the Programs and Events Dashboard, a tool which assists the management of wiki programs and events.Later she started volunteering for the same project and in 2017, she got selected as a Google Summer of Code intern, wherein, she redesigned the dashboard layout to make it responsive and also improved its usability by understanding the requirements of multiple wiki communities. She continues to make voluntary contributions to the project and mentors students in Google Code-In.
She believes in creating peer-to-peer networks for Women Wikipedians in India. She believes it would strengthen the women network and peer support and thus would attract women talent. Currently in male dominated communities, women get discouraged and leave the community; a peer network would help acknowledge these problems.
Joli Borah with User Name:Joil is an Assamese Wikimedian who works on Assamese Wikipedia and Assamese Wikisource. She came to know about English Wikipedia way back in 2005 and later in 2010 became aware about Assamese Wikipedia through a friend who is also an editor on Assamese Wikipedia. Assamese Wikipedia was at very incipient stage at that time and the urge to contribute to her mother tongue got her deeply involved.She came in touch with the small but dedicated Assamese Wikimedia community over time and slowly expanded her work to other projects such as Wikisource.
She likes to contribute on projects such as nature, biography, geography and history.Joli finds a huge gender imbalance in Assamese Wikimedia community. She seeks more awareness campaigns among general public about regional Wikimedia projects and training programs to encourage women to join the community. Involving the student communities actively in colleges and universities can also bring a positive change.
Active editor on Tamil Wikipedia since 2013. While browsing she saw an awarness promotion on Tamil Wikipedia and then she started contributing. She actively edits on Tamil Wikipedia, Wikitionary, Commons, and Wikiquotes. She made 25 articles in Project Tiger which is the highest number amongst Women contributors on Tamil Wiki Projects.She organised Wiki Women for Women Well Being (WWWW) and WAM (Wikipedia Asian Month 2018). She is also the organiser of New User Contest which is about grooming editors who have less than 100 edits.
She wishes to learn more about Media Wiki. She also inspired her husband to join Wikimedia who is now an active editor on Tamil Wikitionary and Wikipedia. She was the runner up of Wiki Loves Food 2015. She works as a software engineer in a renowned organisation.
Aliva Sahoo who also holds User Name: Aliva Sahoo is an Odia Wikimedian who edits on Odia Wikipedia and Wikidata. She came to know about Wikipedia through a Facebook page that anyone can edit. With help from some community members from Odia who used to share their experiences with her, she started getting used to the system and became an active contributor. She was subsequently awarded a scholarship for Wiki Conference India, 2016 and the exposure helped her a lot.
Aliva’s top priority are resolving the gender equity problems, she narrates that she hardly finds womens during conferences, workshops, meetups are any offline events. She considers resolving community gaps a priority for everyone to have.
Dhanalakshmi with User Name:Dhanalakshmi.K.T is an active contributor to Kannada and Tulu Wikimedia Projects. She initiated a group called Wiki Women Mangaluru to bridge Gender Gap in Wikimedia Projects and provide training to new editors. She has organised more than 10 outreach programs focusing on bridging Gender Gap. She was introduced to Wikimedia Projects during a workshop at her college St. Agnes College, Mangaluru themed, ‘Women achievers of Coastal Karnataka’.
She prefers to cover topics which have less number of articles or content like, Science, Women Health, Medicinal plants and Commerce. While Dhanalakshmi has seldom been ears to commentary of editors being harassed or discouraged, she has found men from Kannada and Tulu to be encouraging and supporting in building leadership and others skills. She believes, “don't keep harping on the name gender Gap. But keep working towards bridging Gender Gap”.
Sujata who holds User Name:Nettime Sujata is a Wikimedian from Kolkatta, West Bengal who primarily edits on Wikidata besides Bangla Wikipedia. She was introduced to the Wikimedia projects by her childhood friend User Name:Sumita Roy Dutta. Her focus has been expanding the stub articles, translation of articles from English which hold priority and also improving articles in other capacities. She is one of the co-organisers for the on-going project Wiki Loves Women India while has also contributed towards Wiki Asian Month, Wiki For Women Well-being etc.
She aspires to have more Women led programs in India and believes that awareness for Wikimedia movement should spread in that order.
Sushma Sharma who also holds User Name : Sushma Sharma is primarily a Hindi Wikimedian who is based in the National Capital Region of Delhi. Sushma was introduced to Wikimedia Movement by her teacher User:Manavpreet Kaur, a Punjabi Wikimedian.The larger exposure for Sushma came during her role as a volunteer for Wiki Conference India, Chandigarh 2016 and since then she has never looked back.
She is one of the key Women Wikimedians who is taking leadership roles for Hindi community by hosting both online and offline events. Sushma believes that by building interest and giving opportunity to females to discuss and deliberate, would help in the essential learning and development of skills.
Parul Thakur who also holds User Name:ParulThakur is a Wikimedian primarily on English Wikipedia . She enjoys creating and expanding Women biographies and also other specific women content on Wikipedia. She is also very active on the Women-in-Red Project. Her favourite time on Wikipedia are the Wiki Asian Month that happen every November. Although she knew about Wikipedia, her exposure to it being an open source encyclopedia that anyone can edit came while reading a news article in The Hindu newspaper.
Parul understands that there are fewer Women Wikimedians in India today and there is a need to have more campaigns to encourage women to join the community. More awareness initiatives, media mentions, rewards etc are required. She believes that the present community is very friendly and has bonding with present Women Wikimedians. Parul stays in Bengaluru and is a Human Resource Professional. She enjoys blogging, gardening, photography etc.
Jagvir Kaur who also holds User Name:Jagvir Kaur is a Wikimedian working on Punjabi Wikipedia and its sister projects.She has been contributing to the free knowledge movement since 2015 and was introduced to Wikimedia Projects by User:Satdeep Gill and User:Nitiesh. Her favourite area have been article creations on Punjabi people, culture and literature. She aspires to translate much more content from English and other languages to Punjabi and hence making it accessible to the larger masses in their own native and first language.
She believes that there have been continued efforts undertaken to by Women Wikimedians with some Wikimedians having a fully devoted commitment. She believes for more women to be associated academic circles should be rapidly approached.
Radha Dwibedi also with User Name:RadhaDwibedi is an Odia Wikimedian who works on Odia Wikisource. She came to know about Wikimedia projects when she was invited for a meetup by the fellow Wikimedian User:Psubhashish in New Delhi. She also enjoys uploading pictures and videos on Indian culture and occasionally also contributes to Wikidata.
Having no access to laptop, she devotes whatever time she could from our office computer. She is presently an import-export manager in an export import farm in Delhi, however her native place is a small village in Odisha. She is a strong advocate of women empowerment and believes that Wikimedia ecosystems need to be more adaptive and responsive to Women’s need which would in turn help in bringing more Women Wikimedians.
Maina Tadu who also holds User Name:Maina Tadu contributes to Santali Wikipedia, India's newest language which became live last year. Besides being a housewife she is a social worker and also a Santali language writer. Her larger contributions have been towards Women Biographies and Culture. She has been one of the key few editors who have been contributing since incubation. Having worked on an indigenous language she wishes that other indigenous languages also become live on Wikipedia, the very next moment. She believes that similar to interventions on gender gap, due care needs to be taken and support provided for indigenous languages.
She appreciates women led initiatives such as Wiki For Women Well-being which are for, of and buy the women. Many more such programs should happen.
Japleen is an English Wikimedian, the founder & editor-in-chief of Feminism in India, TEDx speaker, and a UN World Summit Young Innovator. She likes to travel solo, swim, and cycle. An edit-a-thon on Indian women authors by Breakthrough India and CIS was where she got to know about Wikipedia. She majorly works on women biographies especially sports, authors, artists, scientists, etc. She believes, for knowledge to be free, healthy and rich in content, it needs to come from a diverse set of writers and for that she believes targetted workshops and edit-a-thons for marginalized groups like women, trans people, LGB people, Dalit women, Muslim women, etc. should be organized. She also believes that an attempt to identify non-mainstream media houses as legitimate sources may prove assistive in progressing the movement.
Muppavarapu Navya with User Name : Mnavya is a Wikimedian from Andhra Pradesh who primarily edits on Wikidata. She is a coordinator and one of the key people driving the VVIT WikiConnect Movement in the vicinity of Guntur area of Andhra Pradesh. She also coordinated Wiki Women for Women Wellbeing project for the Telugu community. Navya believes that the percentage of Women contributors on Wikimedia projects are increasing however there is more light that needs to be seen.
She prefers to make edits under Geography and Biology steams and was introduced to the Wikimedia movement by fellow wikimedia User:KCVelaga.