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Hyderabad: Over 200 attend 3-day Wiki Conference India 2023

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Hyderabad: Readers in India visit Wikipedia and its other projects more than 797 million times each month, the fifth highest number of views from any country, said the organisation on Tuesday.

Wiki Conference India 2023 (WCI 2023), a conference of Indian and South Asian contributors to Wikipedia and its other projects was held in Hyderabad on May 2.

Wikipedia said in a press release that Indian volunteers are integral and valued contributors to the website, which is available in 24 languages spoken across India. In addition, Indian volunteers contribute to the wider ecosystem of Wikimedia projects such as Wikimedia Commons, Wikisource and Wikidata, and also help in improving technology development and features on Wikimedia websites.

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“India continues to be a key region of expansion for Wikimedia’s knowledge communities, with a growing number of volunteer contributors and enormous potential to expand our reader base in the country. Wikiconference India is an opportunity to celebrate our local communities and their achievements in increasing access to free knowledge across languages,” said the chief advancement officer of the foundation, Lisa Seitz-Gruwell

Lisa added that the weekend’s event created an important platform to enable active growth and collaboration within the South Asia region. 

“Wiki Conference India stands as a testament to the power of leadership and community collaboration in advancing knowledge-sharing and creating a more informed society. Through trust building and language diversity, this conference has become a vital platform for community members to connect, collaborate and contribute to the growth of Wikimedia’s global communities,” said the lead volunteer coordinator for WikiConference Nitesh Gill.

“It is encouraging to see the sheer enthusiasm and participation of Wikimedians at WCI 2023, and I am looking forward to seeing its impact on the development of open knowledge in not only India but the broader South Asia region. I hope this conference provides the grounds needed for further community growth and engagement,” said Nivas Ramisetty, WikiConference India coordinator.

The event was co-organised with a local partner, IIIT Hyderabad and was supported by the Telangana Department of Language and Culture who arranged a cultural dance show and excursion tour. 

The three-day conference which was attended by over 200 people concluded on Sunday evening. The conference explored ways to increase the access and sharing of Indian history, culture and experiences on free knowledge projects globally. Participants from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka met for the first time since 2016.

The conference provided a common platform for Wikimedians (volunteer contributors and Wikimedia Foundation staff members), invitees and stakeholders interested in Indic-language Wikimedia projects and other aspects of the movement in India and South Asia. 

WCI 2023 centred around the theme of “Strengthening Bonds,” chosen to underscore the vital role of building and maintaining robust connections within Wikimedia’s open source communities. The theme was rooted in the belief that a strong support system and opportunities for cross-learning are essential for achieving collective success.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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