Arjuna Rao Chavala
Ten years after its establishment in India, Telugu Wikipedia (te.wikipedia.org) is poised to overtake the world’s largest free Internet encyclopedia Hindi and Tamil versions, aided by an increasing number of active contributors.
With about 53,000 articles on diverse topics, the Telugu Wikipedia is not too far from the one in Tamil, which has roughly 58,000 articles in its kitty. Hindi leads the pack with 113,000 articles.
With an objective of expanding Telugu Wikipedia to 100,000-plus articles in the next one or two years, a team of Wikipedians are touring the entire State of Andhra Pradesh for encouraging youth to make their contributions to Telugu Wikipedia and giving them necessary training in uploading the content developed by them.
The aspiring youth are also given instructions about editing the content which they might be familiar with on the basis of authentic information.
“Given the zeal with which we are working, there is no reason why Telugu Wikipedia should not emerge as the biggest Indian language edition of the global online encyclopaedia,” said Arjuna Rao Chavala, Co-Founder of Wikimedia Foundation India Chapter and present member of its Funds Dissemination Committee.
Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the Telugu Wikipedia’s 10th anniversary celebrations held at KBN College here on Saturday, Mr. Arjuna Rao expressed confidence that the Telugu Wikipedia project would achieve its goals due to the painstaking efforts being made by its contributors, who were spending their time and money out of personal interest.
It was planned to give awards in the name of Komarraju Venkata Lakshmana Rao (publisher of ‘Andhra Vignana Sarvaswam’ which was considered ‘Andhra encyclopaedia’) to the most prolific contributors. The project stood on firm ground as interested persons were coming forward from diverse fields to contribute articles and refine it on a daily basis. Ancient manuscripts and other works on wide-ranging topics were being added to the database to make it more comprehensive.
Telugu Wikipedia, a treasure trove: Mandali
Wikipedians interacting with one another at the Telugu Wikipedia’s 10th anniversary celebrations at KBN College in Vijayawada on Saturday.—Photo: Ch.Vijaya Bhaskar
Andhra Pradesh Official Language Commission Chairman Mandali Buddha Prasad lauded the efforts being made for expanding Telugu Wikipedia and taking it closer to people. He promised to extend his support for that initiative while trying his best to promote the language through all possible means.
Participating in the Telugu Wikipedia’s 10th anniversary celebrations held at KBN College here on Saturday, Mr. Buddha Prasad said it was good that the founding fathers of Wikipedia shared their knowledge and lent a helping hand in setting up its local editions across the world.
Telugu Wikipedia came as a boon for Telugu-speaking people and every effort should be made for expanding its reach and enriching its content from time to time.
On his part, Mr. Buddha Prasad suggested to the Andhra Pradesh government to convert its departmental websites into bilingual ones (English and Telugu) to help the common people understand the information posted thereon.
The government was working on it under the aegis of Minister for IT Ponnala Lakshmaiah, he added. Mr. Buddha Prasad said that the Telugu Wikipedia would be a valuable database by having ancient manuscripts and other such material included in it. The government could get its Archives Department (State Archives and Research Institute) to digitise the information at its disposal and link it up with the Telugu Wikipedia. Such measures should be taken for enhancing the public knowledge and providing it as a tool for academic pursuits, he said. KBN College Committee president U. Sambasiva Rao, secretary S.V.S.M. Razith Kumar, vice-president Narayana Rao, principal P. Krishna Murthy and others were present.
Buddha Prasad says the Telugu Wikipedia will be a valuable database by having ancient manuscripts in it