Odia Wikipedia reaching towards Western Odisha

 Wikipedians reaching towards Western Odisha, to spread the digitization movement of Odia language with the help of Odia Wikipedia”

From the last 2-3 years, Odia Wikipedia community was able to organize workshops and outreach programs in different parts of the coastal and central Odisha. With over 38 active Wikipedians (As of 2016), Odia community is growing day to day and increasing its capacity in different parts of Odisha. The increase in the number of Wikipedians in western Odisha inspired the Wikipedians to conduct a workshop about Wikipedia in Sambalpur University.

On 27th November 2016 an orientation cum workshop program for Odia Wikipedia was organized for the students of Computer Science and Application department and Odia department in Sambalpur University. 57 participants consisting 30 male and 27 female participants including 5 faculty members attended the event. Dr. Chitta Ranjan Tripathy, the Vice-chancellor of the University was the guest of honor at the workshop. Three Wikipedians; Mrutyunjay Kar, Jnanaranjan Sahu, Sailesh Patnaik, and Nistha Ranjan Dash attended the workshop for mentoring the participants.

The workshop started with an introduction to Odia Wikipedia, digitization and Wikipedians present there by Dr. (Mrs) Sarada Baboo, Professor Computer Science, and Application department. The first two hours before lunch was for proper orientation of Wikimedia projects for the participants which included different Wikimedia projects, How to contribute in them, Wikipedia policies and Odia Wikipedia and its journey. Post lunch there was two hours training for participants on How to create accounts, articles, and other basic things. During the training session, almost 20 or above Wikipedians were able to create accounts.

Workshop in Sambalpur University was an important step to spread the awareness about Wikipedia movement in Western Odisha, This was the first workshop in Sambalpur University, and the second workshop in western Odisha after three years. Sambalpur University has almost 196 colleges under its affiliation in seven different districts in western Odisha. A regular follow up with University, faculties, and students will help in building an active community in western Odisha.

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