My journey as a Wikimedian has a lot of twists and turns, It started while reading an article about Bangladesh Liberation war on English Wikipedia. My 10th board exam (2012) was just ended, so I was busy in reading some articles on Wikipedia, and while reading that article by mistake I clicked on India (Intra-Wiki Link), it took me to India article on Wikipedia and I started reading India article, while coming down I found that there is Odia written on the left side of the article, I was surprised to see that and then I clicked on that too.
After clicking on the Odia it took me to ‘’’Bharata’’’ article on Odia Wikipedia, As a reader, I had always copied, pasted Wikipedia article and turned it into my
Assignments, but this was the first time I got to know that there’s an Odia language Wikipedia. Curiosity increased in my mind, then I started clicking some more buttons and found that there’s a site banner inviting readers to be a part of the 2nd Bhubaneswar workshop which was on 1st April 2012.
I registered in that form, following the steps I created an account on English Wikipedia and edited Bhubaneswar article, which was reverted in very few seconds. On 1st April, I went to attend the workshop then I was just 15 years old and I was scared to enter the room as I found that there are many people older than me, My father forcefully insisted me to participate and I attended the workshop. That time, I was surrounded by lots of enthusiastic language lovers and I was the only one who had studied Odia till class 4. Then after my community members had always encouraged me to take part in community activities, whether on Wiki or off wiki.
Subhasish, Mrutyunjay , Aditya made me a good Wikimedian, They have always helped me in this movement, and taught a lot on solving my mistakes and letting me know more about Wikipedia editing. I have helped in organizing many Odia Wikipedia celebration events from 2013 to 2015 and has also organized workshops for Odia Wikipedia. I initiated three major edit-a-thons in Odia Wikipedia; “Women’s day 2015, “Women’s day 2016” and “Nabakalebara edit-a-thon 2015” (https://or.wikipedia.org/s/toq) and a photograph contest in commons for getting Rathyatra images. I had also got chance to represent Odia Wikipedia in two events by Google (Google I/O extended , Google Dev Fest) at Bhubaneswar, I was also invited as a speaker to Perception 2015 by CET , Bhubaneswar and first Open Access India meetup at Kolkata to speak about “Wikipedia and Use of Wikipedia in an Education program.
Until January 2015, I was just an editor to Wikipedia projects and after attending 10th Bengali Wikipedia conference and Train the Trainer, Bangalore by CIS-A2K I started working actively on most Wikimedia projects.
During BNWiki10, Vishnu invited me to attend TTT 2015 and attending TTT had changed my journey in a different way, I got to know about How to work with the community, GLAM projects and lot more.
In December 2015, I joined as a Program Associate at Centre for Internet and Society’s Access to Knowledge program (CIS-A2K), I was coordinating with CIS since 2013 after Vishnu’s visit to Odia community, but this time, I joined CIS-A2K as a staff for a 3-month contract. During these three months, I did two Workshops at two different places and has succeeded in engaging at least 30 Wikimedians in different Wikimedia projects. A workshop at Puri, India helped in bringing 20 new Wikimedians by doubling the active editors of Odia Wikimedia community. A few new articles related to science and technology have been created and many have been enhanced. I have also mentored these Wikimedians to form an informal group called WikiTungi Puri. I am working with this group to make Odia Wikiquotes a live project. After formation of new WikiTungi (Community-based Wiki Clubs) at Puri, with the help of Bhubaneswar Wikimedians, we revived Bhubaneswar WikiTungi.
I have also helped in bridging the gender gap in Odia Wikipedia by engaging 8 female editors and involving them in Wikimedia activities.
In global movement, I would like to thank Sameer, He introduced me to Anna and Wikipedia Education Program. I also got involved in Wikipedia Education Program newsletter team and has successfully distributed 2 newsletters.
This was my brief journey in this movement in last 4 years, I might have missed some more wonderful experiences and people, but I hope to continue in this movement and gather more memories.