KOZHIKODE: A Bibliophile, Wikipedia Online Ambassador and member of Wikiproject medicine is how Dr Netha Hussain is introduced on Wikipedia. Speaking to her up-close , the house surgeon at the Medical College here reveals herself to be an energetic young woman who is the pilot volunteer of WikiWomen’s collaborative. She will be travelling to Mexico City next month to take part in ‘Wiki Mania’, the annual conference of people working on Wikipedia.
Already, Netha has visited seven foreign nations, integrating the works of Wikipedia.
“In India, according to the last survey, the percentage of women involved in Wiki editing amounts to just three. The aim of WikiWomen’s collaborative is to improve the participation of women, around the world. I write mostly in Malayalam and the articles are mainly on subjects related to medical science such as community medicine and public health. Earlier, it was easy to update information when I was working at it as a student. The portions covered are translated into Malayalam and I have so far edited more than 15,000 topics,” says Netha.
She is popular being the Wiki Malayalam editor and in 2012 and 2013 was a member of the ‘Individual engagement grants committee.’
She is basically a free-knowledge volunteer for Ted Talks and Mozilla. “There is a plan to combine the activities of Wikipedia and Ted Talks. The latter needs a lot of subtitling, which is being done in regional languages too,” says Netha.
The content writing and editing in Wiki Malayalam was a difficult task in the beginning, she says. But, later in 2011, a unique tool ‘Narayam’ and then the Universal Language Selector was introduced, making editing easier. However, the young physician states that even after the initiation of these, very few people are still coming forward as volunteers.
Netha had invested her passion initially in blog writing. It was only later that she turned to Wiki editing. She was awarded with the ‘Young Woman Achiever’ award by IMA Kozhikode. Her family includes father Hussain E M, a bank manager from Kunnamangalam, mother advocate Juvairia N V and sister Fidha Hussain, a first year MBBS student.