MANGALURU: Four students of Alva's College, Moodbidri, woke up to a pleasant surprise a few days ago. They received laptops worth Rs 30,000 each from Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) for their rich contributions to Kannada and Tulu versions of the online encyclopedia.
Pranav Shivakumar, Durgaprasanna, final year students of BA (Journalism) and Yakshit and Ashwin, second-year B.SC students, stood out from a host of wiki contributors as the only four students who bagged laptops.
Under Project Tiger 2.0, aimed at encouraging Wikipedia communities to create locally relevant and high-quality content in Indian languages, the WMF in collaboration with Google gifted laptops to 50 best
contributors from across the country.
These students could make a mark on the most popular general reference work on world wide web thanks to Alva's Wikipedia Association, which was formed three years ago. Currently, the association has 30 members out of which 15 of them are active as wiki contributors and editors in Kannada and Tulu languages.
Durgaprasanna who started writing articles for wiki 2 years ago is just nine short of reaching a 100. She has written articles on medicinal plants, psychotic disorder, autism, down syndrome etc. “It is heartening to see my pages (articles) getting many views,” says Durgaprsanna, daughter of a farmer. She has inspired many to write for wiki.
Pranav, whose contributions have touched the 60-mark has written on some of the big names in the cricket world like Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja and others. The students have also contributed on different places, social issues, scientists and others.
Alva's Wikipedia Association co-ordinator Ashok KG points out to the huge scope for wiki contributors in regional languages compared to English where articles have been written on almost everything that people search for. The contributors do not get any monetary benefit but Ashok says that it will help them improve their writing skills and counts in job interviews.