When mountaineer Malli Mastan Babu was found dead on one of his mountaineering trips far away in the mountains of Argentina, a large number of people came together to remember him and pay tribute.
When Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez left the world, best known for his books, ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’, millions took to their Facebook account to tell the world what the writer meant to them. Similar was the reaction to the passing away of actress Zohra Sehgal.
While blog posts, Facebook status updates and tweets are mediums that double up as voices for individuals, Obitopedia is serving a specific purpose. “This is an extension of what we have in real life. When a person passes away, we meet in small groups and talk about the person and the mark he or she has made. Most times, it is not as grand as it is required to be. This space is for that purpose,” explains Vinod K Jose. The aim is to honour and value memories of people who have passed away.
From an individual’s mother who has helped in crafting lives of children as a teacher, to a Malli Mastan Babu, a Gabriel Garcia Maquez and a Zohra Sehgal, this website has testimonials from various people, all sharing their individual experiences of spending time with the deceased. “Popular personalities are given space across media, but what about that person who started the first library in a colony or that individual who started a community hospital? The idea is also to help create a neighbourhood history or a family genealogy,” explains Vinod and adds that it is also a platform that recognises the fact that writing is not limited to journalists or writers alone.
Obitopedia is different from a personal blog in more than one way. While blog posts help an individual pour his or her heart out, Obitopedia provides space for multiple testimonials for an individual. “We want to bring in a plurality of narratives,” shares Vinod.
The website currently has 10 lakh memorials.
How it works?
- If you wish to create a testimonial, the website provides the option of adding a mood to your post, a picture and details of the individual
- You can publish your testimonials in writing, pictures or a video
- It also gives the option to make it public or keep it private
- It also allows others to edit, depending on the privacy settings and add more details
- The history of edits – time of editing and what has been added and removed is also visible