Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 27:
On the occasion of the 79th Odisha Day, the Odia Wikipedia has decided to take up a new project for the digitization of 11 books of the eminent Odia author Dr Jagannath Mohanty.
In a release, programme officer (Access to Knowledge) of Centre for Internet and Society, Bengaluru Subhashish Panigrahi said the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) would take up the digitization project where KISS students would type them on WikiSource, a sister project of Wikipedia.
These books include children’s literature, travelogues and biographical essays penned by Dr Mohanty.
Digitization of three more books: two in Odia-“Jati, Jagruti O Pragati” (book on people and culture of Odisha), “Bhasa O Jatiyata in Odia” ( a book based on research on Odia language) and an English book on the literary heritage of Odia, “Classical Odia” will be also be inaugurated on this day.
All these digitised books will be made available on the Internet with open access through free licenses. More than 5000 pages will be digitized in these two projects, Panigrahi said.
He said several public and private organizations have started taking the effort seriously after Odia got classical status recently.
Stating that the Odia language is lagging behind since it is not being accessed and used by the people due to the relatively inadequate and low content, Panigrahi said there is a great need for making content available in regional languages for a better sharing of knowledge with the new generations.
With a view to discussing the need for many new tools and technological advancement, a seminar would be held at Jayadev Bhawan in the city here on March 29.
Prof Udayanath Sahu, writer Asit Mohanty, litterateur Dr Lenin Mohanty would participate and discuss about spell check for Odia, use of Odia language in the media and tools for typing in Odia.
It may be mentioned that the Odia Wikipedia has become a useful tool to access vast amount of knowledge in Odia.
Available for free at https://or.wikipedia.org , it is an online encyclopedia that has about 5000 articles. Unlike conventional encyclopedias anyone can create and edit Wikipedia articles by abiding few basic guidelines.
About 20 Wikipedians are contributing articles on diverse topics. Wikipedia has a self correcting mechanism of experienced editors guiding new ones to proofread and correct language and add citations.
So far, about 25 outreach programs have been organized in over 10 educational and community organizations to educate people \with two Wikipedia education programmes running for 3-4 months.