By Venita Gomes (SYBA Journalism)
Goa seems to have found another helping hand in the struggle to revive and preserve the local language Konkani.
Wikipedia, one of the world’s leading online knowledge portals, has taken the initiative to keep Goa’s mother tongue intact. Wikipedia Foundation San Francisco along with Centre of Internet Society (CIS) are funding A2K (Access to Knowledge), a project that aims to create a full-fledged Konkani Wikipedia site in the Devanagri script.
The CIS has been conducting free lectures for any group of people who are interested in spreading information in the Konkani language. CIS and Wikipedia have been targeting Goan colleges to extract a small pool of students who can contribute in the development of Konkani Wikipedia.
Recently this team conducted its workshop at St. Xavier’s College. The students who attended learned how to edit and post Konkani articles on Wikipedia.
Programme director, Mr. Vishnu Vardhan said, “Students have access knowledge and information. If they contribute by writing articles in Konkani for Wikipedia, it will be quiet beneficial and useful. Hence we are collaborating with educational institutes, students, and bloggers of Konkani sites who can contribute articles for Wikipedia.”
Stating the importance of this programme, Mr. Vardhan further added, “What goes online stays online. All the articles on Wikipedia would benefit the coming generation. And Konkani Wikipedia is one medium which will last forever and people would be able to access information anytime. So if many people could contribute to Konkani Wikipedia it will flourish to the fullest.”
There’s no second thought on the importance of this initiative and with the massive growth of the internet, such programmes become more meaningful and necessary.
Prior to his workshop, Wikipedia had conducted a similar programme for the students of Journalism and Mass Communication & Videography in the last academic year. Wikipedia is looking forward to a long term association with St. Xavier’s College and especially the Departments of Journalism and Mass Communication and Videography.
It is such initiatives and industry tie-ups that make the Journalism course at St. Xavier’s College unique among several college across India