The Odia Wikimedia community celebrated “Odisha Day” on 29th March at Jayadev Bhawan. Inaugurating this event, eminent linguist Padmashree Dr. Debiprasanna Pattanayak said, ‘Collaborative effort and open access to knowledge repositories will enrich our language an culture’. He also discussed about the efforts being laid for bringing Odia language as the sixth Indian classical language. Majority of the Odia publications are not available on the internet and readers are devoid of easily accessible. He discussed about the process of digitization for preserving valuable books that are out of print and the old palm leaf manuscripts.
Odia Wikipedia has been trying to popularize use of Odia language in the Internet since 2002. Available at or.wikipedia.org it is now 6000 articles rich and growing. More than 470,000 visitors visit Odia Wikipedia every month which also gives it the status of the largest Odia encyclopedia on the Internet. To enrich the online encyclopedia and getting more books digitized, Wikipedians organized a two day event at Jayadev Bhawan. Along with Dr. Debiprasanna Pattanayak, Professor Udayanath Sahu, The Odisha Review’s editor Dr. Lenin Mohanty, Odisha Bhaskar’s editor Pradosh Pattnaik, language researcher Subrat Prusty, Kalinga Institute of Social Science (KISS)’s principal Dr. Madan Mohan Sahu, Manik-Biswanath Smrutinyasa’s chairman Allhadmohini Mohanty along with the trust’s secretary Brajamohan Patnaik and senior members Sarojkanta Choudhury and Shisira Ranjan Dash.
11 books of eminent Odia writer Dr. Jagannath Mohanty were released in Creative Commons 3.0 license that will allow anyone to reuse and even make commercial use of the content with attribution. KISS will be digitizing these books by training their students. Allhadmohini Mohanty formally gave written permission to Odia Wikimedia community for releasing and digitizing these books. Dr. Debiprasanna Pattanayak and Subrat Prusty from the Institute of Odia Studies and Research also fomally released three books in Creative Commons licenses: Two Odia ones-”Bhasa O Jatiyata” and “Jati, Jagruti O Pragati” and an English book “Classical Odia”. Guests released a DVD containing a new Odia Unicode free font, “Odia OT Jagannatha” designed by Sujata Patel from OdiaLanguage.com, a new Odia input tool, free softwares and offline Wikipedia. It was declared that the Odia WikiSource project will be active soon and would be available at wikisource.org.
Odia Wikipedia administrator Mrutyunjaya Kar gave the inaugural speech and hosted the event. Subhashish Panigrahi from the Centre for Internet and Society read the annual report and shared the vision for the Wikimedia movement. Active Odia Wikipedians Ansuman Giri, Diptiman Panigrahi, Dr. Subas Chandra Rout, Jnanaranjan Sahu, Sasanka Dash, Aditya Mahar and Srikant Kedia coordinated the event.
Disclaimer – The Broken Scooter was the official online partners for Odisha Day, 2014.