A two-day-long, 100 women edit-a-thon event was held in Bhubaneswar on 18 and 19 March. This first-of its kind of event in India, it was jointly organised by ‘Sambad’, arguably the largest circulated Odia daily, and Odia Wikipedia to mark the International Women’s Month.

Edit-a-thons are events in which editors of various online communities, such as Wikipedia, come together to edit and enrich the content of a specific topic

The event was held in Sambad Bhawan where journalists from Eastern Media Ltd, which publishes Sambad and Kanak News, a leading Odia news channel, collaborated to edit write-ups on 100 successful Odia women in Odia Wikipedia (or.wikipedia.org).

The women who featured in the list are pioneers in their fields, such as social work, politics, literature, art & culture, theatre and sports.

Eastern Media Ltd’s Executive Director Tanaya Patnaik was the supervisor of with this event. He was supported by Odia Wikipedia’s Shailesh Patnaik and Chinmayee Mishra.

Tanaya Patnaik says, “Odisha and Odias have such rich history and accomplishments, but information regarding the same is limited on the Internet. Wikipedia has emerged as the most popular go-to information site and it is essential that we Odias as a community get together to make our presence felt on the web. We loved the idea of collaborating with Odia Wikipedia for an edit-a-thon aiming at creating 100 Wikipedia articles on Odia women achievers. This would be an incredible learning experience for us.”

There is no doubt that Wikipedia is the most popular go-to information site on the web. Edit- a-thons such as this should be carefully nurtured as it goes a long way in creating gender sensitivity among users. More such efforts should be made to increase the quantity and improve the quality of information available on women achievers, who do not have equal representation on the web platform presently.

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