I hope you are doing well. We are glad to announce that CIS-A2K has started
the Mula Mutha Nadi Darshan campaign cum contest on 15 May and will run
till 30 June, which is the second iteration of Pune Nadi Darshan 2023. The
contest is to document the Mula & Mutha rivers and their tributaries in the
Pune district on Wikimedia Commons in the form of images and videos. There
are other partner organisations Jeevitnadi, Ecological Society, Samuchit
Enviro Tech, Nisarg Sevak and National Society, come together (with
CIS-A2K) to organise this event to focus on specific water bodies the Mula
& Mutha rivers and their tributaries.
If anyone wants to participate, please sign-up below at the provided link
and upload the media related to Mula & Mutha rivers.
We are excited to announce the launch of the A2K Monthly Engagement Call, a
series of interactive sessions aimed at fostering collaborative learning
within the Wikimedia community. The first call in this series, organized
and hosted by CIS-A2K, will take place on June 3, 2023, from 6:00 PM to
7:00 PM (IST).
The motive behind starting the series of interactive sessions is to bring
the community together to discuss and interact about important topics. You
can find more information about these calls on the following page:
The first Monthly Engagement call will start with Let’s Connect which is an
initiative to create an open and safe learning space for all Wikimedians to
share and learn different skills with other peers and to add value and
contribute collectively to the community. For more information please see
Please join us in the call to learn, share and discuss with us.
On June 5, 2023, as we celebrate Environment Day, A2K is planning to engage
communities and community members in discussions about potential activities
for June. These activities will involve capturing images of the
environment, uploading them to Wikimedia Commons, and adding existing
photos to articles on Wikipedia. We would love to invite Wikimedians and
interested stakeholders to collaborate and join us in planning this
activity on Sunday, May 28, 2023, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.
Preparatory Call for June Month Activity
Sunday, May 28 · 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Time zone: Asia/Kolkata
Google Meet joining info
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/rsy-nhsk-upp
If you have any questions or queries please reach out at a2k(a)cis-india.org
Looking forward to seeing you all.
An interesting conversation is going on here. I would request Indic
community members to follow.
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Butch Bustria <bustrias(a)gmail.com>
Date: Fri, May 26, 2023, 07:51
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Re: [Announcement] Establishment of Wikimedians of
the Asia Pacific User Group
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
To our Bangla Wikimedians who initiated this tensive plan,
I humbly suggest that rather than you set an ambition of going further
east, you work on capacitating collaborating and helping the Wikimedia
communities of Central Asia, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan, Afghanistan and
even the islands of the Indian Ocean. These are the communities left
without a hub. You work on a unique name, join in Iran and I personally
help you on this.
But please don't attempt to cross ESEAP.
Wikimedia East, South East Asia and the Pacific
On Fri, May 26, 2023, 2:10 AM Mrb Rafi <mrbrafi1971(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Well, this is strange and interesting at the same time. There is a lot
> going on inside South Asian communities that have been hidden from the
> world and have started to surface now.
> I have made an effort to analyze and document my observations regarding
> the "WAP UG" and have outlined them in the following list:
> 1. The primary concern is undoubtedly the non-compliance of this UG with
> the standard Affcom procedures, indicating either a lack of capacity or
> willingness to adhere to the requisite rules for the initiation of a UG.
> 2. The home wiki for all three contact persons listed on the meta page
> happens to be bnwiki. Notably, two of them are part of the bnwiki admin
> panel, which comprises a total of 13 editors. bnwiki serves as the home
> wiki for six out of the eight members affiliated with this UG also.
> 3. One of the three contact persons has explicitly stated on their user
> page that they are an associate member of Wikimedia Bangladesh.
> Furthermore, the other two individuals have close affiliations with the
> local chapter in Bangladesh. Their names can be found in the CoT
> <https://w.wiki/5ZZo> for the implementation of the local Wikimania in
> 2022. Those of us involved in the local movement, including myself, are
> aware that these three individuals constitute a significant portion of the
> capable workforce within Wikimedia Bangladesh. It is very unlikely that the
> local chapter's three most active and leading organizers would make such a
> substantial leap without internal discussions within Wikimedia Bangladesh,
> and it is puzzling that the chapter appears to be unaware of this. It is
> worth noting that there are allegations of off-wiki harassment against at
> least one of these three UAP UG contact persons. Additionally, Wikimedia
> Bangladesh is facing backlash within the local community.
> 4. Operating an organization without formal recognition from Affcom does
> not present a fundamental obstacle. I, myself, am leading two non-affiliate
> organized groups and believe that these non-affiliate groups are essential
> to make the movement more distributed and transparent. But, to a lot of
> people, getting recognized as affiliate leaders is rewarding enough which
> may set unrealistic expectations. Personally, I am not a big fan of the
> affiliate structure based on my observations in the local movement, as they
> sometimes prioritize political territoriality over productive endeavors.
> From my experience, it appears that affiliates function as the sole
> authority within a designated territory determined by Affcom, and they are
> prepared to safeguard their sovereignty over that territory (including the
> onwiki spaces covered by the language or culture of the territory) at any
> cost. Regarding Bodhisattwa's expectations, it is improbable that Wikimedia
> Bangladesh, "being a decentralized organization and with good community
> connection and support", would extend assistance to other organizations
> within their territory. Unfortunately, this local affiliate has a troubling
> history of suppressing emerging leadership in order to maintain control
> over its perceived "territory."
> 5. I am concerned that the emergence of this UG is an inevitable outcome
> of long-standing tensions that have remained concealed within the region
> for decades. It's more of what we can see with the naked eye. The South
> Asian community has complex dynamics that are tricky to figure out. There
> are currently several conflicting parties here without anyone to mediate.
> WMF couldn't solve the legal complexities of sending grants here even after
> working for more than a decade. The conflict was previously managed due to
> the professional support extended by WMF in recent years. But WMF started
> destroying that capacity themselves through the so-called "budget and staff
> cuts" recently. There is literally no expert in the WMF with in-depth
> knowledge about the socio-political realities of this region, which is
> essential for mediating between these confronting parties and continuing
> the resource flow and professional support here. Consequently, conflict
> appears to be unavoidable.
> I have made an attempt to articulate some of the shared perspectives held
> by many local volunteers that often remain unvoiced on the global stage,
> where they need to be heard. You may understand that I won't be able to
> present everything, but I have tried my best while staying within the
> boundary that preserves my safety. Hope it helps to understand the depth of
> the situation.
> Wikimedia-l mailing list -- wikimedia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org, guidelines
> at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> Public archives at
> To unsubscribe send an email to wikimedia-l-leave(a)lists.wikimedia.org
Wikimedia-l mailing list -- wikimedia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org, guidelines at:
Public archives at
To unsubscribe send an email to wikimedia-l-leave(a)lists.wikimedia.org
On behalf of A2K, I would like to provide some updates about our ongoing
activities and team composition.
We would like to inform you that the Mula Mutha Nadi Darshan 2023 campaign
is currently underway and will continue until the end of June. This
campaign aims to document the Mula and Mutha rivers, along with their
tributaries in the Pune district, on Wikimedia Commons through images and
videos contributed by active citizens. A2K is collaborating with the Pune
River Revival group of active citizens & civil society organisations.
Jeevitnadi and the Ecological Society are leading the campaign. If you are
interested in participating, please join us at
In other news, the annual proposal of A2K is currently under review by the
South Asia Regional Grants Committee. You can find the proposal here:
Regarding our program, I would like to update you that CIS-A2K is currently
conducting a structural review of the support we provide to communities
through our request page, due to regulatory and organizational concerns. As
a result, we have to temporarily pause the support through the request page
until further notice. We appreciate your patience and understanding in this
We have some updates regarding our team. Pavan Santhosh has recently joined
CIS-A2K as the Program Manager, where he will closely collaborate with
Indian language Wikimedia communities. Pavan is an experienced Wikipedian
with a decade-long association with Indian language Wikimedia projects.
Prior to joining CIS-A2K, he served as a Community Manager and Global Legal
Support Specialist at Quora and previously worked as a Community Advocate
in A2K. Tanveer Hasan has joined CIS as our new Executive Director.
Tanveer previously worked with A2K as the Program Manager from 2016-2018
and later held various roles at the Wikimedia Foundation, including Senior
Program Manager for the Community Resources Team. We extend a warm welcome
to both Pavan and Tanveer.
We are excited about the upcoming activities and collaborations with Indian
Sr Program Officer
Centre for Internet & Society - Access to Knowledge Program
Dear Maryana Iskander and Wikimedia Foundation,
I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to request more transparency
about the roles and responsibilities of WMF staff in India. I am assuming
good faith and believe that any issues arising are unintentional; however,
these occurrences seem to be negatively impacting the overall movement.
It has come to my attention that WMF allocates a relatively small amount of
funds to the Indian community. This implies that a significant portion of
donor money is spent on staff, making it crucial to ensure that donors and
the Wiki community are aware of how the funds are being utilized and the
Firstly, I have noticed that WMF hires non-community staff members who may
be initially unfamiliar with the Wikimedia community and movement in
general. This is not an issue as long as newly recruited staff members are
willing to work collaboratively with the community, rather than competing
with them. Unfortunately, there have been instances where this has not been
the case, such as WMF India staff paying Instagram users without consulting
the community, and the recent WikiConference India, where WMF staff
overshadowed volunteer committees and took over volunteer roles during
Initially, I thought that privacy concerns might be the reason behind the
lack of transparency. However, during the recent conference, I observed
that such staff members were comfortable being on stage and being
identified as WMF Staff amongst friends from the industry whom they invited
to the conference. It appears that more people from the industry are aware
of WMF India staff's existence than the community itself. Some staff
members were keen to take credit for the entire movement and even
conference planning in front of the volunteer community and friends from
the industry. It might help and advance the careers of WMF India staff by
showcasing WikiConference India on their resumes, but the main purpose of
such community events is to give a chance to community leadership and to
celebrate unpaid community members. I am okay with WMF staff being paid,
but it should not undermine unpaid volunteers and the movement's ethos.
The Wiki community looks up to WMF staff for support, but now there is a
fear that WMF staff may hijack community programs and stages, with
WikiConference India being a recent example.
There seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding the roles and
responsibilities of WMF India staff members and their interactions with
volunteer communities. The Wiki community is dedicated to the mission and
will continue to thrive even without WMF staff. I believe it is crucial for
WMF to publicly share the roles, responsibilities, and outcomes of the WMF
India staff over the last few years. This transparency will enable
community members and donors to appreciate the efforts of WMF India staff,
as currently, the impact of their work remains unknown.
I kindly request that WMF provides a list of all WMF India staff members
and their achievements, so we can celebrate their accomplishments and
collaborate with them more effectively.
Looking forward to your response.
Sent from my iPhone
Hope this email finds you well. In continuation to our previous community
calls, we are planning to host regular calls with the communities to engage
and involve in the general discussions around Wikimedia projects and
activities. As a part of this, we are organizing the seventh Open Community
Call which is scheduled on 21 May 2023 to address the ongoing activities
among the communities and give a last update related to the conference from
Please click on this public link
and add the Open Community Call calendar to get meeting invitations
directly to your calendar, so that you don't miss out on any calls. For
more details of the meeting like agenda, etherpad, and timings, please
check the Open Community Call
Please add the following to your respective calendars and we look forward
to seeing you on the call.
[WCI 2023] Open Community Call
Date: 21 May 2023
Time: 1800-1900 [6 pm to 7 pm] (IST)
Google Link: https://meet.google.com/ubk-ugun-qzu
Please join the General Chat telegram group <https://t.me/+X9RLByiOxpAyNDZl>
and share your ideas, thoughts, inputs, suggestions, or questions.
Alternatively, you can also leave us a message on the Conference talk page
Look forward to connecting with you all,
Nitesh and Nivas.
Wkiconference India 2023 starts tomorrow. The home page is here -
I have many questions -
* Where the event is happening?
* If someone just wants to walk-in, where he/she should go?
* Sessions are listed. But no details. There could have been link to
the submissions so that we can know what are the details
* No mention of links to online streaming. No live streaming?
I just observed something peculiar about this event. Most details, for ex.,
venue, are kept as secret. What is the necessity to do so? When I travel to
such events, I start posting in social media (FB, Insta, Twitter, Whatsapp
status) about the event, start posting photos from airport itself till end
of event. So far I did not see a single post about the event, the venue, the
goodies, the sessions, etc. What's going on? Whether the organisers have put
a ban on such activities? If that is the case, then it is totally against
the philosophy of free knowledge and open society.
I am just wondering. I am sure many more also will be wondering.
Thanks and regards,
Hope you are doing well. Glad to meet you again and appreciate your
involvement in the Wikimedia movement. We already know that March month is
known as Women’s month. A lot of campaigns or events are going on to
celebrate the month. For the same purpose, CIS-A2K and Commons
Photographers User Group (CPUG) have planned an online activity for March.
For the same purpose, CIS-A2K and Commons Photography User Group have
designed an online activity for March.
The activity will focus on Wikimedia Commons and it will begin on 21 March
and end on 31 March 2023. During this campaign, the participants will work
on structure data, categories and descriptions of the existing images. We
will provide you with the list of the photographs that were uploaded under
those campaigns, conducted for Women’s Month.
You can find the event page link here:
We are inviting you to participate in this event and make it successful.
The tasks will be easy, however, these tasks are essential to improve or
add. There will be at least one online session to demonstrate the tasks of
the event. We will come back to you with the date and time.
If you have any questions please write to us on the event talk page.