Hi Yohann,

Thanks for your mail.

If you check the link of chairperson's meeting, you can see, that many participants were not president of any affiliates, they attended the meeting on behalf of the president. For example, Nahid Sultan attended the meeting on behalf of Wikipedia Bangladesh (WMBD) as the General Secretary of WMBD. It is not mandatory to join the meeting as a President of any affiliates, usually, if one representative of an affiliate is present in that conference, he can represent the affiliate. 

In Wikimania 2018, 2 EC members, Viswa Prabha and Krishna Chaitanya Velaga, were present and one of them could have attended the meeting on behalf of WMIN. Can you please explain, why WMIN decided to spend a huge amount of donation money to send WMIN president to attend a meeting, where his presence is not at all mandatory. Does WMIN consider these two members unfit to attend such meeting? 

Waiting for your reply,

On 3 Aug 2018 6:05 pm, "Yohann Thomas" <yohannvt@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Bodhi & other community members

First of all, I would apologise for the delay in reply. Wikimedia India is run by 7 board members(as you are already aware) & any discussion on any topic, requires inputs from all of them.. Since all are unpaid volunteers & have their own professional lives apart from Wikimedia India, there was a delay in drafting a reply. 

As it is a well known fact, Wikimedia India is a volunteer run organisation. There are board members, who discharge their duties towards the chapter, as well as serve their regional communities (as well as user groups) in their volunteer roles.

Another well known fact is that, Wikimedia India still isn't financially independent & is still dependent on external funding which is fraught with regulatory hurdles, including obstacles related to FCRA.

Having said that, many community members juggle their different roles in community, affiliates, committees & in personal & professional roles to attend different conferences run by the Wikimedia & its volunteers around the world. 
In a similar way, our President Mr Rahul Deshmukh had earlier attended the Berlin Wikimedia Conference representing Wikimedia India & then subsequently was invited to Wikimania, especially the Chairperson's meeting at Wikimania. You will find the agenda in the link below. 

With this invitation , Rahul Deshmukh had requested CIS-A2K to fund its trip & they accepted his proposal. 

Going a little off topic & concluding my email, I would really want to appreciate & acknowledge the work done by Abhinav on & offline in relation to the chapter. Eventhough Abhinav, prematurely left the chapter before his term expired, he still continues to support the chapter on different issues, inspite of us still battling with all our regulatory hurdles. I wish there were more such vocal well wishers, when the chapter is going through a difficult time. 

Yohann Thomas 
Wikimedia India 

On Fri 27 Jul, 2018, 12:32 Bodhisattwa Mandal, <bodhisattwa.rgkmc@gmail.com> wrote:

WMIN chapter president Rahul Deshmukh attended Wikimania 2018 in Cape Town without being selected for any type of scholarship. My question is why was he sent to the conference depriving other community members from India who were in the waiting list.

He spoke in the informal chairpersons' meetup for few minutes. The meeting doesn't require president of the organization's presence, and already there were 2 EC member of WMIN present, who could have attended the meeting. 

To me, this is utter misuse of power and abuse of donation money.

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