A brief update has been posted while answering a question on Wikimedia-l. The page is under construction, and an announcement on the India mailing list will be made separately with details in a few days.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
প্রেরক: Bodhisattwa Mandal <bodhisattwa.rgkmc@gmail.com>
Date: বুধ, ২৮ এপ্রিল, ২০২১ তারিখে ১০:১৬ PM টায়
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] COVID-19 second wave and protection of our most valuable movement asset
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>

Hello Andreas and all,

There is some good news. Wikimedia Foundation Community Resources team has given permission to CIS-A2K to allot funds to reimburse vaccines, send COVID protection kits and provide counselling for Wikimedia volunteers in India. CIS-A2K has consulted Foreign Currency Regulation Act expert lawyers and got confirmation that the program can be executed as per the law of India. With this progress, we are now good to go. We had formed a 5-members committee of physicians (4 of them) from the Indian Wikimedia volunteer community. They had their first meeting almost an hour ago to decide the next steps to provide support as quickly and efficiently as possible. The action points are noted from the meeting and within a few days, we are sure that we will be able to provide support to the volunteers.  A meta page is also being drafted, which will undergo expansion and modification in the next few years. The lnk is here - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_support_for_Wikimedians/India


On Wed, 28 Apr 2021 at 20:24, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Bodhisattwa,

Could I ask you to please keep us up to date on the further Wikimedia response to your request?

I would love to hear about anything good that is happening as a result of your having asked here – and if nothing useful is happening, I would love to hear about that too – here or by private email, if you prefer.

I am very aware that the WMF ran its first fundraising campaign in India this fiscal year, and that one of the fundraising banner messages asked people ... "to donate. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable neutral information that their work matters."[1]

And as you can read in my other post today, it's not like the Wikimedia Foundation is poor.

Be safe.

Dear Wikimedians,

We (the community resources team at the Wikimedia Foundation) have been in
contact with colleagues from the Wikimedia movement in India and wanted to
share some of the preliminary outcomes of our discussions.

Firstly, we want to acknowledge the disastrous effect COVID-19 has had on
Wikimedia communities and its members across the movement. The COVID-19
pandemic has affected many of us in both direct and indirect ways.

As has been noted by others on this email chain, we all agree that
Wikimedia volunteers are the most valuable assets of our movement.  As
mentioned in the previous email, providing insurance support to Wikimedia
volunteers in India would not have been possible due to regulatory and
legal challenges. However, we are committed to provide other help and
service to ensure that the movement is supported.

As discussed on this chain, we feel that our partners are the best placed
to understand the needs locally and regionally. We are therefore working
with colleagues from India directly to provide practical help and support
to the movement there including access to vaccines, PPE kits, disseminating
knowledge and fighting misinformation. We will continue to partner with
them and others to establish criteria in line with our mission to support
the communities. These are exceptional times, indeed but together we will
be able to make a difference and support each other.

For any questions about this initiative please feel free to contact:


On behalf of Community Resources Team,

Tanveer Hasan

ಗುರು, ಏಪ್ರಿ 22, 2021 ರಂದು 02:41 ಅಪರಾಹ್ನ ಸಮಯಕ್ಕೆ ರಂದು Bodhisattwa Mandal <
bodhisattwa.rgkmc@gmail.com> ಅವರು ಬರೆದಿದ್ದಾರೆ:

> Hi,
> COVID-19 has hit hard in India again making it the leading epicentre of
> the disease caused by the new mutated strains. The infection and death
> tolls have reached record high and the health system in different parts of
> the country is on the verge of collapse.
> Like other common people, many Wikimedians might have lost their jobs last
> year. Like last year, this year too, many volunteers have been infected and
> hospitalised. Some of them have lost their family members, relatives,
> friends and other dear ones.
> Volunteer online community is the heart of our movement and every
> dedicated, experienced and long-term volunteers are our most valuable
> asset. It is not at all exaggerating to say that many language Wikimedia
> projects or WikiProjects are dependent completely on one (or two or
> three...) person's persistence to build it as a tall building from scratch
> and if we lose some of those people, those projects might totally stop
> forever. There are so many fantastic people in the movement who have been
> doing incredible work in their volunteer capacity for such a long time
> (sometimes more than a decade) to make what Wikimedia is today.
> I would like to urge people with power and money in the movement to find a
> way to protect these assets. We not only cannot afford to lose them, but
> also need to proactively protect them. Maybe a small step to provide
> personal or family COVID-19 insurance might help a lot. Maybe sending money
> to buy COVID-19 vaccines might save some of them. Who knows?
> If we can spend millions of dollars for conferences or a couple of hundred
> thousand dollars to celebrate 20 years of Wikipedia during Wikimania, can
> we not spend a few thousand dollars to protect at least some of the people
> around the globe to some extent who made it possible to turn Wikipedia into
> its 20th birthday?
> Disclaimer: I had tried to convince the grants team from my personal
> capacity last year when COVID-19 was spreading rapidly in India but was
> denied due to their legal concerns regarding insurance registration as
> well as settlement and liability issues. Few others tried to convince them
> too but failed. I am reaching out to the community to start a conversation
> this time and find a way together.
> I am sorry for my long mail. I could not help it.
> Regards,
> Bodhisattwa
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