WARNING: THIS IS A PARTICULARLY LONG MAIL, WHICH TALKS ABOUT A FEW PERSONAL
EXPERIENCES AS WELL.
So, this is the mail about the event which happened at NITT this weekend.
Before I start off, I'll apologise and say thanks to:
* Nitika Tandon, For all the support and help you have given me in the last
two months. The NITT event even reached such a stage thanks to your support
and presently the Coimbatore community is hanging by your support.
* The Chapter EC, especially Naveen, Tinu and Anirudh. You guys gave me
tremendous support for everything I've done, not just this NITT event.
So, I'll start where it matters:
Last year, NITT celebrated Wikipedia 10 at their campus. Saagar, [now] a
3rd yr B.Tech student of NITT, and Nitika [after I told her] inferred that
this meant there might've been an editor on campus. I didn't infer any such
thing. I'm very stupid in such matters.
This year, Saagar Varma, the said student was on the Marketing team of the
annual tech fest of the institute, Pragyan 2012. He sent a mail to the
foundation office in the US, who directed him to Swaroop Rao. Swaroop, due
to exams forwarded it to the Tamil Nadu community. Bala couldn't be part of
it and said so earlier.
I was initially reluctant, but two of my cousins, one who is an ex-NITT-ian
and the other who attended Pragyaan in 2009-10 convinced me to take it up.
Pragyan got ISO certification this year, something that is great. The ISO
certification it received is the same one which Bombay Airport has. It
required us to sign an MoU with them, which explicitly stated that we'd
have to give swags, something which I convinced them hard that it would be
difficult as we are a Non profit body without any proper funding. We run on
The MoU finally got signed without the swags part by Naveen and the
organisers of Pragyaan.
The actual event.
I was promised support in the form of volunteers, internet connectivity,
atleast 70 people participating etc.
Volunteers, I got none, internet connectvity, happened after the the thing
started, and only 17 people finally filled the sheet that I passed around.
Nitika sent over a presentation, which is where I screwed up. I should've
seen it a week in advance to prepare, which I did the night before the
workshop. I wanted to do it at a Cyber cafe before leaving, but couldn't.
I lost two slides due to format conversion to pptx, but I still explained.
Accomodation and transportation:
I had clearly stated two people would be attending around a month in
THere was no proper acomodation, I slept two nights on Saagar's bed as i
had said okay to it.
Sohan arrived on Saturday morn and left the same night.
He arrived at 6.15 when half the crowd pours into Trichy. He could've been
picked up, which, didn't happen. Neither was he dropped back.
, on the other hand arrived at 2.35am, but chose to go around the district
[lying to my parents that I was picked up, if they found out, I'd be
screwed up now], and went off t Tanjore to enjoy some Idlis and Boiled corn
at 4am in the morning before heading back to Trichy and then the institute.
The main issue:
Sohan was treated badly. He is a working professional, someone who has
finished studying, and is therefore senior to anyone prganising Pragyaam.
The event is handled only bu UG students.
I, on the other hand, am merely BSc student. The animosity between BSc and
Engg students is a known fact. It didn't make any difference to me whehter
I was treated well or not. I ended the trip with a visit to my uncle in the
city, before I headed back home. All I feel is, I should've made a trip
home instead. I took two days off anyway. Home would've meant more
Wikipedia editing, time with parents [something which a Hostel students
longs for] and well, I just love home. Especially after what just happened.
Sohan, I feel sad that I dragged you unnecesarily into this mess. Please
accept my apology.
The bottom line.
The event was poorly handled, and Sohan wasn't treated well. I don't care
what they think of Wikipedia, they'll still use it for assignments.
Sohan and I attended the McAffee Security quiz and the Pragyaan Main Quiz,
both of which had the entire text copied word-to word, with citations
removed from Wikipedia.
I guess this'll mean I'll stop volunteering for academies from now on and
will concentrate more on Wiki editing and meetups in Coimbatore and
Sorry for screwing up guys, this was my second academy, and I had played a
much smaller role in my first one. [
Hope something will be learned from this.
We cannot give Swags again.
Wikipedia is considered Social Service by some here.
Sathyamangalam-Gobichettipalayam Star Gazers, Coimbatore.