By Syed Ali Mujtaba
Creation of Kashmiri language Wikipedia is a passion for five Kashmiri youth – Iflaq, Iman Qazi, Tajamul, Rishabhat, and Hugled. They are making a huge effort to create Kashmiri Wikipedia so that the vast literature available in the Kashmiri Language could be converted into digital format.
Kashmiri language Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia project written and maintained by the Kashmiri volunteers. It is open-source on the web in collaboration with the Wiki-based editing system.
“Even though this work started some time ago it could not take off, due to lack of information and also due to lack of passionate volunteers. Now some Kashmiri youth have volunteered for this project, this dream has gained momentum since 2021” says, Iflaq, a Radiology student, from Srinagar.
‘However, we are faced with some problems like how to bridge the gaps between the Kashmiri language and the digital platform. Suppose if you search for a Kashmiri word, the search engines won’t throw any meaningful results. This is because there is a lack of Kashmiri language content on the web. It is to fill this gap Kashmiri language Wikipedia is being created, says Iflaq.
He adds that most of the volunteers of Kashmiri Wikipedia are no language experts but their love for their mother tongue is driving them to take up this work. They keep on creating new pages and checking the dictionaries for spellings so that the pages remain error-free, said Iflaq, a regular contributor to the Kashmiri Language Wikipedia.
Tajamul another Wikipedia contributor says, “We contribute to the Kashmiri Wikipedia so that our language is kept alive in the digital world. We are not paid for this work but it is our labor of love for our mother tongue that’s motivating us to do this work. “
“There are several Kashmiri language organizations in the state that can do this work in a much better way than us, but they are all in deep slumber. When volunteers contact them, they discourage our effort and do not help us in any way” Tajamul lamented.
He informed us that there are only five contributions who are contributing to this project but this is a very small number if we compare it with the enormity of this project.
The contributions appealed to the Kashmiri-speaking people all over the world to come forward and voluntarily help them in this project. ‘We want more volunteers to create posts so that Kashmiri language Wikipedia could be enriched. If we get more participation, our language will be kept alive.
Anyone can join this project. Sign up and create an article about the subject you are interested in. Kashmiri Wikipedia can be accessed at https://ks.wikipedia.org
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org