Wikipedia, the world’s largest volunteer-made online encyclopedia turned 20 this year!
With as many as 55 million articles, Wikipedia is the 13th most-visited space on the internet. Not many people know this but Wikipedia is also available in 300 different languages including Hindi, apart from English.
The irony is that even though there are a total of 34.1 crore Hindi speakers in the world, only 1.4 lakh pages are available in Hindi on Wikipedia, something that bothered the carpenter-turned-Wikipedia editor, Raju Jangid.
The 22-year-old Raju Jangid has been editing Wikipedia since 2015 and has created more than 1800 pages and in addition, has edited more than 57,000 pages on Wikipedia.
The internet is a fascinating space and Wikipedia, in the early 2000s, was the gateway for many Indians to explore the internet.
The first time Raju stumbled upon Wikipedia was when he searched for Bollywood star, Mithun Chakroborty. Subsequently, all his searches would end up on a Wikipedia page.
Soon, he became more interested in Wikipedia than the information he used to search on the Internet.
Raju learned about Wikipedia’s history, about its page creators, contributors, editors among other information.
How Did The Journey Start?
Hailing from a small Jodhpur village, Thadiya, Raju came from a Suthar background. Owing to his humble background, Raju had to drop out of school in class X and had to start working as a carpenter as his family was struggling to meet ends.
However, Raju’s profession could not lessen his interest in Wikipedia and he decided to contribute to it in Hindi to share information about his village on the internet but there were two major problems.
First, Raju did not have a laptop. He was researching, reading, and typing, all from his bar phone which was an arduous task.
Second, due to the lack of any reference to support his information, his articles that he wrote about his village were pulled down by the editors of Wikipedia.
In spite of the hardships, Raju did not give up and continued trying. He made repeated attempts for over two years to upload the articles but failed and was even blocked by the administrator thrice in the process.
In between these attempts, Raju learned that the articles have to be unbiased and neutral as well as need citations and references to support the information and, only then can he upload them.
The New Beginnings
After learning his lessons, when Raju created a new account in 2015, he decided to follow all community guidelines. As Raju said in an interview said,
“I started writing information about my village and neighbouring areas. After they were approved, I wrote about cricket, as the sport interests me. Eventually, I progressed to composing articles on geography, history, and entertainment.”
However, not all problems were solved. Raju still faced logistical issues. Despite the ability and the confidence to write, he could not write long articles over 150-200 words because the software in his handset would keep on crashing, deleting all the information.
Eventually, when Raju bought a smartphone, he thought all his problems would be solved now, but it was far from it. The new device too did not help much.
It was in 2016 when things really changed for Raju after he received an opportunity to attend a Hindi Wikipedia conference in Pune, Maharashtra.
“Two members knew about my weak financial condition and discussed the issue with others. They suggested raising a donation campaign to provide me with a laptop and internet connection. It’s a lengthy process, as all members and seniors need to nominate and vote in favour of the hardware donation. Six months later, in December, I received both devices,” Raju said.
Since then, Raju has progressed from being an editor to a reviewer. He has also been nominated as the administrator thrice, the position he has not accepted yet as he does not feel confident enough to take up the added responsibilities.
In 2017, Raju quit his job as a carpenter to pursue his education and make a career in writing.
Raju’s story only reinforces our belief in the saying ‘when there’s a will, there’s a way’.
The 22-year-old Wikipedia editor proved that with consistency and determination one can overcome all odds. It was his love for the Hindi language and his passion that kept him going and he achieved success.
Were you inspired by Raju’s story? Let us know in the comments below!
Image Credits: Google Images
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This post is tagged under: Wikipedia, Happy Birthday Wikipedia, Wikipedia Hindi, Wikipedia Editor, Raju Jangid, Rajasthan, Jodhpur, India, Carpenter, Internet, Internet Searches,Internet Researches, Reading On Internet, Laptop, References, Citations, Consistency, Determination, Hard Work, Inspiring, Feel Good, Smartphone, Bar Phone, Logistics, Logistical Issues, Hindi Wikipedia conference, Pune, Maharastra, Donation Campaign, Hindi, Hindi Speakers, Hindi Language, Drop Out, Education, Carpenter Turned Editor, Wikipedia day, Jimmy Wales, Larry Sanger, 2001, First Online Encyclopedia, Open Software, World Wide Web, User Friendly