Appeal to contribute to Wikisource to keep Assamese language alive

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‘Wikipedia, Wikisource should be vibrant storehouses of information regarding Assam’

HT Correspondent

JORHAT, June 15: Santanoo Tamuly, editor of children’s magazine Mouchaq, has made an ardent appeal to the people of Assam at large to keep alive the language, heritage and history of the state by uploading whatever facts they can collect on the Internet via Wikipedia and also upload Assamese books on Wikisource.

Regarding Wikisource, Tamuly said people should not view uploading Assamese literature into the Unicode format in the net as a task but should take it up in their leisure.

“This library of Assamese literature, novels and books should be enlarged so that this repository can be accessed by one and all. Books after all are a reflection of our thoughts, culture, history and heritage and it has become imperative to continually add books to Wikisource so that our language and literature grows in this digital platform,” he said.

Likewise in Wikipedia, small snippets of information should be uploaded in Assamese language so that it acts as a knowledge bank,” Tamuly further said.

He pointed out that there were only 5000 entries in Assamese in Wikipedia whereas other languages have as many as 50000 to 5 crore.

“The Assamese language is not visible much internationally and needs adequate exposure to survive. We should take advantage of the Internet to build a repository for Assamese readers so that they can access everything with the help of search engines. There is a shift from print to digital media now and books cannot be bought always,” Tamuly said.

He said that in today’s age when everything was available in the Internet, websites like Wikipedia and Wikisource should be vibrant storehouses of information regarding Assam and its people and should be constantly updated.

If anyone regardless of age needed help in how to go about doing so, Tamuly said that he and his associates Bhaskar Bhuyan and Gitartha Bordoloi could be contacted for help at 9435090088, 8751943387 or 8638212553.

Bhaskar Bhuyan said that in order to upload books into Wikisource one could do so by the OCR method, in which a page could be scanned and then transformed into written language instead of typing the whole book as was done earlier.

All one need is a laptop or desktop, internet knowhow, the inclination and a bit of time to upload the material.

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