Meet the 10th pass carpenter who has edited and created numerous Wikipedia pages.
We all plan a great future for ourselves but not everyone is given the opportunity to pursue their field. Family conditions, financial constraints, societal pressures, many such hindrances stop an individual from walking through their chosen path. The doors to their favourite room are closed and the keys are thrown beyond their reach. While the majority of the people spend the rest of their lives cribbing about lost opportunities, a few of them keep themselves busy in carving a new door, paint it with colours of their choice and thus make their future bright. This is the story of one such personality, a man in his early 20s who does effectively manage his full-time job and studies while contributing to Wikipedia.
Dream Took A 'U' Turn:
Raju Jangid's childhood dream was to become a cricketer. He used to be an ardent follower of M.S.Dhoni and desired to become one like him. However, after he finished his class 10, owing to his family's poor financial status, he had to travel to Pune and take up a job in carpentry. He also left his higher studies.
Encounter with Wikipedia:
Raju was fond of writing since his grade 8. He has hardly any knowledge of the English language but his flair in writing in Hindi was commendable. He also penned many short stories in Hindi while he was at school. Those days, when Raju hadn't even had a mobile of his own, happened to take his brother's phone one day and searched for Mithun Chakraborty on Google. The first link he got was that of Wikipedia. He then observed that all the actors he searched for had a page in Wikipedia. He then wished to have his own Wikipedia page. He started creating content for the page but as he didn't know how to properly go about it, all that he created got deleted. He then noticed that there are very few articles on the Hindi version of Wikipedia. So, he took to creating new articles for it in his spare time. By 2015, he understood how Wiki works, got hands-on in it and thus created a new account. With just a keypad mobile in his hand, he created more than 750 new pages initially. So far, he has created 1890 new pages and edited close to 57,000 pages. He did all these edits from his Samsung keypad mobile. It wasn't easy to type but the passion in him never stopped. He also had no idea of the rules for writing and editing articles initially. Over a period of time, he learnt everything and did it the right way. "I started editing articles on Hindi Wikipedia on January 22, 2015. Since the carpentry work takes about 10-12 hours of my day, I don’t get that much time for it", says Raju who also continued his Class 12 studies.
Raju's Wiki Projects:
Cricket lover Raju noticed that Hindi Wikipedia doesn't contain many pages on cricket. With the love for cricket he had since his childhood, he started "WikiProject Cricket". He started it in 2016 and created more than 700 pages so far. In the year 2020, Raju became a part of the project SWASTHA where he created articles related to health. He updated the pages based on the information on COVID-19 and posted numerous new pages with relevant information.
Challenges and the Aid:
The main challenge that Raju faced was not knowing the English language fluently. Had he had the knowledge of the English language, he would have been able to contribute more to Hindi Wikipedia. Whenever he reads news or a webpage article to collect data, it takes a lot of time for him to completely understand the article that's written most of the times in English. He then has to translate it into Hindi. If not, he has to take the help of Google to translate it. If he doesn't understand the article at all, then he takes the help of fellow Wikipedia editors. Typing from a mobile phone is another challenge. "Many a time, I used to write text, but it was a problem if it was deleted automatically.”, he said. For this very reason, Wikimedia Foundation gave him a laptop as well as internet connection in 2016. "When there was only a mobile, I could not make a big article, but right now, I have a laptop that was gifted by the Wikimedia Foundation, so I can write as many pages as I can.", says Raju.
In the days to come, Raju wishes to start a small company and create jobs to people from villages. He also wants to help add more editors to Wikipedia. As Raju is also fluent in Marwari, he wants to start Wikipedia in Marwari as well very soon.
Though editing on Wikipedia does not earn him any money, the feeling that the pages he made come to the top in Google searches making them accessible to thousands of people is something that gives immense pleasure to Raju. This is a success, according to him. What is success to you? Is it only what you thought of becoming as a child? Or is it walking beyond the mishappenings?
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