Sudha Gopalakrishnan who is a co-founder of sahapedia.org and a former founder director (2003-07) at National Mission for Manuscripts, started the session by speaking about the manuscript mission and said, at the manuscript mission, it was an arduous task to put the database together. Yet when someone asked them for 10 pages of manuscripts, even though they had digitized the manuscript, they were not able to provide them as they didn’t have any Intellectual Property Rights. “If knowledge is not free and if you can’t get something you want, then what’s the point,” she says.
This made her think and when she came out of the manuscript mission, she started something called Saha i.e we are together. That’s how sahapedia came into existence. Sahapedia.org was started with the basic philosophy of collaboration, where knowledge holders of different kinds, will bring “all the cultural wealth of India” under one roof.
Sahapedia.org was started in 2010-11 as a non-profit organization.
Sahapedi is an open and digital encyclopedia on arts, culture and history of India which transverses all area from philosophy to food, and various other aspects of India. Here, people and institution could come together and contribute to any extent they can. To put everything together they have divided the structure into 10 sections. It’s not just an encyclopedia where there is only one article. It intends to be authoritative as it can be and also have multiple perspectives to it.
The content is usually sourced through collaborations with expert institutions across the country. At times, some materials are sourced on a contractual basis. They also source the content by public participation. They also try to do as much justice to the element by personally visiting the area, wherever possible.
Sudha ended the session by stressing on the fact that they do not accept any binaries. We could say it was an eye-opening session which provoked us to do good for the society and find happiness in other’s happiness.
About the Author: Prathiksha Devagiri, a student journalist at National School of Journalism, Bangalore. A defence brat. She believes in the thought of never stopping and has just begun as a journalist. She presently writes for Bookstalkist.