The state government is kick-starting its efforts to promote Marathi by involving its over 17 lakh employees in the initiative. In a novel idea, the Maharashtra government will encourage its employees to contribute to the Marathi edition of Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. The government has organised a training workshop on January 12, 2018 to demonstrate how employees can contribute.The objective is to increase contribution which is currently quite low on Marathi Wikipedia. The workshop’s date coincides with the government’s move to celebrate the language between January 1 and 15. The government issued a notification on December 8 asking its employees to register for the workshop by December 30.An official from Mantralaya’s Marathi Language Department told DNA, “The participants will be trained on how they should articulate their views and construct a write-up that is reader-friendly for Marathi Wikipedia. The information available currently is inadequate compared to other languages. The aim is to encourage government employees to open their own accounts and start contributing.” The official added that employees can contribute information on their hometowns or write features and poems. They could also write on local food, recipes and cottage industries. “The uploaded information will reach a global audience and will also help students and citizens, particularly from villages and remote areas, to develop their knowledge of Marathi,” the official said.The move comes close on the heels of the government’s notification that made the use of Marathi mandatory in Central government offices, its undertakings and corporations across the state.Deepak Pawar, president of Marathi Abhyas Kendra (which has been working towards promoting and protecting Marathi) said the government’s move should not become a mere event but there needs to be a proper long term action plan for the promotion of Marathi language. ”It is a welcome move to encourage government employees to contribute on Marathi Wikipedia. At the same time, the government needs to pen its reports and host of communications in Marathi too,” he opined.

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Govt staff to write for Marathi Wikipedia