Wikipedia now available in Tulu

In another boost to yet another Indian language, the Wikipedia in Tulu has gone live.

The news was announced by two key community organisers on Saturday who helped to make an eight-year-dream come true, IANS reported.

Dr Vishwanatha Badikana, a PhD in Kannada literature in Mangalore (Karnataka) and Bharathesha, a mechanical engineer based in Muscat announced at the Wikiconference India 2016, India's second national Wikipedia meet in half a decade which is being held in Chandigarh this weekend.

Tulu, which is spoken by around 2 million speakers mostly in southwest Karnataka and in Kasaragod district  of Kerala belongs to the family of Dravidian languages. According to some scholars, Tulu is among the earliest Dravidian languages with its roots going back some 2,000 years.

Wikipedia itself is available in 22 Indian languages, with Tulu becoming the 23rd. There are another one-and-half dozen Indian language Wikipedias under development at present. However, not all languages have an active wiki community.

Located at tcy.wikipedia.org, the Tulu Wikipedia had been in "incubation" since 2008 and the term was used to describe such online collaborately-crafted encyclopedias which were still waiting to go "live" or active and come online.

It was reactivated around 2014, following some meetings and workshops and the concept was also showcased that year at a "World Tulu Conference" stall in  December.

"There are about 200 registered users (editors), out of which around 100 have more than 10 edits. On an average, there are about 8 to 10 active editors," Dr UB Pavanaja from the Bengaluru-based Centre for Internet and Society, Bengaluru, and one of the mentors of Tulu Wikipedia, told The Hindu newspaper.

He further added that, "Vishwanatha Badikana, a Kannada professor, followed by Bharatesha Alasandemajalu, an engineer, are the highest contributors."

According to Pavanaja, the achievement would help create pressure on the government to include Tulu in the Eighth Schedule of Indian Constitution.

Wikipedia is available in 22 Indian languages including, Assamese, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Newari, Odia, Pali, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. 

The inclusion of Tulu takes the count to 23.