In a BBC ‘Sports Hackathon’ more than 300 entries of 50 Indian sportswomen were added into Wikipedia in India today. Part of the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year award (ISWOTY), this is the first ever initiative to increase information on women sports players online, for which the BBC collaborated with over 300 journalism students in 13 universities across India in English and six Indian languages: Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu.
The 50 sportswomen whose entries have been added or expanded were chosen by a jury of eminent sports journalists, experts and BBC editors. BBC’s research revealed some of these players had either no information about them or limited presence online which was available only in English.
Mary Hockaday, Interim Director of BBC World Service said: “With our commitment to cover more women and youth related stories, I am delighted this initiative is adding valuable content online which is the result of in-depth interviews and thorough research done by BBC journalists in India.”
The public can now find out about the inspiring journey of prominent and young players like para- badminton world champions Manasi Joshi, Parul Parmar, Arjuna awardee wrestler Divya Kakran , boxers Nikhat Zareen and S. Kalaivani, shooting world champion Yashaswini Singh Deswal, wrestler Sonam Malik, long jumper Shaili Singh and many more (full list is in the notes section).
Satdeep Gill, a long-time Wikipedia volunteer editor, said: "Only 18% of biographies on Wikipedia are about women, and a lack of reliable sources about women is one of the primary reasons behind this.The collaboration with BBC has bridged the gap by creating primary sources on Indian sportswomen, but it also aims to train journalism students as future editors in English and Indian languages."
Mr Gill led on training the students participating in the BBC Sports Hackathon on how to add new entries and build upon existing ones in Wikipedia.
The BBC Sports Hackathon supplements this year’s BBC ISWOTY award. The winner of BBC ISWOTY is selected by public voting and will be announced on 8 th March in a virtual awards ceremony.