As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, a small group of editors under Project SWASTHA has been working to make sure that Wikipedia articles in Indian languages are updated with accurate and up-to-date information on the pandemic. Abhishek Suryawanshi, director of SWASTHA and Wikipedia Ambassador, spoke to us from Miami on how the team is facing the challenge. SWASTHA was started late last year to update medical articles in Indian languages, but has now shifted its focus on the COVID-19 pandemic. SWASTHA stands for Special Wikipedia Awareness for the Healthcare Affiliates The project has 20 volunteers, 20 healthcare experts, and three universities registered COVID-19 related articles on Wikipedia get over 100,000 views in Indian languages per day Edited excerpts from the conversation follow. MediaNama: What is SWASTHA? How did it start? Abhishek Suryawanshi: Last October, we started gathering people to work on healthcare content on Wikipedia in Indian languages. We realised that there are not many healthcare related resources available to Indian communities. We conducted a survey on what stops users from editing healthcare content on Wikipedia. The answers were quite obvious — people didn’t feel confident about writing about healthcare content. They were unsure of medical terminology. They also lacked guidance. SWASTHA came into the picture to bridge this gap Medical professors and doctors have lots of knowledge, but not much time. Students have a lot of time but they don’t have information. Average Wikipedia users do want to edit healthcare content, but don’t know medical terminology. That’s how SWASTHA came into the…
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