Friday, November 16, 2012

A Small Donation

I donated Rs. 100 to Wikipedia.

This time there is no personal appeal from its founder, Jimmy Wales. Nor can you see the face of one of the several authors or editors peering down from the top of your browser window. This time the message is directly stated in bold letters across a green banner at the top.

"Wikipedia is non-profit, but it's the #5 website in the world. With 450 million monthly users, we have costs like any top site: servers, power, rent, programs, staff and legal help.
To protect our independence, we'll never run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations: 100 rupees is the most common, the world average is about 1500 rupees.
If everyone reading this gave 100 rupees, our fundraiser would be done within an hour. Please help us forget fundraising and get back to Wikipedia."

I certainly would have donated more, if I could have.
Amongst some other things, Wikipedia has probably had one of the greatest impact on mankind.
It has become the go to source for billions of information seekers world-wide on any topic under, on and above the sun. And we all use it, several times a day. To gather facts, to get the news, to see the pictures, to know history, to settle arguments and to learn something new.

The concept of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam", one of the integral parts of Hindu philosophy, suggests that the whole world is a family. You would imagine in a family that one seeks the wisdom of the elders. Not unlike that, on earth today, we seek Wikipedia for knowledge. It gives a new meaning to the words, "pass on your teachings". And the people who write and read Wikipedia  and edit it for accuracy, who are essentially millions of people across the world, are the ones that truly make it a global family.

My donation is disproportionate to my usage of the site. But I feel proud and happy to have contributed in a small way to one of the most wonderful inventions of mankind.


  1. Well written. Pat on your back for your contribution. But did it really say that thing on the banner? Sounds a bit haughty no? But heck, they have the right to sound that way for the service they are doing to people.

  2. Thanks for reminding us all to do our bit, Aditya. I donated too, after reading your post, and yes it feels awesome to have done that, even if in some small way :)