Thank You/Abhishek Hingnikar

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Abhishek Hingnikar

I come from Bina, a town in central India. Now it’s becoming industrialized, but when I was little, Bina was tiny and rural — we didn't even have a library. Books only came from the nearest big city.

I'm lucky, as my family has always been comfortable. But some of my childhood friends were very poor. I studied alongside them in school, and I saw how they struggled.

Once, a friend of mine failed a class because he didn’t complete the assignment on time. He wanted to learn — but he couldn’t afford textbooks. And instead of studying, he had to work.

That hurts me. It makes me emotional. It makes me want to help.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I've figured out how I can.

Since I discovered Wikipedia, it's been an important part of my education. I use it for every assignment, I research every question. Wikipedia is invaluable — but it depends on a good internet connection. In India, internet is slow and costly, and a lot of families can’t afford it. But nearly everyone has a cell phone.

So I'm contributing to a new initiative: Wikipedia Zero, a program in which mobile carriers offer Wikipedia free of data charges. As part of this project, programmers like me teamed up to create a light-weight, text-only version of Wikipedia, designed to work on the cheapest cell phones.

Wikipedia Zero is going to be a ray of hope and relevant knowledge to millions of poor people across the world.

I believe education is a basic right. Because education makes us equal; it creates opportunities for every talent.

Each and every human deserves the right to learn, regardless of caste, religion or nationality. I hope Wikipedia Zero can help.

Thanks,

Abhishek Hingnikar

Abhishek is an 18-year-old student at the Gyan Ganga Institute of Technology and Sciences. His interest in programming began at age 12, when he started learning C++; he later expanded into Javascript. While he spends more time developing than editing, he has also contributed to the Wikipedia article on quantum mechanics. He is working on a voice-recognition module for Wikipedia, which is still in the early phase of development.

Image Attribution: Abhishek Hingnikar by Darkyen, under CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported, from Wikimedia Commons.

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