Many an Indian would swear by the Wikipedia - the free online storehouse of information on all things under the sun - as a true friend and guide. It is surely thanks to Wikipedia that many science projects got made, many examinations passed, information on films and musicians gathered and books "read".
However, today the website, run by the Wikimedia foundation, seemed to sport an awkward message for its Indian readers. Starting with a greeting to "knowledge lovers" in India, the non-profit run website posted an awkward donations pitch on their site.
The message popped up on several computer screens on Tuesday as Wiki-dependent Indians who turned during the course of the day.
While the message did not mention anywhere that Wikipedia was shutting down as some of us instantly feared, the pitch for money seems to be directed at maintaining and ensuring the ad-free experience of Wikipedia, which grew out of the almost anarchist, non-profit wiki-movement in pre-millennial times.
"Wikipedia is hosted by a not-for-profit organisation. We don't have ads. We don't have shareholders. We have donors, and we exist solely because of donations from our readers, like you," the almost emotional message read.
A bit of sniffing around revealed that not just India, it is a common practice for the WMF to announce fundraisers for the smooth running of Wikipedia, the world's seventh largest site with the respectable aim of provide free knowledge to the world.
In a 2015 blog post, WMF had clarified that the "small donations" it seeks are used to keep Wikipedia and its sister sites safe, secure, fast and available. They also help pay for the salaries of all the editors and and staff who work with Wikimedia to provide correct and edited content with readers around the globe.