Recently, as part of Ezhil-Language-Foundation, we offered a registration support ($25) for upto 10 individuals to attend the Tamil Internet Conference in Thanjavur, India (Dec 15-17th, 2022).
- We created a simple setup with google form to request applications; some of the questions were,
- Brief introduction about your profile
- Why do you want to attend the conference
- Will you be able to travel to the venue
- Your open-source or published works
- Areas of interest in Tamil computing
- R&D software
- R&D literature, culture, society
- We shared the URL to this applications across multiple forums like Thamiza free-tamil-computing mailing list, Tamil Linux Forums, few WhatsApp groups dedicated to INFITT, and Open-Source Tamil computing
We received 8 applications, with 2/3 of men and 1/3 women, they were all notified by the team on receipt of the application; of the 8 we found only 6 candidates were able to travel and interested in the mission of the conference and aligned with Ezhil Language Foundation mission.
We attempted to keep the selected candidates to be gender balanced and sensitive to Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) mission objectives of Ezhil Language Foundation.
The accepted candidates were notified of their sponsorship to the conference registration and asked to prepare for the travel.
None of the selected 6 candidates attended the conference!
In this blog post we like to analyze why people were not able to attend the conference despite our sponsorship of the registration:
- Communications were purely conducted by email and people were not sure about the program objectives
- Candidates were not able to make travel arrangements since the financial sponsorship news came in quite late – 1 week before conference date.
- Candidates expected some form of financial aid sent to them via digital payments (PayTM, UPI etc.)
- Financial Reasons
- Candidates expected a “full ride” (stay/accomodation, travel, and registration) for the conference.
- Accomodation/Distance/Travel logistics
- All selected applicants expressed concern regarding their inability to travel at short notice and were not familiar with the digital format to attend the conference
- Ezhil Language Foundation did not sponsor candidates who were interested in attending the conference remotely
We would like to thank all applicants to the conference sponsor program; we strive to learn from the experience and make a better program for the next/upcoming year. We also thank the various members instrumental to share the message about the program into
Future conference sponsorship should be designed to avoid such a nil-outcome; the motivation for sending a mix of younger (new) and older (experienced) participants to a conference is to enable networking and cross-pollination of ideas, and support the mission of Ezhil Language Foundation – to secure the future of Tamil in the digital realm.
If you have better ideas, comments, criticisms on the program please email: firstname.lastname@example.org