DOLA (Directory of the Odias Living Abroad)
My project DOLA stands for The Directory of Odias Living Abroad. DOLA is meant to gather, archive, and judiciously share non-private directory information among people of Orissa origin or interest, irrespective of their color, creed, gender or religion. Even those who do not speak Odiya but have a love for or special connection to Orissa, its land or culture or ethos are within its scope. Although I originally envisioned this need for OSA (the Orissa Society of the Americas) when I became the Secretary of the organization, those who are not members also can have access to certain features of DOLA and be part of it in the "nonmember" section. I have collected and compiled information about our diaspora over successive years, and have entered into the DOLA system. Much of the information came from OSA's decades of immigrant history, but some were obtained from direct appeal to the Odias living abroad, primarily in the North America. I am pleased to inform that the directory represents nearly 2550 families.
DOLA is restricted to those who register into the system, thus an authentication mechanism and judicious listing of information will enable you to locate and connect with other Orissa people in case of need or mutual interest. It’s living because it will allow you to keep your information current and dynamic, easily accessible to members all over the world. It is meant to be a rich, vibrant and pretty accurate source of information about the Odia diaspora. It also of course has the potential of being an enabling infrastructure for numerous other important issues of present or future. How many times have you wished you knew another friend or another Orissan when you visit a new place! All information is meant to be within OSA and DOLA framework but not for sale. It is planned such that a person/family can enter a new record of self in to the system, and even delete own record from the living database. They can update their own information as and when needed through an authenticated login process, etc. DOLA is of course still in its early years and growing in size and utility.
If you are a member of The Orissa Society of the Americas, you can directly access DOLA at DOLA/M/ . Otherwise, you may register/update as a non-member at DOLA/NM/
=============== Introduction to DOLA sent in November, 2007 ================
Hereby I am reaching out to the non-resident Orissans who are away from India and at one time or another have shown, or potentially have, interest in the The Orissa Society of the Americas (OSA). As the Secretary of OSA (www.orissasociety.org), it is my pleasure to inform you that I have started formulating a project called “Directory of Odiyas Living Abroad (DOLA)” under the auspices of OSA.
DOLA is meant to gather, archive, and judiciously share non-private directory information among people of Orissa origin or interest, irrespective of their color, creed, gender or religion. Even those who do not speak Odiya but have a love for or special connection to Orissa, its land or culture or ethos are within its scope. You need not even be members of the Orissa Society of the Americas (however much we would like to have you as a member of OSA).
Several members and officials, past or present, of OSA have helped in providing data/whereabouts of many of you, so I can get a head-start building the project. I am trying to put together a safe, secure and convenient system backed up by the resilience and automation of a database and user-interface to bring the project to life.
DOLA is restricted to those who register into the system, thus an authentication mechanism and judicious listing of information will enable you to locate and connect with other Orissa people in case of need or mutual interest. It’s living because it will allow you to keep your information current and dynamic, and the membership in DOLA ever expanding. It also of course has the potential of being an enabling infrastructure for numerous other important issues of present or future .How many times have you wished you knew another friend or another Orissan when you visit a new place! All information is meant to be within OSA and DOLA framework but not for sale. It is planned such that a person/family can enter a new record of self in to the system, and even delete own record from the living database. They can update their own information as and when needed through an authenticated login process, etc.
This is an absolutely free service but DOLA members may donate to defray costs of this project. As I have stated, you do not need to be a member of OSA, but do visit the Membership area of www.orissasociety.org to find out the benefits you will receive, and the causes and aspirations you will support through your membership in OSA. If you do ever want to become a member of OSA, please send an email to our treasurer Mr. Dasverma at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the special, temporary promotion (discount and raffles) currently underway at http://orissasociety.org/osaftp01/membership_main.htm .
In the next few days, I will send you a username and randomly generated password for yourself along with instructions to access the system being built. You will be able to register yourself and browse others. We have catalogued about 1800 persons/families. However, we don’t have emails of many of them. You may ask your Orissan friends to register themselves by using “anonymous” as username and “guest” as password. Only for those whose email we have, I will assign a username/password so you don’t have to reenter that information or new record into the database. In the meanwhile, don’t hesitate to visit www.orissasociety.org or ask any of our volunteer officials a question or two that you may have.
You can access the system at http://www.orissasociety.org/ by visiting the Member area (if you are a member of OSA) or the Non-member area on the left frame of the home page.
After you are logged, selecting MyOwnRecord in the list box will allow you to see your own record, update it, change your password, etc. Also note that on the left most position of your record there are two icons. One is for editing/updating the other is for showing more details of your record. Please check out the drop-down menu which allows you to see several types of information (database): one is your personal record; another is a list of all OSA Members and NonMembers compiled under the DOLA project, etc.
|Sign Up as guest and/or request membership. (If you have a paid membership, the treasurer probably would have already set up an account for you.)
People not registered can
When you successfully login, you will normally be in the page showing your record with OSA:
The Orissa Society of the Americas (OSA)
|(Note that the drop-down menu above selects the information category you are interested in. The default is "My Own Record". )|
If you select "Browse Members and Non-members" from the drop-down menu, you will see something like the following.
Note the drop down menu (highlighted) that allows you to browse/see various types of information in the database. If you want to see your own record (and perhaps update it), then you will see something as follows:
If you choose to browse the table/data with all people in DOLA, you will see something like:
|Browse All (Select this from the drop-down menu)|
At the bottom you have the following menu items, mostly self-explanatory. One very useful one is Search – it lets you do smart search of records, remembers last search, etc.
Observe the little vertical arrow next to the heading of a column. If you click it, the displayed list gets sorted up or down on that field. If you click on the "Search" link at the bottom, it will present you with an elaborate search matrix. You can select various conditions (that can be logically ANDed or ORed) to search and display the result from the current table/database. Play with the search form to get the intuition behind the search.
If you select BrowseAll instead, it lets you view
information about both OSA Members and Non-members – we may have to
tweak what and what should not be shown in the future.
If the Insert
link shows up along with the other links in red above, it will allow
you to insert a record, i.e., register yourself in the system. Please
answer as many questions as thoroughly as possible. Once you have
inserted a record, from then on, only you can edit/update it after
FAQ (work in progress)
0. How to reset/change, or set-up for first time, your password
- Go to OSA webpage at http://www.orissasociety.org -- This does not work anymore!!
- In the left side you will see the Navigation Bar, Click on “Member Area” after DOLA System
- You will be asked to enter your user name and password. If you do not know your user name and/or password, you must at least have your email registered with OSA for official communication. Contact the organization officials if you need help.
To change or initially set up your password
- Click the Password Setup link in login page and follow instructions. Your window looks like
- Check you email account for an email from DOLA-admin and follow the instructions. Your email will look something like (it will contain your userID or loginID):
Note: if you are too late to change or you already changed once using this link, DOLA system will reject further use of this special encrypted link. You will need to start over password reset request.
- Upon clicking the link in your email, you will be taken to a webpage where you enter your desired password twice and submit. At this point you should be done with the setup.
1. How to login or update your Record
- Go to OSA webpage at http://www.orissasociety.org
- In the left side you will see the Navigation Bar, Click on “Member Area” after DOLA System
- You will be asked to enter your user name and password as follows. If you do not know your user name and/or password, you must at least have your email registered with OSA for official communication: click the Password Setup link in login page and follow instructions (it will send an email to your registered email address). If all else fails, contact an OSA official.
- You will see your individual record. In the left side of that record you will see the image as follows (hover your mouse over the icons to see "edit")
- Click on this Edit picture and you will be in the edit mode to edit your information. A form with some pre-filled fields will show up. There are comments against some fields to aid you in understanding. Fields that have black borders or blackened are not editable by you.
- After you are done with editing your information, please click on “Save” button that appears on the right hand side of your screen. You are done.
Note: Once someone is officially accepted by OSA (OSA treasurer sets the membership category appropriately in DOLA)
Before that event, a person is a "non-member" and can access his/her record at
At bottom of these login pages is the instruction to change/reset password.
2. How to Find your friends and family or new acquaintance on the map of Odias
- Members can login at http://www.odishasociety.org/DOLA/M
- Then go to URL: http://www.odishasociety.org/DOLA/M/showmap.php
- There, supply an address (say the name of the city you are visiting) in the top-left entry on the map shown; then specify a distance and click to search. Voila! The system will search for Odias (OSA members or not -- if they are registered in DOLA) wihin a radius of the address you gave. These new people will be shown on a nice map and perhaps you will find a family/acquaintance among them or someone to befriend or help.
- There are many features you can discover as you play with it and perhaps one of you can write a documentation. For example, if you click on name/record on the left panel, a balloon will show up on the map with his/her location. You can zoom/pan etc. Click on a push-pin on map, the person's detail (and distance from your address) will highlight.
3. How to vote electronically
See the details at http://sites.google.com/site/seedssym
4. How to search members by any criteria?
- Members can be searched by say State by typing state name abbreviation, say MN, against the State Contains(selected) words in the search sheet. It will give all the members residing in the state.
- Similarly members can be searched by City Name and if one gives Country, State and City name after contains(selected) word in the search sheet, all member's names living in the city will be displayed.
- Advanced(use of regexp): If multiple state residents are to be found the names separated by | should be typed. For example: MN|IL|IA , typed against State with regexp(selected) will give member names & data from all three states. If you used OR$, you should get Oregon not Orissa. Similarly also non-members can be selected.
- Non-members can also be sorted in similar way once they are selected in the pull down menu at the top box & "update/insert non-member" is selected.
5. Misc. Tips and Tricks
- Escape quote literals in a string by backslash(\) for PHP to be happy
For DOLA Administrators:
Login at http://www.odishasociety.org/DOLA/admin/
- How to send e-mails to members/non-members meeting one or more criteria?
- Members in the dataBase can also be sent e-mails en-mass by first sorting them by State criteria and clicking "Email Selected".
- A page with from, subject, Message box will come up. Which can be used to send those members e-mails, en-mass.
- Formatted letters can be sent as attachments.
- If the membership is a non-permanent type, make sure you put a correct membership expiry date. Non-permanent members become "non-members" after the expiry date.
- username and email have to be unique for each member AND non-member in the entire DOLA system/database
- A person who has a record in DOLA as a non-member can be converted to a member by changing the membership status and/or membership expiry date. It's better to convert people who are registered as non-members and want to become members.
- In your DOLA administration panel, you can choose "Insert/update Members" and "Insert/update non-members". Those two table views are derived from the same database. So, when a membership expires the person moves from "Member" category to "Non-member" category/table automatically. Similarly, when the administrator wants to add a new member, they should first look up the person's name in the "Insert/update Non-Member" view. If it exists, edit that record to reflect the new membership status and the expiry date (if any). You may update their address/info if you have more current data. This will automatically move the record from Nonmember category to Member table.
- This operation should minimize our typing and will keep the database consistent without duplicates in Non-member category and other technical headaches.
- I have created an interface for the convention administrator to add new registrations. That will minimize errors and duplicated work between the OSA National treasurer/secretary and the Convention's treasurer/membership-chair. So please collaborate on that.