On 8th June 2008, Honourable Chief Minister of Kerala, V S Achuthanandan inaugurated the state wide campaign for Malayalam computing. Honourable Minister for Vigilance and Tourism Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Honourable Minister for Health P K Srimati Teacher, A P Abdullakutty MP, Shri K Sudhakaran M L A, other elected representatives, officials and public participated in the public function held at Kannur Dinesh Auditorium.
"In this International Year of Languages Kerala government is joining hands with international community through the Malayalam computing initiative" Chief Minister said addressing the audience.
Secretary to Government, Dr Ajaykumar IAS announced that this was for the first time that a campaign has been launched for the promotion of local language computing in India.
Honourable Minister for Vigilance and Tourism Shri Kodiyeri Balakrishnan inaugurated the Malayalam computing webportal and Honourable Minister for Health Smt P K Srimati Teacher launched the community portal.
The campaign has two broad objectives
Strengthen local language, Malayalam, using the possibilities provided by Information and Communication Technologies
Address the linguistic barrier which prevents the people of Kerala from taking advantage of the new technologies.
This campaign will help the common man to get more benefits out of various Internet services like E-Mail, Chat, Blog etc. It liberates him or her from the need of thinking in his or her mother tongue and communicating in a foreign language.
Malayalam Computing initiative of Kerala government will start with a state wide campaign. The campaign will create public awareness on use of Malyalam in Computers. It is a fact that even skilled computer users thinks that English is the only Language for communicating with computers. Though the technologies are available, 90% of computers in Kerala are running with Malayalam support disabled.
The campaign will be carried out through the network of 3000 Akshaya centers around the state. Each Akshaya centre reaches approximately 1200-1500 families. The campaign targets to address about 40-50 lakh households in Kerala over the next three years. The campaign will be carried out in participation with local self governance bodies and other social organisations like village libraries.
Akshaya will offer training program to public on how to enable and use Malayalam in computers. Kerala State IT Mission will develop and provide materials required for this training.
Training for local hardware vendors is also an important aspect of this campaign. Training will be on how to enable Malayalam in various popular operating systems. Software modules and information for this will be made available through a web portal setup as part of this project. Our objective is to make sure that all the computers sold in Kerala to have Malayalam support enabled. Capacity development of support staff in local hardware vendors is an essential step in this regard.
Malayalam computing webportal will act as the repository of various information and software tools required to enable Malayalam in a computer. For example, the site will provide fonts for Malyalam, it also contains video tutorials and articles on enabling Malayalam . These materials can be freely distributed. Technical support will be provided through the portal. Support of mass media is expected to reach the information to the entire population of Kerala.
The campaign shall be followed by several activities to increase Malayalam content on the web. We aim to create one Malayalam web portal for every panchayat in Kerala, which would include details of local natural and human resources, local economy, local industry, agriculture and services, discussion forum and such other details as may be relevant. As an incentive, suitable awards shall be granted to the best panchayt portals. An example of one such is a portal developed in Azhikode Panchayat developed with the active participation of the local Panchayat, Akshaya centres in the Panchahat and local community (http://azhikode.web4all.in/). Government will facilitate development of these portals by providing sever space and technical support.