Public health activist and the former Kerala University Vice-Chancellor B. Ekbal has said that Malayalam Wiki activists and online Malayalam writers are rendering yeomen service to the Malayalam language by making it lively.

Inaugurating the fourth annual meeting of Malayalam Wikimedia activists at the District Library Council Hall here on Saturday, Dr. Ekbal said though many mainstream Malayalam writers treated online Malayalam as no alternative to written Malayalam, the online writers and Wikipedia activists were in fact re-inventing the beauty of the language.

These activists were also developing fonts for Malayalam scripts, including the old ones, he said, adding that these software were developed by developers who had not studied Malayalam in their schools. It was wrong to presume that the online Malayalam users and Wikipedia activists had no passion for their mother tongue.

Dr. Ekbal said there was a society of young online Malayalam users and Wikipedia activists who were voluntarily developing Malayalam fonts and software. Wikipedia activists involved in sharing knowledge and information were participating in a great revolution, he added.

The day-long session was attended by Malayalam Wiki contributors and administrators.

Wikipedia Foundation representatives Tory Read, Bisakha Dutta, and Hisham Mundol were among those who participated in the session organised in collaboration with the Kannur District Library Council and the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad.

The organisers of the event said the representatives of the Wikipedia Foundation interacted with the Malayalam Wikipedia activists as part of their initiative to see the activities in the Malayalam Wikipedia.

The foundation representatives underlined the need for more Wikipedia activists in a country like India to ensure more information and knowledge to a larger number of people.

The organisers said the Malayalam Wikipedia had over 18,000 articles on different disciplines. A compact disc containing contents from the Malayalam Wikipedia and digital archives of works of Kumaranasan, Sree Narayana Guru, Kunjan Nambiar as well as the Communist Manifesto, the Bible, and the Koran, among others, were released at the function.

The session also included presentation on ‘Narayam' software developed by Junaid. The software was presented as the built-in Malayalam typing solution integrated to Wikis. Santhosh Kottungal made a presentation on Web fonts.

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