In a bid to increase the online usage of Malayalam language, cultural icons and technical experts have come together to start a people’s initiative called Mampoo.

‘0D05’ is one code that Malayalis who are hooked to the cyber world have forgotten to give its due credit. This is the internationally recognised Unicode for the Malayalam vowel ‘Aa.’

In a bid to encourage the public to understand the importance of Malayalam computing and increase the online usage of Malayalam language, cultural icons and technical experts have come together to start a people’s initiative called Mampoo. The first of the free classes on Malayalam computing under its initiative was held at the AKGCT hall here on Saturday.

President of Mampoo S. Rajashekaran inaugurated the classes and S.B. Biju, scientist with C-DIT, took the first session on ‘Basics of Malayalam Computing.’

Registered as a cultural society, Mampoo is supported by eminent personalities, including O.N.V. Kurup and B. Ekbal. The advisory committee of Mampoo includes poet K. Sachithanandan, T.N. Seema, MP, and experts Achuthsankar S. Nair, V.K. Adarsh and K.V. Anil Kumar.

The organisers have already entered the cyber world to promote this initiative through a Google and Facebook page. An active blog also invites people to share their opinions and doubts on Malayalam computing.

Cyber presence

The organisers feel that though importance was given to obtaining classical status for Malayalam language, not much was thought about the status of the language in the cyber world.

“We are not against the use of English language in computing. But it is equally important to understand that in this technologically advanced world, Malayalam usage is very limited in the cyber world, even among those who are not English literates. We should be able to use Malayalam with the same ease as that of other languages,” said Jayasreekumar, secretary, Mampoo.

Mampoo envisages lessening this digital divide by building resource persons through such classes and widening its presence in schools and colleges so that the younger generation is actively involved in this area. The initiative is also to invite wider public participation from Malayalis, including those residing outside the country.

Creating a rich database for supporting the language and developing a comprehensive online Malayalam dictionary are some of the challenges that the team will take up in its endeavour to make Malayalam a prominent presence in the cyber world.

For more details, visit mampoo.org.

Poet O.N.V. Kurup will officially inaugurate the activities of Mampoo at a function to be held at the Government College for Women, Vazhuthacaud, on September 9.