Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government is launching a campaign for deploying Malayalam computing across the State through its network of more than 3,000 Akshaya centres to “break linguistic barriers in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).”

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan will inaugurate the campaign, titled ‘Our Computer, Our Language,’ at a function in Kannur on Sunday. The campaign is meant to enable those communicating in Malayalam to use internet services such as e-mail, ‘chat and ‘blog’ in their own language and ultimately facilitate development of rich Malayalam content on the web.

This is the first such initiative in Indian languages, according to the Chief Minister’s Information Technology (IT) Advisor Joseph Mathew. “It envisions a worldwide Malayalam community in two or three years using ICT services with as much felicity as the English-educated people now use them,” he said.

A web portal for Malayalam computing and community portals of several local self government bodies in Kannur district too will be launched at the function in Kannur. These portals were developed by the government’s Akshaya Project (for taking ICT to the masses), with the assistance of UNESCO.

The Akshaya Centres will carry out programmes under the campaign to train people in using Malayalam in computers. The campaign, in which the local bodies and social organisations too will participate, hopes to reach out to more than 40 lakh households in the State in three years, Mr. Joseph Mathew said.

“Software modules will be made available through a web portal setup. Our objective is to make sure that all computers sold in Kerala are Malayalam enabled,” he said.

The government proposes to follow up this campaign with efforts to increase Malayalam content on the web. “Soon, each panchayat will have a web portal, providing information on its natural and human resources and whatever ICT facilities are relevant to community life. Azhikode Panchayat has already developed one such web portal (http://azhikode.web4all.in/),” he said.