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About Sambad


Sambad(Access to Computers for Non-Literate People)  is a research project at Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya on how computers can be made beneficial for non-literate or semi-literate people. The research focuses on human computer interaction for users unable to read or write textual representations of language. In the context of a country like Nepal where the number of non-literates is very high, the project will be very beneficial. It will help such people by developing computing systems that can be readily used by people with limited literacy. It is envisioned that people of any literacy background will be able to create their own information content and share their rich knowledge, heritage and experiences.



One of the aims of the research project is to design and develop software which can be used to create audio-visual content consisting of voice and images instead of conventional text. The user can share their experiences and stories with other users in the web with the help of this software. The concept of non-literate people using sophisticated computer-based content authoring systems is as yet an unexplored or sparsely explored territory in Human Computer Interaction. The research will be one more step in the direction of eliminating the digital divide, and empowering the people with information.


The ultimate goal of this project is to enable non-literate people to participate fully in the information society, without any prerequisite of literacy or that their language has a writing system.



  • Assess, investigate and develop detailed requirements for speech-based technology, and then evaluate this technology in communities of non-literate Nepali-speakers in Nepal and India.
  • Create a suite of software to allow creation of audio video content without use of textual forms of communication in human computer interaction.

We envisage a situation where access to computers for non-literate in public places like people will be possible which enables them to undertake all the basic functions that literate people take for granted.  The interface to the computer will be different, visual with speech and little or no writing.  It will also be less cluttered as most of the complexity of normal operating systems will be hidden. Though there is a rapid growth in the popularity of publicly accessible community telecenters or knowledge centers, we recognize that for somebody who is non-literate, such places may seem forbidding. There needs to be some persuasive reason for them to enter. In future we plan to extend our system to be used by visually impaired and physically disabled people so that they can also benefit from computers and the Internet. We also want to extend the system to support literacy education.


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