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75-year-old man from Guntur revises Telugu-English dictionary to help students

Sambasiva Rao, who at the age of 75 is busy with revising and creating new dictionaries for the benefit of students

Following the belief that age is just a number, 75-year-old Sambasiva Rao from Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district has proved it. The septuagenarian has updated the Sankaranarayana Telugu to English dictionary by adding new words and their meanings to provide the lexicon with fresh and updated content.

Talking to the media, Rao said that this particular dictionary had not been updated for many years and it was necessary considering that English is a very important language for students, especially those in Telugu-medium and Government schools who found it difficult to learn and adapt to the foreign language. He thus decided to update and digitise the dictionary.

Even though Rao was unfamiliar with computers, he was quick to adapt to the new technology. He did a course in writing and Unicode in Hyderabad in order to begin his work on updating the dictionary.

Going beyond this, Rao has also compiled the Basic Two Languages Dictionary which has 10,000 words in English and Telugu; a mini dictionary and a two-in-one English-Telugu and Telugu-English dictionary. He has also penned biographies in Telugu and published two books on quotations in English.

Apart from editing a magazine on leprosy, Rao has digitilised more than 15,000 hymns written by saint Tallapaka Annamacharya.

At present he is working on a 25,000-word bilingual e-book that will make the dictionary more accessible to the visually challenged persons.