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Develop Oddiraju Brothers’ residence as memorial

Develop Oddiraju Brothers’ residence as memorial
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The residents of Enugurthi village and Telugu aficionados are appealing the State government to develop the residence of Oddiraju Brothers, the...

Mahabubabad: The residents of Enugurthi village and Telugu aficionados are appealing the State government to develop the residence of Oddiraju Brothers, the pioneers of Telugu weekly magazine in early 20th century.

The brothers, Seeta Ramachandra Rao and Raghava Ranga Rao, born in late 19th century, have started a first of its kind Telugu weekly magazine ‘Tenugu’. Its publication began on August 28, 1922, at their residence-cum-office at Enugurthi in Kesamudram mandal.

Tenugu was one of the handful Telugu journals that got published before Indian Independence and was greatly patronised by the Telugu lovers in Telangana at that time as most of the native language journals were either published from Andhra region or from Madras, present time Chennai.

They founded a printing press named ‘Vignana Pracharini’ to print Tenugu weekly. The locals used to call them ‘Berg Brothers’, for their innovation in printing technology, comparing them with German printer, and publisher Gutenberg, who introduced mechanical movable type printing to Europe.

“They used to print the magazine on Sunday and travel by bicycle as far as Suryapet to distribute it. Because of their journal, Enugurthi got a post office and a hospital. After some time, its printing was shifted to Warangal,” an elder of the village, Parthasaradhi Acharya told The Hans India.

Besides acting as printers and publishers of Tenugu, Oddiraju Brothers have also contributed greatly to the fields of photography, literature, mathematics, astrology, music as well as agriculture. ‘They are said to be masters of every art and designed and built their own house,’ he added.

It is said that Oddiraju Brothers have written nearly 130 books, like Rudrama Devi, Mohini Vilasam, Saudamini, Sowra Shakti, Upadesha Ratnamala and others in 10 languages. Former premier late PV Narasimha Rao attended a poet’s meet they conducted at the village.

“But sadly, none of the rulers have cared to take care of their residence, which is now in dilapidated condition. At least now the Telangana government has to make efforts to develop it as a memorial in honour of Oddiraju Brothers,” pointed out local teachers Ch Kattaiah and D Bhasker.

A villager, K Krishna Reddy informed that even after 125 years passed since the house was built, often people interested in Oddiraju Brothers history visit Enugurthi to have a glimpse of their workplace. ‘A window grill that showcases the name Seeta Ramachandra Rao in Telugu is the highlight of the structure’.

By: James Edwin

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