A first-of-its-kind service that will enable people to get meanings of Marathi words in English by sending a text message from their cellphone was launched on Sunday — the concluding day of the 85th Akhil Bharatiya Sahitya Sammelan in Chandrapur.
Nashik-based Sunil Khandbahale conceived the product to cater to people from tier 2 and tier 3 cities not versed with the English language.
“The idea of the mobile dictionary came up after our research indicated that people in rural areas are not fluent in English. Since number of people using mobile phones are significantly high as compared those having access to the Internet, the service could be useful,” said Khandbahale, who runs a portal that translates regional Indian languages in English and vice versa.
He added that users would bear the cost of sending a regular text message for using the service.
The mobile dictionary drew attention from book lovers visiting the literary festival. “It is so convenient, I typed a few words and got their meanings instantly. I told my friends as well, all of us have some basic phones and we can use this service anytime,” said Jayant Patil, an 18-year-old polytechnic student from Amravati.
“Such services are in small cities such as Chandrapur. Access to knowledge and information is crucial,” said Ratnesh Horde, a student.
To use the service, send a text message in the following format: @MAR (the word) to 9243342000.