Left is Right!
Amit Singh Kushwaha
“Yes, I am left-handed!”. My unconscious mind prefers to do any work with the left hand. Sometimes, people wonder when I write or sign with my left hand. I recall in my childhood; grandmother taught me to eat with the right hand. At that time, I realized, there are many wrong perceptions in our society for people who use the left hand.
Once, I went to a milk booth and bought a milk packet. The shopkeeper said, “Do not give money from your left hand. I suddenly told him, “My left-hand works.” After this, I handed over the money to him with my right hand. Likewise, there are numerous incidents in my life when I had to face an embarrassing situation as a consequence of using the “odd” hand.
We listened to a famous Hindi idiom, “Bayen haath ka khel ” (Child’s play), for straightforward tasks, but we left-handers do it all with our left hand. If one offers his hand for a handshake, left-handers prefer to respond with their left hand forward. Most of the daily need equipment, vehicles, gadgets, and devices are manufactured keeping in mind the convenience of the right-handed. The left-handed children too, face challenges in schools. For instance, in most schools and colleges, the writing pad is attached to the right side of the chair, making it difficult for left-handed people to write.
In India, religious rituals can be performed only with the right hand, and the use of the left hand is prohibited. How many times do we have to face that expression of disapproval when we extend our left hand for the Prasada (blessed food)?
According to ABC, left-handed people are more likely to be schizophrenic, alcoholic, delinquent, dyslexic, and have Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as mental disabilities. This dark fact shows that left-handed people not only have to put up with minor annoyances, but they’re more likely to get serious illnesses.
A study published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the lefties earn about 10 to 12% percent less money than righties. Joshua Goodman, an economist at Harvard’s Kennedy School, claims the wage gap is because left-handed people “have more emotional and behavioral problems, have more learning disabilities such as dyslexia, complete less schooling, and work in occupations requiring less cognitive skill.”
Some research also states that we are artistic, have a higher IQ, and are blesses with better linguistic skills! There are lots of famous people and politicians who are also left-handers. Father of the Nation- Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Former US President Barack Obama, Bollywood Actor Amitabh Bachchan, Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Industrialist Ratan Tata, Freedom Fighter Rani Laxmibai, Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein and many more personalities are also left-handers and their contribution to society is praiseworthy.
International Left-Handers Day is observed annually on August 13 to celebrate the uniqueness and differences of the left-handers. The day was created to celebrate sinistrality and raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed in a predominantly right-handed world. We are living in an inclusive society where everyone has the right to live and fully participate in all activities alike. The community will empower left-handers to accept their diversity and provide equal opportunities at all levels because the left is right!
The writer is a rehabilitation professional of persons with disabilities and a freelance writer. [email protected]