Left with no choice but to go the right way

Bangalore Business National Top Story

Left-handed people still wait for products that cater to their needs.

Bengaluru: Poonam Rath, a southpaw, explained how difficult it was being a left-hander when everything around you is made only for right-handed people. “When you are a lefty, you have the basic instinct of doing everything the ‘ulta’ (reverse) way.”

“I have never come across any item in my life that is made for people like me. From scissors to taps to watches to fridge door handles, everything is made for people who use their right hand,” Rath said. 

She recalled a memory from her school days. “The right way of writing on a study table was a major struggle for me,” she said, indicating study tables in schools and colleges where the writing pad is always on the right side. She once broke her left hand and found it difficult to use the study table. She added that the school authorities only paid attention to her need of a proper bench when her situation worsened and she had to take injections for muscle pain.

About 10 percent of people in the world are left-handed. India ranks eighth with 5.20 percent of the Indian population being southpaws.

Chandru, who works at Reliance Stationery World, Avenue Road said, “Nobody really knows that southpaw-friendly stationery items even exist. At most one will get left-handed scissors and left-handed T-scales used by design students.” He further said that there is not much demand for them in Bangalore.

  • There comes different products for left-handed people. Although, this image is of trivial products that

The Left Out Store is an online outlet that deals in southpaw-friendly items. Maitri Wadher, the owner, explained how southpaw items are different from the normal ones. She said, “In normal knives, the blade is scalloped on the left side whereas southpaw knives have the blades scalloped on the right.”“Scissors, for instance, have their blades placed reversely for the southpaw to see the cutting line and get a clear cut. A left handed sharpener has the blade serrated on the right to overcome the natural twisting of the left hand,” she added.

The Left Hand Shop, another online store also deals in daily life items made for left-handed people. Sandeep Singh, the owner, came up with the idea of such store because her son was left-handed. She said, “He started avoiding doing his homework as he would smudge it while writing.”

Suresh Chandrasekharan, a product designer at i2r Designs, Bangalore, said that southpaw-friendly products are not manufactured because it’s not profitable for businesses. He added, “Instead of manufacturing something that caters to one set of people, ambidextrous products can solve this issue.”

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