HYDERABAD: Did you know that 1.2 per cent of the population in India eats with their left hand whereas in America, the number of Indians eating with their left hand is at 9 per cent?
However, most utilities are designed for right-handed users, from door handles to driving systems, study chairs with attached writing desks, etc.
Calling this a classic example of side-bias in the country, Dr Manas K Mandal, director general, Life Sciences, Defence Research and Development Organisation, drew the attention of his audience towards ‘Divided Brain and Human Behaviour’ when he spoke at the 29th death anniversary of Prof Y Nayudamma, a renowned chemical engineer and a scientist, at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Tarnaka. Speaking to students of Biology, Psychology and Engineering, he pointed out that Indians, by virtue of the cultural importance they place on being right-handed, are largely side-biased.
“Most parents try to force their left-handed children into becoming right-handed. This has a negative impact on the child,” he emphasised, pointing out that as of today, around 10 per cent of kids are influenced into changing sides at a very young age.
“Every instrument we use today, from a screwdriver to a refrigerator, is designed for the convenience of a right-handed person,” he added.
Deriving an interesting co-relation between road accidents and being pro-right-handed, he explained that the percentage of accidents that occur today is increasing because of the side bias attitude.
“It is said that a person uses his legs at least 36,000 times every 10 kilometers he drives. A left foot person’s reflexes may not be on par with the placement of brake and the accelerator. Similarly, a left-handed person may find it difficult to drive a two-wheeler as it is designed for the convenience of a right-handed person,” he says.
Side bias plays a major role in military as well as all military gadgets are designed for right-handed people. This has led to accidents in the past, he informed.
“During the recruitment process, they do not check if the person is left or right handed because they don’t see it as an issue. However, we are trying our best to come up with an economically feasible solution to deal with the problem,” he shared to the rapturous audience.