International Left-Handers Day was first observed in 1976 by Dean R. Campbell (Representational)
Many of us have grown up listening to the fact that giving and accepting things should only be done with the right hand. Using your left hand can even be considered a sign of disrespect by many. This poses a unique challenge to those who are left-handed in a world that is predominantly right-handed. This minority is often ignored when it comes to aspects of design and technology that are tuned to suit the requirements of the right-handed majority. To put this in perspective, even using a pair of traditional scissors or using the ATM is inconvenient for the left-hander in your life. Therefore, it only seems fitting that a day is set aside to celebrate the left-handers and raise awareness about being a tad bit different from the rest of the world.
International Left-Handers Day was first observed in 1976 by Dean R. Campbell, the founder of Left-Handers International Inc., and has been celebrated every year since. Continuing the tradition and formalising it, the Left Handers Club launched International Left-Handers Day as a part of their organization on August 13, 1992. The day is set aside to celebrate sinistrality -- the medical term for left-handedness -- and the strength of having a dominant left hand. Recognising it to be a unique strength instead of an oddity, the day celebrates the left-handers while acknowledging the challenges.
As much as 10-12% of the world's population is left-handed and finds themselves in the company of many great men and women. Icons such as French leader Napoleon Bonaparte, painter Pablo Picasso, scientist Sir Isaac Newton, media personality Oprah Winfrey and former US President Barack Obama are all left-handers. Back home in India, Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, actors Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar are part of the tribe. While being left-handed may look attractive now, for a long time, left-handers across the world were considered to be sinister and linked to evil due to this trait.
The day works on raising awareness about the importance of acknowledging and appreciating left-handed persons across the globe. This, in turn, will ensure that the historical biases against the community are corrected, making the world -- and its various tools -- as comfortable for left-handed persons as it is for their right-handed counterparts.