LEFT-HANDED: Former US President Bill Clinton

The President signed the controversial age limit amendment bill into an Act on December 27, 2017. This reminded me of one other anti- discrimination initiative that can be introduced, to specifically cater for the interests of the left handed persons.

Available data indicate that there are 500 million left handers on planet Earth and that at least 20 million people in the United States alone are left handed. Additional data indicates that the three Presidential candidates who ran in the 1992 United States Presidential elections: George Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot were all left handed people.

Interestingly, when I was drafting this opinion a soldier friend remarked that he had not even recognised that most war tools have been manufactured specifically for only right handers.

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As a young man, being left handed was a challenge since most instruments I used were designed with the right handed individual in mind. An example is the right-sided arm school desks which presented an obstacle to learning for left handed students from early school through university.

Indeed, every single day left handed school children struggle to succeed in a ‘right handed world’; they meet with obstacles and problems that include using scissors, right-handed arm desks, rulers and even note books. Also, left handed students have a hard time when it comes to sitting at a desk with right handed students because they constantly bump elbows.

Even writing poses a problem for left handed individuals because they always move their hand across what they have just written and this smudges the ink all over the paper, and gets smeared on their hands as well.

In many instances in bar examinations and professional board examinations, left handed people are competing for the limited number of left sided-leaning desks.

Even when left handed examinees access the appropriate desk, they are other problems because left-sided leaning desks are arranged in a manner tending to the left side of lecture halls where you have to crane your neck to see the overhead projectors. This is so because few school administrators, teachers, lecturers, maintenance administrators and furniture buyers take infrastructure bias for granted yet this is a problem that maybe easily solved by better informed Members of Parliament, parents, students, school designers and many others..

Also, manufacturers of guns have discriminated against left handed defence and security officers for they are forced to change to right handedness in order to utilize the right-sided guns.

Unfortunately, some students are told to use the right hand which is weaker, something that that also imperils their hand-to-eye coordination, making them less accurate. This can have disastrous consequences!

Nabendeh Wamoto S.P (0776-658433)

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