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  Life   More Features  16 Dec 2017  Right choice for the lefty

Right choice for the lefty

THE ASIAN AGE. | NIRTIKA PANDITA
Published : Dec 16, 2017, 1:27 am IST
Updated : Dec 16, 2017, 1:27 am IST

Shweta Singh wasn't one to sit and let her daughter think there is something wrong with being a lefty. Instead she took action.

Shweta Singh with her family
 Shweta Singh with her family

Shweta Singh had had enough by the time her four-and-a-half-year-old daughter returned home from school upset and feeling low. When enquired, she found out that her daughter’s issue was rather unique — being a left-handed person, she was unable to sharpen a pencil with the ease of the right-handed people.

And finally, she decided to take things in her own hands. She began with a search for stationery for left-handed people. “Either there was no stationery available or if there was, it was expensive,” she recalls. And finally, she wrote to Hindustan Pencils Pvt Ltd (manufactures of Natraj and Apsara pencils) explaining her problem. Within just a few weeks time, she received sharpeners specially designed for left-handed people.      

The availability of stationary for left-handed people is a common phenomenon abroad but it doesn’t have a market in India. However, the company had been working on a mould of sharpener for left-handed people. “Our research and development team had been working on it and it is under process,” says Sanjay Tiwari, group-marketing manager at Hindustan Pencils.

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He points out that this was an unprecendented for the company, and has triggered a sudden awareness to produce writing skill specific stationary. “It was an unusual case so I called her personally to understand the problem,” he recalls. “We never gave it a serious thought but this case got our attention suddenly that there is a section with such requirements, even if it is smaller, we can look into that segment,” he says.

The company is now fast-tracking its process of producing specific products and sees the sharpener as stage one towards it. The firm is now working towards manufacturing scissors for left-handed people.

She first became aware of the problem when she witnessed her daughter struggling at a sports event back in playschool. “My daughter, Isha was part of a race where she had to run for a distance, collect objects kept on the right and dump them in the bucket on the left. She found it difficult to complete the task.”

Not just this, the child even faced problems in writing. The natural instinct of a left-handed person is to write from right to left, like the Urdu text. So Shweta had to extensively train her daughter to write in that format. “Of the other challenges, it was even difficult for her to write on a board, as her hand would end up erasing the text. Even writing letters and numbers like S, 7 and 3 is a challenge, at times she writes them in reverse. Also using scissors and writing on spiral books is difficult,” she adds. Shweta, who comes from a family where everyone is right-handed, was unaware of the challenges a left-handed person could face.

Tags: unique art, hindustan pencils pvt ltd