World Laughter Day celebrated in India

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Mumbai/New Delhi/ Bhopal, May 3 (ANI): Cutting across social, professional and personal barriers, people from different walks of life celebrated World Laughter Day on Sunday.

World Laughter Day falls on the first Sunday of May. This day reminds the society that laughter is the best medicine to ward off dangers of modern day monotonous and mechanised lifestyles.

In Mumbai, the Priyadarshani Laughter Club, a forum that was set up in 1995, took the lead in hosting a gala open-air function.

Around 500 people from different age groups participated in the celebrations.

The participants forgot their daily worries and indulged in various activities including Laughter Yoga, also known as the Laughing Buddha and Soorya Yoga (a form of yoga dedicated to the Sun).

They also did some other exercises related to psycho-physical well-being.

"I have been practicing laughter therapy for the past 11 years now. It keeps you healthy, it keeps the mind alert when you laugh and you make others laugh. It is beneficial for both. Instead of popping pills to reduce tension, if we laugh, it will be a good thing," noted Manju, a member of the Priyadarshani Laughter Club International, Mumbai.

Priyadarshani Laughter Club claims to be the first laughter forum in the world and also the first one to organise a laughter competition in 1996.

"We have been doing this since 1995. We were the first to organise laughter competition in the world in 1996 and that has put laughter on several faces all over the world," said Kishore H Kuvawala, Chairman of Priyadarshani Laughter Club International.

"In three days time, through the media, the news reached all over the world, even in the smallest centres. Now, all over the world there are over six thousand clubs. So to some extent the credit goes to the Priyadarshani Laughter Club International," he added.

Delhi was not far away from celebrating the funny day.

The Laughter Yoga Centre, organised a laughter session, attended by a good number of enthusiasts in the national capital.

Prominent Indian politicians and other public figures also participated in the sessions of Laughter Yoga Centre to distress and energise themselves.

Jiten Kohli who guided the session emphasised that it is essential to have a combination of both, a healthy mind and a healthy body.

"When we laugh, the oxygen circulation in our body strengthens the lungs and we feel good from within. We do a lot of exercise for the body, but it is essential to keep our mind happy. That's why I say that along with the body, the mind should also be healthy," said Jiten Kohi, laughter therapy guide.

Similarly, in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, the World Laughter Day celebrations were a grand success.

Residents of the city came out in huge numbers and laughed their way to good health and cheerful mood.

They were seen clapping and dancing on the streets.

The highlight of the event was the participation of a 104-year-old lady, whose enthusiasm seemed to be second to none as she also regaled in swaying to lively tunes.

Beaming a smile, she danced long with other participants.

As for the first ever laughter club, Bangalore-based YMN Murthy had founded a similar forum named Humour Club International (HCI) with several chapters in the Karnataka.

Members of HCI meet periodically and exchange notes of wisdom alongside reciting humours poems. HCI also used to publish a leaflet on its activities coupled with witty anecdotes. By Sharik Sheikh, RC Sahu(ANI)

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