PUNE (INDIA): It was a day for sex workers of Budhwar Peth to laugh, and laugh their hearts out for no reason but just for the sake being happy; a break from a stressful routine which they indulge in just to earn their bread and butter.
With the initiative of Saheli HIV/AIDS Karyakarta Sangh, an NGO, Kishore H Kuvavala, the founder of a popular laughter club, taught about 200 sex workers to laugh. His witty remarks and an interactive session had the audience in splits as he stressed on the importance of laughter therapy.
“Aap kaise ho? (how are you?) asked Kuvavala. “Hum bohot achey hey” (I am very happy), was the reply. Kuvavala says, “though I made them repeat these words, it’s difficult for them to say that they are very happy. But during the session they were happy, though for a short period of time.” The participants raised their hands and laughed together. It was also a sort of get-together for them.
One of the participants said she thoroughly enjoyed the competition. “It is good to laugh. I am tension free now (sab tension chala gaya). ” Another participant said, “I do not think I have laughed so hard in a long time.”
“Laughter gives a positive energy and this can help them fight disease and misery. When they are happy they can deal with business, people they meet and their children in a better way. They do not have a family as such. So the positive vibe can help them unite in a group,” said Kuvavala.
Tejaswi Sevekari, director of the NGO, said the idea was to use laughter as a therapy for sex workers. “We plan to introduce laughter therapy in all our meetings and also in HIV support group. We plan to start a laughter club in Budhwar Peth with help from other NGOs working on HIV/AIDS,” she said.
Where Is Budhwar Peth, India?