For the first time, Laughter Yoga was introduced in the National Cadet Corps (NCC) camp organized by the Jamia Milia Islamia University in New Delhi by Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, Dr. Santosh Sahi.
The NCC is a Government of India organization under the Ministry of Defence, and their objective is to groom the youth into disciplined and patriotic citizens. The history of NCC goes back to World War I, when the British created the University Corps as the second line of defence, where youth members were available for employment in the Armed Forces.
The camp was conducted from Oct. 20-30, 2009. There were about 200 participants; boys and girls aged 12-21 years, and an NCC band of 20 plus boys, who had arrived from Kolkata to participate in the program. The majority of the participants were from the Muslim community.
The Laughter Session was held every morning from 6.30 am and lasted from 45 minutes to an hour. The first day started with personal introduction and briefing of the benefits of Laughter Yoga. The Session began with Warm-up Exercises, Rhythmic Clapping, Stretching and Breathing Exercises.
Initially, there was a lot of inhibition and shyness, but later everyone participated and enjoyed laughing in a group.
According to Dr. Sahi every session was a different experience of working with adolescents. Even the NCC officers felt the difference. They commented that the camp with Laughter Yoga sessions was very different from all other camps.
All the participants were more energized for their physical drill, relaxed, cheerful, and more confident, with great self esteem, team building spirit and a bond leading to long time friendship.