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LAUGHTER IN THE LIVES OF SEX WORKERS
 
 

Living in one of the narrow bylanes of Kamathipura in Mumbai, may not be a laughing matter, especially for the sex workers residing there. With a view towards bringing some gaiety in their lives, Priyadarshni Laughter Club International, collaborated with Dr. I.S. Gilada, the Secretary and founder of Indian Health Organization, to hold a Laughing Competition in this part of Mumbai to mark the IHO's 15th anniversary on April 6, 1997.

It was a Competition with a difference. The spontaneity of the ladies who readily participated in it was amazing. The Competition was set off with a brief demonstration by Mr. Kishore Kuvavala and members of Priyadarshni Laughter Club International,  which

the assembled audience enthusiastically repeated. After that, the women were on their way, with each trying to outdo all others with the loudest and heartiest laughter. The drab brothels echoed with the loud laughter of brightly dressed women, who seemed to have overcome their miserable existence for the moment.

Sangita, the winner of the Laughing Competition was overwhelmed and said : "It was one of the greatest moments of my life when I was declared winner of the competition. I have decided to continue laughing in the face of all odds in life." So infectious was the laughter, that the women decided to form a Laughter Club of their own to enjoy a hearty laugh everyday. Residents of Kamathipura Lane may face untold challenges, but as Manda Kamble, the Runner-up of the Competition rightly summed up

"Today we learned to take life as it comes with a smile."

 
 

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