A university to teach laughter
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Bangalore,  (IANS) : Imagine a campus where you learn how to laugh instead of mugging up textbooks, where you are trained to accumulate health instead of wealth, where you don't lose sleep over exams and instead get cured of insomnia. A 'university' like that will soon be a reality on Bangalore's outskirts!

The city, which is known as India's tech capital because of it being home to a few thousand IT and IT-related firms with thousands of young men and women who are stressed out by working late hours, will get a university that offers to train people to laugh and breathe properly for greater benefits of body and mind.

'If all goes well, then by April-May 2011, I will start my first certified Laughter Yoga teacher training in the university complex,' Madan Kataria, the brain behind the 'university', told IANS.

Kataria, a physician from Mumbai, has earned a name by popularising 'Laughter Yoga' therapy that combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing or 'pranayama'.

'The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. One gets the same physiological and psychological benefits,' he said.

Kataria has bought 10 acres of land on the outskirts of Bangalore for what he calls 'the world's first International Laughter University'. The land is about five kilometres away from the city on the road to Mysore.

Anyone is eligible to enrol at the university, but he is yet to work out the course structure and duration.

'It is a huge project. In the first phase, we will have an auditorium for conferences and conventions, training rooms, stay facility for 200 people, library, dining hall, meditation rooms, administrative block and staff residence.

'This will take nearly 18 months to two years. I have decided not to wait for the completion of phase one; instead I will start building mud houses - structures modelled like a village from where I can start my training programmes. This construction may take three months,' he said.

The first phase of the project will cost between Rs.7 crore and Rs.10 crore, which includes funds for infrastructure development and the working capital.

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