I have had the privilege of introducing Laughter Yoga in the State Bank of India and laughing with thousands of my colleagues during the last year.
I have recently completed thirty-two years of my service in the State Bank of India. It has given me bread, butter and a respectable place in the society. Now, it is time that I give back something to this great institution. I am sure my humble contribution will bring cheer to some of the souls here. I would like to be remembered as a messenger of love and laughter when I retire from the Bank.
We started the journey of laughter on the 13th of September, 2010 when we inaugurated the Laughter Club of State Bank Learning Centre, Indore with a bunch of newly promoted officers. Whoever came to the learning centre after that has had a brush with laughter yoga. We laughed every morning with a small group of willing laughers from all the groups who poured in week after week. A shining feather in our cap was training thirteen young trainee officers as laughter yoga leaders who eventually earned internationally recognized certification while they were at the campus. How can one ever forget the fun evening filled with gibberish nonsense, laughter exercises, singing-dancing-play-laughter and games arranged by newly recruited assistants!
I got opportunity twice to make presentations at the grand auditorium of the State Bank Academy, Gurgaon before officers from all over the country. I am really grateful to the General Manager and Principal who participated in the laughter sessions with total childlike playfulness on both the occasions which has engraved a deep respect for him deep in my heart.
It seems that the Almighty has been showering copious blessings from the top. I also showcased laughter yoga at the State Bank Staff College and State Bank Institute of Information and Communication Management located in Hyderabad. I conducted a laughter yoga session for bank guards, assistants, probationary officers and faculty at the State Bank Learning Centre, Goa. It was a unique experience as all of them laughed from their being level making it absolutely difficult to distinguish differences in their grades as they laughed like kids.
Last week, we have started Chetana Laughter Club at our new State Bank Foundation Institute (Chetana), Indore set up to groom fresh officers of the Bank. Henceforth every new officer of the Bank will have a tryst with laughter yoga at the beginning of her career and ‘Very Good Very Good Yay’ as her mantra.
The laughter virus has meanwhile spread to other centres – Kanpur, Lucknow, Goa, Nagda, Nagapattinam etc. – through some well meaning trainers and officers. It is indeed good to hear that those who laughed with us for a while, have gone back and started propagating laughter it in their own way. What more can one desire!
I have put up the concept of laughter yoga briefly before the Chief General Manager and Head of the Strategic Training Unit and he seemed to like it. The former CGM and Head was all for it and mentioned it to the Deputy Managing Director and Corporate Development Officer when she visited Indore to inaugurate State Bank Foundation Institute. She already knew a lot about the benefits of laughter yoga and appreciated the endeavour of using it in human resources trainings.
I am also grateful to the Director of my Institute for permitting me to use laughter yoga as ice-breaker, energizer and wellness routine during the training programmes.
My mission is to touch the lives of all the two hundred and twenty-two thousand employees of the State Bank of India with Laughter Yoga for their health, happiness and well-being.
(Before I close, I would like to share that my wife Radhika has been with me all along in this mission.)
- Jagat Singh Bisht