Materialistic wants do not equate to happiness. In order to ensure that his people are at peace and are happy, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has taken it upon his government, to ensure the same and has introduced the Department of Happiness.
Where did the idea of a Department of Happiness emerge from?
The concept of a Department of Happiness first originated in Bhutan. The country does not follow the idea of Gross Domestic Product but instead measures its prosperity through Gross National Happiness (GNH). It is also mentioned in Article 9 of their Constitution that the state shall take all measures to ensure a good quality of life and a better Gross National Happiness.
It does not come as a surprise, that will such good involvement of the government, 35% of the population is ’extremely happy’, 47.9% is ’moderately happy’, as found in the 2015 census. The concept of GNH is almost 40 years old and has been successful in making Bhutan the happiest country in the world.
How is Gross National Happiness Measured?
The Gross National Happiness is an elaborate yet simple concept. It measures the prosperity of the state in four parameters- – good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation. The main influential aspect of this measure is the fact that parameters like psychological wellbeing, health, education and living standards, play a major role in determining the GNH.
What does the Department of Happiness strive for in India?
“Besides the basic necessities of Roti, Kapda aur Makaan (food, cloth, and shelter) people need something more to be happy in their lives”, says Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan as he introduces the Department of Happiness. The department will initially work with other departments like women, children, health, and sports, and will strive to help its people attain happiness through spirituality and knowledge.
The Department of Happiness will be functioning like the concept of Gandhigiri, addressing the problems of each and every individual.
It is said that psychologists will be involved in the department. Yoga, meditation, and cultural programmes are also intended to be organized to propagate happiness in the citizens.
The Practicality in the functioning of this Department
We always react in the heat of the moment, and a similar wave of emotions can be sensed with the announcement of the Department of Happiness.
The haters continue to hate and the supporters continue to propagate. A huge change can be expected if and only if the initial energy in getting this department together does not die.
The success of this department largely depends on the people, and their involvement. The steps by the government will only act as a stimulus and will not ensure ‘khushiyon ki home delivery’.
The concept of the Department of Happiness is beautifully crafted with an extensive inclusion of trained personnel, aimed to serve a population of 73.34 million.
The next few years are a test not only for the Madhya Pradesh government but for the entire nation. If the department kicks off well and brings about evident change, it will not be long before this wave of ache din sweeps the entire nation.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.