International Day of Happiness

World Happiness Day

On 28th July, 2020, as per an article published in Times of India, the depressions levels had skyrocketed among Indians. As per the study, almost 43% of the Indians were suffering depression, post lockdown. As per another article published in The Hindu, on 5th October, 2020, doctors in the country had been seeing rise of patients suffering from depression, anxiety and insomnia due to the pandemic. Then, a WHO survey had also mentioned that in 93% of countries, the mental health care services had got disturbed.
Though the pandemic was a huge trigger for a bomb called ‘depression’, yet it is one of the disorders in mental health that had been in existence from time immemorial and undermined till then.
This shows how much this element ‘happiness’ is required in everyone’s life.
The United Nations has been celebrating International Day of Happiness since the year 2013. If we look up in the pages of history, the General Assembly of the United Nation had passed in a resolution of 12th July 2012, to observe 20th March every year as International Day of Happiness. This move was initiated by the country Bhutan. Since the year 1970, Bhutan has been prioritizing Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product.

The International Day of Happiness is being observed to emphasise every human’s pursuit of happiness and how it is essential for emotional well-being. This isn’t the only goal to achieve. In addition to this, this day also aims to highlight the need of –
1. Economic growth.
2. Equal opportunities and facilities for everyone.
3. Sustainable development.
4. Removing poverty.
The United Nations has prepared the World Happiness Report 2021. As per the site, this report is focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on the lived of the people all over the world and the actions various governments have followed to tackle the pandemic. It is throwing light on the best practices that have been followed so far. To go through the detailed report, one can follow this link –
In terms of ‘happiness’, as per the data of 2020, India holds the rank 144. This ranking has been termed as happiness index. The Happiness Index was first created by the Global Happiness Council. As per the council, its definition can be stated as
The Happiness Index is defined as the weighted (by sampling weights) rate of respondents reporting “Very happy” or “Quite happy” less the weighted rate of respondents reporting “Not very happy” or “Not at all happy,” plus 100. The index thus ranges from 0 to 200.
The Global Happiness Council has been publishing World Happiness Report since 2012. In the report, the ranking is based on various factors.
Why is India faring poorly in the happiness indexing?
The factors that decide the Happiness Index are –
1. GDP per capita.
2. Social support.
3. Healthy life expentancy.
4. Freedom to make life choices.
5. Perceptions of corruption.
6. Unexplained happiness.
As per an article by ED Times, of the above criteria, India has been lagging behind in GDP per capita, social support and perceptions of corruption. In the past decade, there has been significant unearthing of scams and corruptions that have set a level of disappointment. On top of this, education sector still trying to come up with an innovative way of teaching, to make the mass more employable. There are people, who are still wishing to earn more to meet the expectations of the evolving lifestyle.
There has been steep rise in use of technical gadgets. However, due to unregulated media and its poor quality, this has become a double edged sword. When students are now able to attend classes at home, on the other hand, the stories presented on the screens have been controlling the public opinions, which are at many times seem to be toxic.
Amidst the fear of being caught in the influence of pandemic, the people are now, looking for a more empathetic environment to live a comfortable life. As said by Mahatma Gandhi –
Over the time, India has been slipping in the happiness rankings. This International Day of Happiness, India should gear up to realise the above words of the father of the nation.