Madhya Pradesh on Friday became the first state in the country to set up ‘Happiness Department’, with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan saying it will work to ensure “happiness in the lives of common people” on the lines of Bhutan.
“The Cabinet has decided to constitute Happiness Department in the state,” said Chouhan, who will head the department at present.
“Besides the basic necessities of Roti, Kapda aur Makaan (food, cloth and shelter) people need something more to be happy in their lives,” he said, adding a panel of experts will be formed in the newly-constituted department which will give suggestions to ensure happiness in the lives of the people.
“Normally, happiness is measured with economic growth rate which is not entirely correct as our country for ages believed otherwise. There is something more which can bring happiness in the lives of people,” the chief minister said. He said the concept of happiness was already there in Bhutan which has “Happiness Index” to measure happiness of its people.
Announcing the ‘Happiness Department’ in April, Chouhan had said happiness will not come into the lives of people merely with materialistic possessions or development but by infusing positivity in their lives so that they don’t take extreme steps like suicide. Meanwhile, over facing opposition in construction of a new district court building near a pond in Indore, Chouhan said a delegation has met him on the issue. Also Lok Sabha Speaker and local MP Sumitra Mahajan spoke to him separately.
“The government has decided to review its decision on the issue keeping in mind public emotions. It has also decided to constitute a panel comprising members from the High Court and the district court besides others to look for an alternate site for the purpose,” he said.