Tarun Gogoi, the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Assam has plans to replicate Bhutan’s model of Gross National Happiness as an index of the state’s well-being.
Talking to the media last month, the Minister said, “If Congress remains in power in the state, we shall surely try and follow Bhutan’s happiness theory so that we are able to bring in holistic changes in the state and help develop amity, peace, social order, besides accelerating the economic growth.”
He said Assam will be more interested in sectors like education and health and will make sure that the children in the state are imparted proper education and health fa- cilities, forests are well covered and maternal mortality is lessened.
Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness is a policy decreed by former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck to try and reflect the true quality of life in a more holistic manner. The Bhutanese happiness theory emphasizes on a buoyant economy, which means rising incomes and employment opportunities. Bhutan’s happiness policy, also known as the GNH, seems to be reaping the desired results – 72 percent of the country is still forested, healthcare is free and a study conducted by the University of Leicester in Britain ranks Bhutan as the planet’s eighth happiest place, ahead of the U.S. and Canada.