Democratic values as a yardstick to assess happiness: All about ‘Happy Kerala’ initiative

Kerala is focusing on what truly matters— happiness. It aims to make every household a hub of joy, with a custom plan for each family and a unique ‘Happiness Index’ to track their progress.

ByDileep V Kumar

Published Jul 03, 2024 | 2:00 PM Updated Jul 03, 2024 | 2:00 PM

happy kerala

The southern state of Kerala, shortly, will not just measure economic growth but will measure smiles also.

Through a pioneering concept, the state is planning to undertake an experiment to make happiness a contagious phenomenon, spreading from house to house. The state is also cooking up a happiness index to spice up the lives of its citizens.

This time, the state embarks on a journey to transform itself into one where joy thrives within every family.

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‘Happy Kerala’

It will be under the “Happy Kerala” concept that the said initiatives will be carried out. The main objective of this will be to transform every family in the state into a happiness centre.

It will be Kudumbashree, which will spearhead this groundbreaking project, which is set to commence as a pilot initiative in 168 local bodies converting homes into beacons of joy and well-being by 17 August.

“The aim is to foster a holistic sense of happiness and upliftment for every individual and family through Happy Kerala. This innovative endeavour positions Kerala as a model for other states to follow,” said B Sreejith, programme officer, Kudumbashree to South First.

According to him, the concept plans to address a broad spectrum of areas critical to individual and family happiness, including equality, economic sustainability, environmental consciousness, arts, literature, sports, mental health, nutrition, hygiene, and democratic values.

“The plan is to make each household a centre of happiness. But these happiness centres won’t be a one-size-fits-all solution. Activities will be tailored to address specific needs in areas like equality, health, environment, and more, ensuring everyone from children to the elderly benefits. A micro-plan will get devised,” he added.

It is learnt that a special survey will be conducted in these areas to understand the current happiness levels.

Experts will then use this data to create a unique “Kerala Happiness Index” and design programmes to boost it.

The Local Self Government Department will play a crucial role in the execution of this project, partnering with Kudumbashree.

The initiative will also see collaboration with several other departments, including health, social justice, women and child development, agriculture, animal husbandry, dairy development, and forestry.

Additionally, Kudumbashree will integrate its various ongoing projects to maximize the initiative’s impact.

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Central to the “Happy Kerala” initiative is the PROSPERITY theory, an acronym representing the key parameters of happiness:

  •  P for Positive Emotion
  •  R for Resilience
  •  O for Optimal Engagement
  •  S for Social Connections
  •  P for Purpose and Meaning
  •  E for Economic Stability
  •  R for Responsible Citizenship
  •  I for Improve Your Health
  •  T for Technological Integration
  •  Y for Your Achievements

By addressing these areas, families can build a strong foundation for happiness.

It is learnt that each household will be assessed based on these parameters, except ‘Your Achievements’ which will be evaluated in the final phase.

This structured approach ensures that corrections and improvements can be systematically implemented to enhance the overall well-being of each family.

An official who is part of the Happy Kerala concept told South First, “If this initiative becomes a success, then it will be a powerful testament to the fact that happiness isn’t just a feeling, it’s a conscious choice we can all make, together. With ‘Happy Kerala,’ Kerala will prove that true happiness can truly be built from the ground up, one happy family at a time.”

(Edited by Venugopal)

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