Madhya Pradesh govt mulls winding up happiness department

Bhopal: The new government in Madhya Pradesh may not bring cheers for state happiness department, established by the outgoing chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to “create a joyful environment” in MP.

For, the chief minister Kamal Nath was mulling to wind up the department as part of austerity drive by his government, highly placed sources disclosed to this newspaper here on Thursday.

“The chief minister is seriously contemplating to close down or reorganise several government-run organisations and departments as part of austerity drive. The happiness department is most likely to become casualty of the drive”, a senior officer of the state government said requesting not to be quoted.

In fact, the happiness department set up by the previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in July, 2016 to ensure a meaningful life for people of MP to make them happy has hardly fulfilled the objectives of its formation so far.

The department headed by a secretary-level IAS officer had conducted several exercises to ascertain what would make people happy, but failed to make any headway in the direction.

Entertainment program-mes were conducted for government employees to find out if they felt really happy. But, it was found that the joy caused by these programmes among the employees was short lived.

The state government had also organised sports and other entertainment programmes in the rural areas to make locals happy. But, the results were also not found that encouraging.

The state government had also prepared a “Happiness Calendar” for helping citizens to remain happy and dedicated to the right causes.

Later, Indian Institutes of Technology Kharagpur had been engaged to prepare survey questions for the happiness department on the current happiness index brought out countries like Bhutan, and UAE which have made
much progress in the direction.

A international conference was mulled here by end of the year to define happiness index for MP.