The International Day of Happiness is observed every year all over the world on March 20 to highlight the importance of happiness in the diurnal lives of people. The theme of International Day of Happiness for this year is “Happiness For All, Forever” which implies the significance of happiness for people all over the world. The day recognises happiness as the most important need in any human’s life and links it to the overall well-being of humans.
The day also aims to establish the important role that happiness must play while setting public policy objectives as through the day happiness is intrinsically related to equitable economic growth which will thereby lead to sustainable development and overall well-being of all people.
The United Nations started to celebrate the International Day of Happiness in 2013 but a resolution for the same was passed on July 12, 2012. This resolution was first initiated by Bhutan which emphasised on the importance of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s, thereby adopting the Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product.
The World Happiness Report 2021 which was released by United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network on Friday recognised the toll that the coronavirus pandemic has taken over the general happiness and well being of the people. In the report, Finland was ranked as the happiest country in the world, for the fourth time in a row. Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, and the Netherlands followed in second, third, fourth, and fifth positions, respectively.
Afghanistan was ranked the least happy nation. India ranked 139 out of 149 countries in the report. In the 2020 report, India had ranked 144 out of 156 countries. Among India’s neighbouring countries, Pakistan ranked 105th, China 84th, Sri Lanka 129th and Bangladesh 101st.