Andhra Pradesh becomes second state to get happiness department

The Andhra Pradesh government will soon constitute a Happiness Commission that will take up a series of programmes to promote “happiness” in the state, senior officials said on Monday.

The commission, which will work under the department of planning, will be headed by chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

“The proposal is in the final stages and very soon, we shall issue an order constituting the commission,” said Sanjay Gupta, chief executive officer of the AP state development planning society (APSDPS) and vice-chairman of the proposed commission.

Andhra Pradesh became the second state in the country to introduce an exclusive ministry for happiness in April 2017. Madhya Pradesh is the first.

According to Gupta, the objective of the commission is to ensure all-round development of people, including their psychological well-being, health, usage of their time, education etc, besides gauging their satisfaction over implementation of the government programmes.

“Our ultimate objective is to make Andhra Pradesh a happy state,” he said. The commission is expected to take up a series of activities grouped into different thematic areas. They include: development of infrastructure to promote healthy living, creation of a lively work environment in public and private offices, creation of facilities to improve the lifestyle of people, promotion of adventure and outdoor activities and introduction of programmes that would promote behaviour changes among people.

“For example, the department has proposed to create walking spaces for citizens in all the municipalities, development of parks with sitting and jogging spaces, introduce electric buses and CNG auto rickshaws in place of petrol or diesel vehicles and creation of cycling zone in the municipal areas to promote a health living style,” Gupta said.