People dwelling in this city are now very much preoccupied with themselves. They are pure individualists, who are indifferent to the rest of the world.Moreover city people are becoming introverted and self-centred because of TV and mobile phones. Under such circumstances a department of happiness can be set up with a view to bringing people together. The aim of such a department will be to help city dwellers forget the worries of life and enjoy together.
Many countries in the world have ‘Happiness Department’ for their people. Even such a department was formed in our neighbouring country India last year.
Madhya Pradesh in India became the first State to set up a ‘Department of Happiness’ with a view to ensuring happiness in the lives of the common people. Of late that department has organized a week-long ‘Happiness Festival’ to bring all the people living in that area together.
The moment I read this news something popped up in my mind – what about setting up such a department in our capital Dhaka. There is no denying the fact that people living in this mega city (Dhaka) are getting more egocentric with the passage of time. They are now so individualistic that they do not even know anything about the family living next to their houses or flats. Many people do not even dare to approach their neighbours because of an uncertainty over whether they will be treated congenially or not. This is how individualism is not only turning ourselves into egocentric people, but also giving shape to a fear for the unknown inside our minds that may take a severe form at some time.
People dwelling in this city are now very much preoccupied with themselves. They are pure individualists, who are indifferent to the rest of the world. T.S Eliot, a renowned modern poet, regards these people as being dead-alive, taking us to a situation when people are 'spiritually dead'.
Moreover city people are becoming introverted and self-centred because of TV and mobile phones. Under such circumstances a department of happiness can be set up with a view to bringing people together. The aim of such a department will be to help city dwellers forget the worries of life and enjoy together.
In the meantime officials related to such a department can inspire people living in the city to help each other. Even they can take some initiatives to engage people of higher stratum in some charitable acts. For example – they can plan a day-out with poor children living in the slum areas and have meal together to share happiness. If such a thing can be done, people are sure to beam with happiness as such an act of compassion by the members of a community (city dwellers) will definitely make some differences in someone’s life. Moreover mental health experts believe that when we help others we feel happy and there appears to be a direct correlation with overall well-being and giving our time, money or other resources to a cause. Studies suggest that people who volunteer report better health and more happiness than people who do not volunteer.
Again another important task of ‘Happiness Department’ will be to develop a strong sense of fraternity and bonding among the people living in certain vicinity. To implement such a plan concerned authority can fix a day when residents of a specific area (for instance – Bashundhara Residential area) will gather around at a place and then spend some time sprucing up the whole area, collecting litter strewn on curbsides, planting some flowers or trees etc. with a view to beautifying the area. Such activities will definitely establish community attachment and belonging.
In short, the whole idea is to persuade city dwellers to make some time for other people and neighbours as well so that we get to know each other.
With such kind of motivation a department of happiness may promote happiness in a mega city like Dhaka where people belonging to different social classes are suffering from emotional numbness.