By LATA RANI
PATNA: Happiness is an issue that concerns everyone today but there is a village in India’s Bihar state where every resident is now happy!
Reason? Everyone owns their own business and earns handsome money to run his family.
Welcome to Shitalpur, a tiny village in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district located along the Indo-Nepal border which is now hub of business activities at a time when growing migration remain a matter of serious concern.
Happiness descended at the village some four decades back soon after a local youth Basudeo Sharma returned from Japan, armed with the knowledge to manufacture rice seller machines.
Soon after his return, he set up a seller unit at his village in 1979 after getting loan. His effort proved successful.
Encouraged by his success story, scores of co-villagers got attracted to him and set up their own units after getting training form Basudeo.
As of now, some 90 such units are functioning at the village and just everyone in village is employed, bringing happiness in their lives. The annual turnover of this village is roughly Rs 70 crore (Rs 700 million).
“The rice seller industry has brought happiness to every home. Today, our youths don’t have to go outside in search of livelihood. They all are employed in their own village,” said a local villager.
A single seller unit producing one ton of rice in an hour costs around 35 lakh (Rs 3 .5 million) and it takes 10 days to manufacture a big unit.
The manufactured sets have very high demands in the Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana, West Bengal, Assam, Odisa, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal. The flourishing industry has increased the happiness level of local villagers, it is said.
So far, happiness index had primarily got related to Bhutan. Since 1971, the country has rejected the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as the mean to measure happiness and brought in its place the GNH that measures prosperity on the bass of the spiritual, physical, social and environmental health of its citizens.
Unique among the community of nations, it is said to be a balanced “middle path” in which equitable socio-economic development is integrated with environmental conservation, cultural promotion and good governance, says the story of GNH.
“Perhaps inspired by age-old wisdom in the ancient kingdom of Bhutan, the fourth King concluded that GDP was neither equitable nor a meaning measurement for human happiness, nor should it be the primary focus for governance, and thus the philosophy of Gross National Happiness or GNH was born,” says a report.
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