Wednesday, June 10, 2015

World Happiness Index: Why Are Indians Less Happy Than Pakistanis?

The World Happiness Report 2015 ranks Pakistan at 81, well ahead of India ranked at 117 among 158 countries surveyed.  Not surprisingly,  Switzerland is home to the happiest people in the world. The top 10 on the list are rich industrialized countries of the world.


Pakistan happiness index score has declined by 0.312 since 2008, the year Pakistan became a "democracy" after 8 years of "military rule" by President Pervez Musharraf.

The World Happiness Report bases each country’s ranking on six variables: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and freedom from corruption.

The prevalence of depression is among the key factors determining a country's happiness. The report notes that Pakistan has made significant efforts in treating rural women's depression. Here's an excerpt from the report:

"Community health workers (Lady Health Workers) were trained to identify and treat maternal depression, using a CBT-based ( intervention (the Thinking Healthy Program). The initiative used 16 home-based individual sessions and included active listening, collaboration with the family, guided discovery and homework (Cognitive Behavioral Therapists) is, trying things out between sessions, practicing what was learned). Forty local areas were assigned to either intervention or routine care, with about 450 mothers in each group. At follow-up sessions (after six months) the experimental group included 23% still depressed, compared with 53% in the control group. In another study, psychoeducation is being offered to all mothers."




A Lancet paper describes the mental health intervention as follows:

"Lady Health Workers (LHWs) were trained to deliver a Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) based intervention to depressed women, beginning in the last trimester of pregnancy and ending at 10 months postpartum. The intervention is based in a psychosocial model and not presented as a ‘treatment’ for a ‘mental health problem’ but rather as way to improve positive and healthy thinking around the mother and the baby. The actual delivery of the intervention was integrated into the routine work of the existing community health worker – called Lady Health Worker (LHW) and delivered at the women’s’ home. LHWs are mainly responsible for maternal and child health care".

The Lady Health Workers (LHW) program in Pakistan has been described as “one of the best community-based health systems in the world” by Dr. Donald Thea, a Boston University researcher and one of the authors of a recent Lancet study on child pneumonia treatment in Pakistan. He talked with the New York Times about the study.

Pakistan's relatively lower levels of depression and suicides (less than 3 per 100,000) in South Asia are reflected in the region's suicide statistics. A 2013 scientific paper titled "Mental Depression of Indian Women" published in "Anthropology"  described the situation in India as follows: "Suicidal rate in India is higher comparing to other countries in the world. In each year over a half million people put their own lives down globally, of them 20% are Indians (17% of world population). However, during last two decades the rate of suicide has increased from 7.9 to 10.3 per 100,000".

India's youth suicide rate of 30-40 per 100,000 is among the highest in the world, according to a Lancet study. In addition, Indian farmers' suicides are continuing unabated at a rate of one every 30 minutes for the last two decades.

The problem of suicides appears to be at least in part due to the fact that India's value added agriculture continues be among the lowest in the world. Unlike India, Pakistan managed to significantly raise agriculture productivity and rural incomes in 1980s through a livestock revolution. Economic activity in dairy, meat and poultry sectors now accounts for just over 50% of the nation's total agricultural output. The result is that per capita value added to agriculture in Pakistan is almost twice as much as that in Bangladesh and India.

The key to improving happiness in developing countries like India and Pakistan is to focus on meeting basic needs such as education, nutrition and hygiene, in addition to addressing issues of health, including mental health.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Lady Health Workers Best in the World

Farmer Suicides in India

Agriculture Value Addition in Pakistan

Pakistan Ranks High on Happy Planet Index

Are India and Pakistan Failed States?

India and Pakistan Off-Track Off-Target on Toilets

Pakistani Democracy's Education Report Card

President Musharraf Gained Legitimacy By Good Governance

11 comments:

Singh said...

Happiness level is inversely proportional to expectations of better life in future. There is no big motivation for people to better their lot if they are contended with their present lives..

Riaz Haq said...

Singh: "Happiness level is inversely proportional to expectations of better life in future. There is no big motivation for people to better their lot if they are contended with their present lives.."

So you think the most materialistic societies in the West are the happiest because of lower expectations?

Riaz Haq said...

Here's the real reason for unhappiness in India:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x28whxu_haq-s-musings-grinding-poverty-in-resurgent-india_news

FRANKLY INDIAN said...

In 65 years, India excels Pakistan in many fields

I have extracted this from an article on International News dated Aug 14, 2012, and I think much has changed since then.

Your Opinion please?

As the article is huge I can't paste but giving the link http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-16788-In-65-years-India-excels-Pakistan-in-many-fields

S Qureshi said...

To understand the Happiness level further please read this news report by GARDINER HARRIS, a correspondent for The New York Times who recently completed a three-year assignment in India.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/opinion/sunday/holding-your-breath-in-india.html?_r=0

Riaz Haq said...

“Our travel advice to #Modi is to send his soldiers to invade #Pakistan with their bodybags, they’ll need them" http://wpo.st/nJLL0

An Indian military operation along its eastern border with Burma has Pakistani leaders rattled, resulting in threats of swift retaliation should India ever try similar maneuvers along its western border with Pakistan.

The Pakistani statements — which include provocative reminders that India is not the only subcontinent power with nuclear arms — are once again exposing the deep-rooted suspicions and lingering potential for conflict between the long-standing rivals despite groundbreaking outreach to ease tensions.

It has been worse. The two countries have fought three major wars since 1947, engaged in a nuclear arms race in the 1980s and clashed in the 1990s.
----------
Both the Indian army and Burma’s government have denied that Indian troops crossed the border. In a newspaper interview, however, India’s information minister, Rajyavardhan Rathore, said Indian forces had pushed deep into Burma. He called the operation a “message” to countries such as Pakistan that it will not hesitate to pursue threats outside of its borders.

“We will strike when we want to,” Rathore, a retired army officer, told the Indian Express newspaper.

The reaction from Pakistani leaders has been swift and severe — touching off a wildfire of social media comments on both sides of the border.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan warned Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to think twice before threatening Pakistan. “Those who are contemplating any kind of adventure in Pakistan must know that they will get a bloody face in the process,” Khan said. “Those who have evil designs against us – listen carefully, Pakistan is not” Burma.

Pakistan’s defense minister, Khawaja Asif, even brought up the possibility of nuclear war should India ever launch a similar incursion into Pakistan. He urged the international community to intervene, telling Geo News the latest tension could prove a “harbinger of disaster” for South Asia.

[Floods link the countries in disaster]

Pakistan’s army chief, Raheel Sharif, chaired a meeting of his top commanders on Wednesday to discuss Pakistan’s worsening relationship with India. Over the past month, Pakistani leaders have repeatedly accused India’s intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), of sponsoring several recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

--------

Meanwhile, social media on both sides reflected support of their leaders and militaries. Indians showed support for Modi through the Twitter hashtag of #56inchrocks, a reference to a past claim by Modi about his chest size. (Modi’s longtime tailor later said Modi has a 44-inch chest.)

In Pakistan, the most popular Twitter hashtag is #atankWadiIndia, which is a slur that refers to India as being a terrorist.

“Our travel advice to Modi is to send his soldiers to invade Pakistan with their bodybags, they’ll need them, and we don’t have any,” the group @defencepk, which tracks the Pakistani military, tweeted to its 69,000 followers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/old-rifts-between-india-and-pakistan-again-echo-with-warnings-and-fears/2015/06/11/490616ea-102c-11e5-9726-49d6fa26a8c6_story.html

Riaz Haq said...

Holding Your Breath in #India #pollution http://nyti.ms/1eCMCxj by Gardiner Harris in New Delhi fir NY Times

We gradually learned that Delhi’s true menace came from its air, water, food and flies. These perils sicken, disable and kill millions in India annually, making for one of the worst public health disasters in the world. Delhi, we discovered, is quietly suffering from a dire pediatric respiratory crisis, with a recent study showing that nearly half of the city’s 4.4 million schoolchildren have irreversible lung damage from the poisonous air.
------------
And children are by no means the only ones harmed. Many adults suffer near-constant headaches, sore throats, coughs and fatigue. Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s chief minister, had to leave the city for 10 days in March to cure a chronic cough.

It’s not just the air that inflicts harm. At least 600 million Indians, half the total population, defecate outdoors, and most of the effluent, even from toilets, is dumped untreated into rivers and streams. Still, I never thought this would come home to my family quite as dramatically as it did.

We live in a four-year-old, five-story apartment building that my wife chose because its relatively new windows could help shut out Delhi’s appalling nighttime air. Its cookie-cutter design — by the same developer who built dozens of others in the neighborhood — gave us confidence that things would function, by no means assured for new construction here.

About six months after we moved in, one of our neighbors reported that her tap water suddenly smelled like sewage. Then the smell hit another neighbor and another. It turned out that the developer had dug open channels for sewage that had gradually seeped into each apartment’s buried water tank. When we pulled up the floor tiles on the ground floor, brown sludge seemed to be everywhere.

I was in the shower when this sewage mixture arrived in our apartment. Sounds horrible, but I shrugged and toweled off because that smell is such a frequent presence here.

For much of the year, the Yamuna River would have almost no flow through Delhi if not for raw sewage. Add in the packs of stray dogs, monkeys and cattle even in urban areas, and fresh excretions are nearly ubiquitous. Insects alight on these excretions and then on people or their food, sickening them.


Most piped water here is contaminated. Poor sanitation may be a crucial reason nearly half of India’s children are stunted.

The list of health threats sounds harrowing when considered together, but life goes on and can be quite nice here. Our apartment building eventually installed aboveground water tanks. My children’s school and travel in the region are terrific, and many expats are far more influential here than they would be in their home countries.

Yet one afternoon this spring, someone in our neighborhood burned something toxic, and an astringent cloud spread around our block. My wife was out walking with a friend, and their eyes became teary and their throats began to close. They bolted back inside our apartment where they found Bram gasping again, for the first time in two years. In some places in Delhi, the levels of fine particles that cause the most lung damage, called PM2.5, routinely exceed 1,000 in winter in part because small trash and other fires are so common, according to scientists. In Beijing, PM2.5 levels that exceed 500 make international headlines; here, levels twice that high are largely ignored.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/opinion/sunday/holding-your-breath-in-india.html?_r=0

Riaz Haq said...

According to a report by the Institute for Economics and Peace, "the economic impact of containing and dealing with the consequences of India's levels of violence was estimated to cost the national economy $341.7 billion in 2014. This is equivalent to 4.7 per cent of India's GDP” (Hindu, HT, ET). Moreover, according to the 2015 Global Peace Index (GPI) published on Wednesday, India ranked at 143 out of 162 countries. Within the region India ranked 5th out of the 7 South Asian countries ahead of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The GPI report cited escalating civil strife and the consequent refugee crisis have been among the major factors behind the rising cost of global violence containment. Iceland emerged as the world’s most peaceful nation, while Syria got the bottom spot.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/violence-in-india-impacts-economy-to-the-tune-of-3417-billion-says-iep-report/article7325575.ece

Riaz Haq said...

#India ranks behind #Pakistan and #Iraq on the World Happiness Index. Why is India unhappy? http://social.yourstory.com/2015/07/why-is-india-unhappy/ … via @_SocialStory


India ranks behind Pakistan and Iraq on the World Happiness Index. Why is India unhappy?


Why is India unhappy? The World Happiness index takes into account factors like GDP per capita, social support of having someone to count on in times of trouble, freedom to make life choices, healthy life expectancy, generosity and perceptions of corruption. Seems like half the question is answered, isn’t it? As I dug deeper into finding out why we are unhappy as a nation, I happened to stumble upon a host of disturbing facts and statistics: A 13 year analysis of Crime Data reveals there is one rape every 30 minutes in India One in five cases of honour killing internationally every year comes from India (United Nations) The rate of malnutrition cases among children in India is almost five times more than in China and twice than in Sub-Saharan Africa (The World Bank Report) 12 million children spend their childhood at work and not in a classroom (Census 2011) 270 million persons live below the Tendulkar Poverty Line (NSSO Survey 2013) In addition to these startling facts, the scams and controversies which keep popping up every other day are only adding to the misery.


Our so called ‘resistance’ to a lot of mishaps occurring around us has often been misquoted as ‘strength’ and this is exactly where we are going wrong. We need to take note, speak up and not ‘resist’. While it’s alright to be resilient, the onus lies upon each of us to make the quality of living better for both ourselves and those around us. This along with changes in our public policies can go a long way in improving our quality of life. The rank however is only a number, do good every day,be intolerant towards injustice and follow public discipline, because happiness like everything else, is a result of your own deeds. ... read more on social.yourstory.com

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistanis (rank 92) are happier than people in #India (ranked 118) #SDGs #WorldHappinessReport http://toi.in/KqQ6nY39 via The Times of India

India did not make any improvement in its happiness quotient, ranking 118th out of 156 countries in a global list of the happiest nations, down one slot from last year on the index and coming behind China, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Denmark takes the top spot as the happiest country in the world, displacing Switzerland, according to The World Happiness Report 2016, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the United Nations.
The report takes into account GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support and freedom to make life choices as indicators of happiness.
Switzerland was ranked second on the list, followed by Iceland (3), Norway (4) and Finland (5).
India ranked 118th, down from 117th in 2015.
The report said that India was among the group of 10 countries witnessing the largest happiness declines along with Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen and Botswana.

Riaz Haq said...

There are six love styles: Be, Do, Encourage, Give, Talk and Touch

http://www.tfifamilyservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/January-2013-training-insert.pdf

The five main ways people can give/receive affection are:
Quality Time – where you give each other 'undivided attention’ to talk, listen, eat together or enjoy a shared activity. With a young family you may have to grab small amounts of time together while you can, or you may prefer to schedule uninterrupted time when the kids are asleep.
Words of Affirmation – these are kind, affectionate, appreciative statements that recognize what your loved one means to you. Phrases that respect and encourage each other are also important. As is actively listening to what your partner has to say. You could do this verbally, and/or via email, text, letter, Facebook, or through sharing music, poems or phrases that reflect your feelings. Meg Barker expands on this in her blog post about different ways we can communicate.
Acts of Service – this sounds very formal but simply means doing kind things for each other. Like taking on tasks a partner may not want to do or sharing household chores. It also involves showing you care - for example through preparing meals, paying the bills, and doing the laundry. This category is often the easiest one to miss as it is already part of our daily routine. Highlighting it is as a means of showing affection – and having that recognized and appreciated by a partner can make a big difference to you both feeling cared for.
Gifts – this might be an expensive present or something you have made. The idea here is to show someone you were thinking of them, you recognise what they do for you and you’ve paid attention to their likes and chosen something appropriate for them.
Physical Touch – could be shown in the form of hugs and cuddles; sitting close on the sofa or lying together in bed. Other touch people enjoy includes hair brushing, holding hands, massage (a hand, foot or head massage can work if you’re time-poor). This may or may not be sexual. You might find that time for pleasure has disappeared and finding opportunities to kiss, touch and reconnect physically may lead to you feeling more like sexual intimacy, or just enjoy nurturing touch without it leading to sex.
It may feel strange to sit back and deliberately choose how you want to have affection shared with you and to ask this of your partner. Talking about this might reveal things you didn’t know about each other and highlight opportunities to create consistent positive connections you’ll both enjoy.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/9989306/The-five-types-of-affection-which-one-do-you-prefer.html