Gross National Happiness
GNH is a unique and primary philosophy initiated by his majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuk to bring about the judicious balance between the spiritual and material advancement of the Bhutanese people and the country.
With his famous declaration in the 1970s, the former King of Bhutan challenged conventional, narrow and materialistic notions of human progress. He realized and declared that the existing development model – GNP (or GDP) – did not consider the ultimate goal of every human being: happiness.
Perhaps inspired by age-old wisdom in the ancient Kingdom of Bhutan, the fourth King concluded that GDP was neither an equitable nor a meaningful measurement for human happiness, nor should it be the primary focus for governance; and thus the philosophy of Gross National Happiness: GNH is born.
Since that time this important vision of GNH has guided Bhutan’s development and policy formation. Unique among the community of nations, it is a balanced ‘middle path’ in which equitable socio-economic development is integrated with environmental conservation, cultural promotion, and good governance.
For over 2 decades as Bhutan remained largely isolated from the world, GNH remained largely an intuitive insight and guiding light. It reminded the government and people alike that material progress was not the only, and not even, the most important contributor to well-being. As Bhutan increasingly engaged with the global community, joining international organizations, substantial efforts were made to define, explain and even measure GNH. Indices were created, measurements were recorded and screening tools for government policy were created, and the second phase in the development of GNH saw its practical implementation in government become a living reality.
GNH- Gross National Happiness
Our country Bhutan is recognized as an independent nation located between two great nations that are China and India. Despite facing the tough atmosphere which it surrounds, yet it’s a country to be praised for, as it is the source of GNH. Well, what actually is GNH? The word itself is self-explanatory; GNH is Gross National Happiness, a step taken by people of Bhutan in implementing happiness in the country. His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo is the father of GNH. That’s why we the Bhutanese should take pride and be honored to be born in such a country with a wise leader to lead it.
GNH looks into developing country in a such a way that it has good governance or good ruling party to look over, to conserve the precious environment which protects the wildlife, to help people value our culture that has been passed to us from generation to generations and which is the main strength which protects our identity. It also helps people to understand how much economic development take part in letting the nation to rise up and to stand on its own. Well, I must say that Bhutanese people are very lucky to have free health facilities, unlike other countries where you have to pay a huge whole sum for treatment. Bhutanese people are blessed with a free education. Unlike other countries like India, people have to pay a huge amount to the school and to be educated. Some of the children who belong to the poor family do not get the chance to study as they are not able to afford it. Not only the education is free in Bhutan but also the Bhutanese people are surrounded by a great diversity of forest and agricultural fields which play a vital role in maintaining sustainability in the nation. Well, I feel that no one in our country shall starve or suffer from famine as our country is rich enough to feed every mouth that lives in it.
Bhutan is a happy country as GNH has prevailed in it for its people. GNH, not only aims at developing the country but also to make itself a sustainable, so that the people living in the country need not have to face the phase of famine or other destructive influences. I am lucky to be part of Bhutanese family and to share the Bhutanese atmosphere.