Happiness Index Decoded

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The World Happiness Report is a measure of happiness published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. These variables currently include: real GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, trust and residual.

Here is an infogram presenting the data of top 12 happiest countries of the world. Along with it is an analysis of Happiness index score of India and its neighbouring countries. China is the happiest country among them and Afghanistan the least. India is merely ahead of Afghanistan in the rankings.

https://infogr.am/app/#/edit/c0b25418-e332-4333-8461-48e6a8ffeb18

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Is your country happy?

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According to john Adams, happiness of a society is the end of the government.

However, not all nations are can be equally content with their governance. Happiness of people in the  countries vary. Typically on various factors such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make choices,  generosity, trust and residual as per the World Happiness Report.

In July 2011, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution inviting member countries to measure the happiness of their people and to use this to help guide their public policies.

As of the 2017 report Norway is the overall happiest country in the world. Close behind are Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tight pack. India is way below 121 countries, having poor ranking than its neighbours Pakistan (80) and Bangladesh (110).

Here is a story map of 12 happiest countries in the world.

https://storymap.knightlab.com/edit/?id=happiness-index

 

Modern Cindrella

 

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She’s capable enough to take a stand for herself.
She doesn’t blame it all on her fate,
She prefers taking control of it.
She’s tough and determined,
Not naive and flippant.
She doesn’t wait for magic to turn her world upside down,
She outshines herself through her captivating flare.
A modern Cinderella doesn’t need a prince to make her feel worthy,
Every bone in her body is full proof of it and makes the world come at her feet.

Winters Trigger Alarming Levels of Pollution

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At 4 a.m on a typical foggy winter morning, when the city is covered  in the haze of sleep,  Iqbal sits on the sides of the iconic Janpath street, curled up inside a thick blanket, sipping his roadside tea.Today, like every other day he waits for customers at his little tea stall, grabbing a cup of tea now and then, to steal some warmth. But something is different. Perplexed, he takes heavy breaths of oddity, feeling a disruption in his respiratory tract.

As the temperature dips and the wind whizzes past,this alarming state becomes a common sight among the people living in the city. The World Health Organisation has already declared Delhi’s air to be the worst in the world. The 24-hour-average of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 and PM 10 has been 182 and 343 micrograms per cubic metre respectively, whereas the corresponding figures for safe limits are 60 and 100. Further, these dangerous levels of PM when combined with the humidity borne Delhi fog, doubles the impact of the lethal chemicals swimming in the air.

High levels of toxic air with fine lead particles is causing numerous breathing problems among Delhiites. They can further lead to asthma, allergies and heart diseases. Keeping in mind the trend of winter mortality, the poisonous air can further contribute to a lot of deaths.

To fight these hazardous weather conditions, the Supreme Court has ordered to enforce the odd-even formula, so as to decrease pollution due to vehicles. The apex court has further directed to halt all construction activities if air pollution level breaches the PM2.5 emergency level of 300 micrograms per cubic metre for 48 hours at a stretch.

Safety experts haverecommended schools to restrict outdoor activities of students and advised people to stay put inside their homes as much as possible, especially the elder ones. They have also suggested people to put on masks when venturing out.

People can act upon these basic tips to keep themselves away from danger. However, we must not forget that a major chunk of people like Iqbal, who spend most of their time on the roads to earn a living for themselves, and the homeless have nowhere to go. The most affected by the wrath of Delhi’s weather are certainly the most neglected.

 

 

The Cursed Road to Income

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New Delhi:Peeping through the window screens of fancy cars or into auto rickshaws, Nanhi stands firmly rooted to her spot, longing for a glimpse of figures covered in layers of clothing to beat the cold. With her head and upper body wrapped up in a thin blanket on a chilly winter evening, she holds a couple of balloons in her hands, intending to sell them for a petty amount of ten rupees each. It means a fortune to her.

Nanhi is 12 years old and has been selling things like balloons, caps, coconuts, toys, flags etc for as long as she can remember. Living with her family near a Munirka traffic signal, she assists her family’s earnings from dawn to dusk and even after. She has never been to a school and says that she doesn’t want to. Neither does she it blame on her parents for making her work; she claims it’s her will. Whys to the question have only silence to offer. Perhapsshe is hesitant and shy. Maybe, she has been tutored not to say anything that can land her family in trouble.

This is not the story of one Nanhi. It speaks about the dismal state of affairs of millions of child labourers in India, forced into the evils of begging and selling on the traffic signals across the country. Some are doing it under pressure from families, others do it under the threat of ‘owners’, while for some it is the sole way of winning bread for themselves. As per a UNICEF report,18 million children work on the streets of India, of which it is  estimated that only 5-20 percent are truly homeless and disconnected from their families. This indicates towards a brutal truth- most of the children on the roads are not deserted. They are brutally abused by traffickers.

The street earning of these kids may vary as per the work but they usually make enough for subsistence. Most street children in India earn between 200 and 830 rupees a month, older ones being the higher earners. The largest chunk of their income goes into feeding their stomach, which costs at a minimum of 10-20 rupees per day. In order to cut down on food expenses,children drink tea to douse hunger.The remaining portion of the income is either sent to the family or spent on entertainment purposes like watching cheap ticket movies or to buy bidis, chewing tobacco, alcohol and drugs.

 Street children are often aremade to wear minimal clothing in order to gain sympathy from the public, in hopes of earning a little extra. Portrayal of a disability is another tactice taught to them.They could be forcefully amputated or a body part could be damaged for garnering more pity. Not only do these kids miss out on their rightful opportunity of having a better future, but they get tangled in a world of ill habits, misfortune and poverty.

Nanhi may not know the importance of education in her life right now, but then she is not far away in walking herself up to a doomed state. The thing with child labourers is that their minds are in transition and there is  still a hope of them being saved from the atrocities that their parents or owners subject them to. A little push in the right direction is all they need to survive and sustain in order to build a better future.

Fall for the ordinary

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Behind the walls I could listen to a thousand stories breathe. They screamed and cried with fear but could not speak. A little bit of desperation and a little more of belief, could give a voice to the thousands who felt so weak. A little hope to asylum was given by the trees, who clung on to its roots, even when it was time for its every  leaf to leave.

In this world where every force tries to bring you down and inflicts the idea of your ordinariness into your psyche, remember, it is ordinary for every butterfly to have patterns on their wings but not all are fashioned the same way!

READ, WRITE, IGNITE..

And fall in love with your ordinary!