The Madhya Pradesh government (MP) has decided to introduce a new subject called ‘anand’, or ‘happiness’, in the schools across the state. According to officials, the reason behind this is to enable the students to acquire life-skills and face the challenges of the post-covid world. Four years ago, the ‘happiness department’ was set up to evaluate the happiness index of the state. It prepared a syllabus on happiness with the purpose of ensuring that students don’t take the extreme steps of stress-related suicides.
Chief executive officer of Rajya Anand Sansthan, Akhilesh Argal, stated that ‘anand’ will be first introduced as a new subject in classes 9 to 12. He also said that the course will include psychological sessions, failure stories of famous people, along with teaching about helping others, forgiveness, gratitude, acceptance, meditation, self-confidence, ways to live stress-free life, among other things.
Training will be provided to the teachers to teach this subject. As stated by a project officer, the teacher will start with the explanation of the topic such as ‘chinta ka koi labh nahi hai’ (there are no benefits of tension) and will further expand the understanding of the students through stories, assignments, and sharing of personal experiences.
School education minister, Inder Singh Parmar said that this would lead to change in the lifestyle of the future generation, making them aware of their inner strength to fight against materialistic life and strengthen them mentally.
As per the Annual Death and Suicide in India (ADSI) report 2020, MP is placed as the second-worst state (after Maharashtra) with regard to suicide among students. The decision for the introduction of the course was taken to deal with this issue. Requesting the state government to have separate classes on mental health, clinical psychiatrist, Dr Satyakant Trivedi, stated that 3 out of 10 students needed psychological help before the covid-19 pandemic and the number increased to 7 out of 10 after the pandemic.
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