LOOKING FOR the “happiest” spot in India? Soon, your search may end at New Town-Rajarhat area near Kolkata.
For, the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) and West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) on Thursday tied up with IIT-Kharagpur to up the happiness index of New Town-Rajarhat.
IIT’s Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness and Ranbir and Chitra Gupta School of Infrastructure Design and Management are set to assist NKDA in executing a “happiness and well-being” project, aimed at improving people’s lives.
On Thursday a one-day national workshop was held at New Town on “happiness and well-being at New Town, developing a roadmap”.
“Be it creating infrastructure, providing facility, ensuring well-being of citizens or finding out about their needs and aspirations — we have sought a detailed report within six months. After that, the government will act on implementation,” said Debashis Sen, state additional chief secretary, HIDCO CMD and NKDA chairman.
During the two-year project, the IIT will not only suggest measures to upgrade the happiness index of New Town, it would also ensure pilot implementation of its recommendations.
“We have already started spreading happiness among our students and now, we are on the mission to covert New Town into a happy place. Slowly, we would love to turn it into an epidemic,” said IIT Director Partha Pratim Chakrabarti.
Citing an example of how the project will work, Professor and Head (Department of Humanities & Social Sciences) Priyadarshi Patnaik, said: “Say there is an old age home and a children’s home in the same locality. So, ideally the inmates of the old age home will guide the children in their education and mentor them, while the children will extend a helping hand to their grandparents in their daily lives and during ailments. Thus, they will complement each other.”