There has to be a well-being index for India


Kohl's Wellness Ambassador Alicia Archer in Los Angeles. File/ AFP

I agree with the writer’s suggestion that there has to be a well-being index for India. This is because GDP isn’t a sufficient measure for the well-being or happiness of Indian citizens. It is perhaps because GDP measures output such as prices and consumption. Thus one can see that it need not necessarily mean a measure of a citizen’s welfare (“Strong growth, weak well-being.” Feb.6, The Gulf Today).

The country may have high GDP but there is also a high lack of occurrence of the six other factors that the author mentions - income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.

Take for example the security issues that women face. On the basis of security itself one can say that half the population of India lives in fear and that in itself is a variable that contributes to negative points for well-being.

Take employment. There is certainly a lack. As is with nourishment, and social support.

So a well-being index that includes these six factors and other factors that are unique to the Indian diaspora needs to be brought together and measured alongside with GDP. It will go hand in hand with economic growth measurement. I hope the author’s suggestions are taken seriously and implemented soon.

J Dias — By email