New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee, in his New Year's message to students on Tuesday, called happiness fundamental to human experience of life happy and presented them with a 'toolbox' to use to achive this.
In his message, titled "Building a happy society", to students of higher learning and faculty members, which was conveyed via livecast, hee called upon the youth to enhance happiness by learning to wear a smile always, laughing at life, and connecting with nature and getting involved with the community.
The President advised them to take part in sports and keep good health, and said bringing smiles on the faces of the deprived and under-privileged can be a truly rewarding experience.
"The incidents of against women, road rage, substance abuse, and suicides are all manifestations of unhappiness," he said, and urged students to practice yoga and meditation to overcome these feelings.
He advised youth to make books their best friends and inculcate a love of reading.
Recounted the journey of India in numbers from a poverty-stricken nation 70 years back to present times when it is reckoned amongst the swiftest advancing economies, Mukherjee also lamented the fact that despite such progress, India was ranked 117 among 158 nations on the parameter of 'happiness' in 'World Happiness Index' in 2015.
"This is even more surprising when we look at our civilisational legacy. We are a nation of festivals. Celebration of life is a part of our nature... today, large numbers of countries are looking at happiness and well-being as the touchstones of public policy," he said.
At the end of his address, Mukherjee exhorted students to think through their problems and devise their solutions.
"Remember that our happiness is not divisible. If we care for 'others', then we also share our knowledge and other resources with them. Happiness then becomes an inevitable derivative of a humane pursuit," he said.