Happy Bhutan is generous too

Giving Index 2014
Giving Index 2014

Bhutan is always at the front line when it is about happiness – for its famous philosophy of Gross National Happiness. This time around, Bhutan has come to the leading position in giving index as well.

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) claimed Bhutan is one of the front liner in being a generous nation. Bhutan is ranked 11th in the world and third in Asia after Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

According to CAF report, Bhutan scored 53% in giving index, 54% in helping stranger, 63% in donating money and 43% in volunteering time. Other stuffs are normal but I feel strange at the donating money figure. I have come across only a few events in Bhutan where people donate money – the biggest one when a dzong in Paro was burnt down by fire. There was a walkathone early this year to raise money for a charity.

The royal family members or the top Buddhist lamas who have many followers run most charities in Bhutan. By nature, these charities draw large number of donations from across the globe. Queen mother was recently in Australia to raise money for her charity. Yet, charity or Dana plays an integral role in the Buddhist community and such charities mostly concentrate for religious purpose.

I am not sure if the donations collected from across the globe and giving back to people in Bhutan is being added for Bhutan’s score for giving money. Otherwise, it can’t be true.

Yes helping stranger in Bhutan is certain to happen. Bhutan has good record of hospitality. I would say Bhutan would score more marks on helping a stranger than donating money. Volunteering is the other important social phenomenon in Bhutan. People rarely seek price for volunteering. Everyone would be ready to volunteer for an event, to help someone or run a project. 43% of Bhutan do volunteering and ranked 9th in the world while India has the highest number of volunteers (186 million). Bhutan is ranked 46th in terms of helping a stranger, 12th in donating money,

This is the first time Bhutan has been included in the World Giving Index.

Interestingly, just five countries that made it to the top 20 are members of the G20 — the world’s largest economies.

To get a well-rounded perspective on people’s giving patterns, respondents were asked if they donated money, volunteered with an organisation or helped a stranger in the past month and the answers were averaged to determine a final score. The report was based on Gallup data collected across 135 countries.

Globally, more people are volunteering their time and helping strangers, but there was a slight drop in the proportion of people donating money.

Top 20 countries in World Giving Index
1. Myanmar and United States of America
3. Canada
4. Ireland
5. New Zealand
6. Australia
7. Malaysia
8. United Kingdom
9. Sri Lanka
10. Trinidad and Tobago
11. Bhutan
12. Netherlands
13. Indonesia
14. Iceland
15. Kenya
16. Malta
17. Austria
18. Denmark
19. Iran
20. Jamaica

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