Gemini Ganesan started his filmy career with Miss Malini in 1947, but was noticed only after his villainous performance in Thai Ullam in 1953. His handsome looks and charming attitude soon got him a slew of offers and Gemini Ganesan soon earned the title `Kadhal Mannan’ (King of Romance). In his long film career spanning over five decades, Gemini Ganesan acted in more than 200 films, including Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, and Kannada. Gemini Ganesan’s personal life, particularly his marriage to multiple women over the years, has often been a subject of criticism.
Popularly known as the romantic hero, Gemini Ganesan, at 19, married Alamelu, and whom he fondly called ‘Boubji’. Alamelu and Gemini Ganesan have four daughters; three of them – Revathi, Kamala and Jayalakshmi – are medical doctors ,the fourth Narayani is a journalist.
Later Gemini Ganesan married Savitri. Savitri and Gemini Ganesan have two children- a daughter Vijaya Chamundeswari, who is a physiotherapist, and has been the part of few movies and Gemini Ganesan has only son Satheesh Kumar.
Gemini Ganesan has two daughters with Pushpavalli- Rekha who went on to become a famous Bollywood actor, and Radha.
In October 1998, Gemini Ganesan married Juliana Andrews. His fourth and last wife Juliana, whom he married at an age of 78, was then a 36-year-old woman.
Gemini Ganesan was survived by seven daughters and a son.
When Savitri fell sick and went into coma, Alamelu took in Savitri’s children and visited her in hospital. When Savitri died, Alamelu brought her body back to her house in Chennai and held the funeral.
Despite the many women in his life, Alamelu was the pillar of strength for Gemini Ganesan till he passed away on 22nd March 2005.
Dulquer Salmaan essayed the role of Gemini Ganesan in Nag Ashwin’s Mahanati, whereas Keerthy suresh played the titular role.
Some Interesting Trivia about Gemini Ganesan
As a mark of respect to the CRPF jawans who lost their lives in the Pulawama attack, Indian cricketers sported the Army cap on Friday.
Pakistan has demanded that the ICC take note of Indian cricketers wearing camouflage military caps during the third ODI against Australia, accusing Virat Kohli team's of politicising the game.
As a mark of respect to the CRPF jawans who lost their lives in the Pulawama terrorist attack, Indian cricketers sported the Army cap and also donated their match fee for the welfare of the families of the martyrs.
Taking an exception to the gesture, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the International Cricket Council must do something about it.
"The world saw that the Indian cricket team wore military caps instead of their own, did ICC not see this? We think that it is the ICC's responsibility to take notice of this without the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) bringing it up," Qureshi was quoted as saying by Pakistan media.
India had lost the match by 32 runs but still lead the five-match series 2-1.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry echoed Qureshi's sentiment.
"It's just not Cricket," Chaudhry tweeted in the evening, attaching a picture which showed Indian cricketers wearing the cap.
"And if the Indian team will not be stopped, Pak cricket team should wear black bands to remind The World about Indian atrocities in Kashmir," Chaudhry wrote.
The minister urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to lodge a formal protest against India with the sport's world governing body.
At least 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives in the suicide attack on February 14, the responsibility of which was taken by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The IPL 2018 opener will be the 23rd time when MI and CSK square off in the tournament, where MI holds 12-10 lead over Dhoni and co.
Mumbai: Time to talk is over…almost. The time to lock horns is here as the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 is set for a blockbuster opener as Mumbai Indians (MI) square off against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
This will be the 25th time that these two sides will face each other in Twenty20s and 23rd time in the IPL, with MI enjoying 13-11 lead (overall) and 6-4 (overall) in India’s financial capital. MI also hold an edge over CSK, with 12-10 win-loss ratio (5-2 at Wankhede), in their 22 IPL battles.
The Men in Yellow or as some like to call them, the Manchester United of IPL – loved, hated, but hardly-ever ignored – are making a return to cricket’s widely watched domestic T20 league following a two-year suspension due to the spot-fixing saga. CSK will like to make their IPL comeback memorable and win the opening game.
Defending champions, Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, will like to brush aside their tendency of being the late bloomers and losing the first few games. Although there are going to be battles within battles – Ravindra Jadeja vs Hardik Pandya and Dwanye Bravo vs Kieron Pollard, the MI vs CSK encounter will be a battle of cores as the teams have retained their core of players via player retentions and at the auction.
While MI core consists of Rohit, Pandya brothers – Hardik and Krunal –, Jasprit Bumrah, Pollard and Mitchell McClenaghan, CSK have Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Bravo and Murali Vijay.
However, the IPL opener will also be an opportunity to see how the other Jharkhand boy and a possible MS Dhoni successor, playing for MI, Ishan Kishan does. He was India’s captain as they missed out winning the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh a few years ago. While Kishan’s then teammate and explosive wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant made it to Team India before him, Pant’s failure to cash in on the limited opportunities, means a chance for Kishan to raise his credentials and be in contention for a spot in limited-overs squad whenever opportunity arises in the future.
Kishan and the explosive West Indian Evin Lewis at the top with Rohit, Hardik, Pollard, JP Duminy, Krunal, Suryakumar Yadav in the middle, means MI have a powerful batting unit.
The Mukesh Ambani-owned side, meanwhile, will see an end of an era and a beginning of a new bowling order under Bumrah’s leadership as Lasith Malinga will no longer play the event as a bowler and turns mentor while Harbhajan Singh dons Yellow over Blue, which he wore over 10 seasons of IPL.
For CSK, while they will have to do a bit of jugglery at the top with the likes of Sam Billings, Faf, Shane Watson, Murali Vijay and Ambati Rayudu providing enough options for the openers’ slots, their middle-order of Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwaye Bravo possesses solid skills to counter MI’s bowling attack.
While CSK managed to retain majority of their core, they could not retain R Ashwin. However, the management has roped in Harbhajan, Karn Sharma and Imran Tahir to bolster team’s spin-bowling attack, which also has Jadeja as two pacers from the likes of Mark Wood, Shardul Thakur and Lungi Ngidi will take the field for CSK in IPL 2018 opener.
Predicted playing XIs:
Mumbai Indians: Evin Lewis, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan, Akila Dananjaya / Mustafizur Rahman, Rahul Chahar / Pradeep Sangwan.
Chennai Super Kings: Sam Billings/Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Kedar Jadhav, Dwyane Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Mark Wood / Lungi Ngidi, Shardul Thakur.
Head to head IPL record:
Games played: 22
Mumbai Indians: 12 wins
Chennai Super Kings: 10 wins
Click here for match predication to win in Dream 11 / Halaplay / My Team 11
CMDA also plans to construct an MTC bus stand on five acres of land to operate link services to CMBT and to other parts of the city.
Chennai: Nudging officials to start work on the long pending Kilambakkam bus terminus, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, who is also the housing minister, conducted an inspection of the site on Thursday evening.
“The new bus stand that would cater to the southbound buses will be coming up on 88.52-acre land. The detailed project report will be completed in two months and construction will be completed in two years,” Panneerselvam told media persons after the inspection.
According to CMDA officials, the bus stand near Vandalur would cost Rs 321 crore and would accommodate 250 buses every day. “Moreover, nearly 300 spare buses could be parked in the bus stand,” one of the officials said.
CMDA also plans to construct an MTC bus stand on five acres of land to operate link services to CMBT and to other parts of the city. The new bus stand would also accommodate 275 cars and 3,582 two-wheelers apart from housing a police station and a water purification centre among other facilities. “The bus stand will also have escalators to help differently-abled and elderly passengers,” the official said.
CMDA is expected to obtain no objection certificate (NOC) from Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to construct the bus stand. “We have applied for the NOC. Since norms allow the construction activity near the particular archaeological site, the NOC will be given, hopefully,” the CMDA official said. An objection from ASI has been one of the roadblocks impeding the Kilambakkam bus stand, apart from anomalies in land acquisition.
Parents queued up at schools to pick up their children and a few private schools in Central Chennai were closed past noon.
Chennai: Normal life was affected in Chennai on Thursday following the statewide bandh called by the opposition parties and traders. While government and private schools functioned normally, office goers and the travelling public faced hardship due to flash road and rail rokos. Parents queued up at schools to pick up their children and a few private schools in Central Chennai were closed past noon.
Ambulances carrying patients to private and government hospitals found it difficult to reach the hospitals as both the arterial Anna Salai and Kamaraj Salai were choked till noon.
Windowpanes of government buses were broken and pro Tamil outfits in Central and North Chennai also pelted stones at private banks and retail showrooms. A few shops and banks which were kept open in the morning were immediately closed following stone pelting events creating tension in Parrys and Doveton. Branches of Kotak Mahindra and ICICI banks were also warned by DMK men and were closed within hours after they were opened for transactions. The bank employees were also asked to leave for the day by their management.
Both Chennai Central and Egmore saw passengers stranded for more than two hours due to inadequate services of MTC buses, autos and cabs. “My in-laws who arrived from Bangalore through intercity express at Chennai Central were stranded for about one and half an hours due to the bandh and finally we got a cab to reach our place in Ashok Nagar”, said P. Malini a stranded housewife at Central railway station.
Though normalcy was restored by around 6 pm, almost 70 percent of commercial firms and shops remained closed throughout the day in Central Chennai. Commercial hubs including T. Nagar, Parry's, Purasaiwalkam, Vadapalani and Mylapore were deserted on Thursday morning. Koyambedu and Parry's corner known for sprawling vegetable and fruit markets also remained closed.
“As the ministers gave assurance to accept our demands, we decide to call off the strike,” Abirami Ramanathan, president of the association, said.
Chennai: Days after Tamil film industry came to a standstill, the Tamil Nadu Film Exhibitors' Association on Thursday called off its indefinite strike following a meeting with ministers .
“As the ministers gave assurance to accept our demands, we decide to call off the strike,” Abirami Ramanathan, president of the association, said.
The exhibitors have been in a strike from March 16 putting forth demands including cancellation of entertainment tax, maintenance cost among others. The strike also had hit new releases.
Following the standstill, a meeting had been held in the presence of state ministers Kadambur Raju and K.C. Veeramani, on Thursday. “Respecting their word, we call off the strike. Cinema halls will open from Friday,” Ramanathan told media, shortly after the conclusion of the meeting. It may be recalled that the film producers are continuing their protest against Digital Service Providers (DSP) and withheld new releases and stopped shootings.
For improvement of pulses, more focus was given by state government.
In view of poor storage of water in Mettur dam, the Chief Minister on 12.06.2017, announced the “Kuruvai Cultivation Package 2017” in delta districts at an outlay of `56.92 crore, with an objective to protect the welfare of the delta farmers and to encourage the farmers to take up Kuruvai cultivation with focus on pulse crop utilizing the ground water in delta districts. Due to implementation of this package, an area of 2.73 lakh acres of paddy and 0.683 lakh acres of pulses was covered, in delta region.
Further, the CM has announced Samba package 2017 with a budget outlay of Rs 41.15 crore on 28.09.2017 when announcement was made for the Mettur dam opening on 02.10.2017 to protect the welfare of the farmers by giving priority to direct sowing utilizing the rainfall received in delta districts. Due to this package, 2,51,534 farmers were benefited and paddy coverage touched an area of 10.685 lakh acre.
For improvement of pulses, more focus was given by state government. An area of 19.40 lakh acres under pulses crop was achieved during 2016-2017 by implementing cluster demonstration of pulses and awareness Campaign under pulses development programme. An amount of `74.73 crore has been spent for seed production and seed distribution, distribution of implements, important inputs such as MN mixture, gypsum and PP chemicals at subsidised cost.
Tamil Nadu has experienced an unprecedented drought in 2016, state government has taken sincere efforts to bring more farmers under crop insurance cover for compensating the yield loss.
Due to the steps taken by the government, an area of 31.85 lakh acre was insured and 15.37 lakh farmers have been enrolled. A sum of `565 crore was released to the insurance companies as the State share of premium subsidy. So far, an amount of `3,020 crore has been sanctioned to more than 9 lakh farmers as compensation claims and a sum of Rs 2,512 crore has been credited to 7.49 lakh farmers account. The state government is continuously following with insurance companies and bankers for crediting the balance compensation.
During the year 2017-2018 under the “Mission Soil Health Card” scheme, so far 6.51 lakh soil samples have been collected and 5.53 lakh samples analysed and 5.23 lakh soil health cards were distributed to the farmers, for soil test based application of fertilizers.
For promotion of integrated farming system among farmers, inputs were distributed in 13,550 hectare to encourage two crop sequences. Milch animals and small ruminants are being distributed. 453 permanent and 500 temporary Vermi compost units were established utilising Rs 15.88 crore.
Paramparaghat Krishi Vikas Yojana is being implemented as a three year continuous scheme in 10 districts covering 4,646 acres in cluster approach.
With an aim to improve area under cotton, the Tamil Nadu Cotton Cultivation mission (TNCCM) is being implemented in the year 2017-2018.
With an objective to enhance the sugarcane productivity, Sustainable Sugarcane Initiatives (SSI) is programmed to a target of 16000 hectare at a financial outlay of `30 crore during 2017-2018.
Seeds and other inputs have been distributed at 50% subsidy to farmers to sustain the yield in the dry land area. A total sum of `50 crore was allotted for 5 lakh acres in the first year. So far, 4,53,926 acres of dry land area has been sown under millets, pulses, oil seeds and cotton during this year.
For reduced use of pesticides, the government is giving emphasis for adoption of Integrated Pest Management practices. As a part of this intiative 20,000 Portable Solar Power Light Traps are being distributed at 50% subsidy for an outlay of `4 crore during 2017-2018.
For judicious use of water, Micro Irrigation (MI) scheme is being promoted for which 100% subsidy is extended to Small/Marginal farmers and 75% subsidy to Other farmers. In the year 2017-2018, Micro Irrigation is implemented in 3 lakh acres at an outlay of `804 crore. So far 2.23 lakh acres have been registered and the installation is in progress.
For Modernization of state horticulture farms, works such as face lifting of parks, Center of Excellence for cut flowers and vegetables are in progress. Infrastructure facilities for seed production in 19 state horticulture Farms are being carried out at an outlay of Rs 2,076.57 lakh.
As special livelihood package was announced by the CM on 11.12.2017 to provide relief and recultivation assistance to the “Ockhi Cyclone” hit Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi Districts farmers. Accordingly, the assistance for the Banana cultivated farmers is Rs 48,500 to 63,500 per hectare, for Rubber tree cultivated farmers assistance is Rs 1 lakh per hectare and for Clove cultivated farmers the assistance is Rs 28,000 per hectare.
l Through Regulated Markets, 19.86 lakh MT of agricultural produce were sold by farmers and `100.54 crore was collected as revenue from traders.
l To prevent post harvest losses and for value addition a mega project “Supply Chain Management of Fruits, Vegetables and Other Perishables” is being implemented in 10 Districts under WIF scheme at a cost of `398.75 Crore. Civil works for Primary Processing Centres and Main Markets at an estimated cost of Rs 253.66 crore are under progress.
The state government aims to promote farm mechanization to minimize the problems due to shortage of labourers and to enable the farmers to take up timely agricultural practices. So far, 4,375 numbers of agricultural machinery and implements were distributed to farmers with a subsidy assistance `32 crore.
For infrastructure facilities at 7 Agricultural Colleges and 3 Research stations under TNAU, an amount of `108.04 crore has been allocated.
Establishment of Mango Research Centre with a sanctioned amount of `2 crore at Paiyur in Krishnagiri District.
During the year 2016, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University was ranked 40th position and 7th Position in the year 2017 among the all Universities across India besides 20th position under the category Teaching and Learning resources in the year 2016 and 5th Position in the year 2017 by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Animal husbandry, dairying & fisheries department
Free Distribution of Milch Cows / Goats / Sheep Scheme:
The free distribution of milch cows scheme is being implemented in 21 Districts at a financial allocation of Rs 49.832 crore. During the current year, so far, a total of 8,417 beneficiaries have been provided with 8,417 milch cows at the rate of one cow/ beneficiary.
Further, the free distribution of goats/sheep scheme is being implemented in 31Districts at a financial allocation of Rs 198.75 crore. During the current year, so far, a total of 97,473 beneficiaries have been provided with 3,89,892 goats / sheep at the rate of four goats/sheep per beneficiary.
Scheme for Poultry Development
The Scheme is implemented with a view to improve the rural economy by increasing the percapita income in rural areas. Financial Sanction for a sum of Rs 18.75 crore has been accorded for the Scheme.
State Fodder Development Scheme
l A total sum of `25 crore has been sanctioned and Rs 18.75 crore was received under this Scheme a total of 7,170 acres of farmers own lands have been brought under green fodder cultivation, resulting in a production of 20.038 lakh metric tonnes of fodder.
Infrastructure Improvement Programme
l In order to improve the infrastructure in the Department, a total of 150 Veterinary Institutions are being newly constructed under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund XXIII of NABARD at a financial allocation of Rs 49.09 crore. Urther, under NABARD RIDF XXII, a total of 127 veterinary Institutions are under construction at a financial allocation of Rs 34.63 crore. Besides these, financial sanction of Rs 1.6 crore has also been accorded for the construction of an integrated office Complex for the Joint Director and Assistant Director's offices at Kancheepuram.
Milk Procurement Achievement
Milk procurement during February 2017 has been increased by 22% from 25.40 LLPD to 31.04 LLPD during November 2017. The highest procurement was achieved by Aavin on 21.09.2017, with an all time high of 33.01 LLPD.
Milk Sales Achievement
Milk sales has increased by 4.76% from 21.02 LLPD in February 2017 to 22.02 LLPD in November 2017.
The highest sale of 12.30 lakh Litres in Chennai Metro was achieved on 29.09.2017. Similarly highest sales of 10.32 lakh Litres was achieved on 03.09.2017 in the District unions. As per the announcement made by the Hon'ble Minister for Milk and Dairy Development Department for 2017-2018, the sale of 225 ml milk sachets at `10/- was launched on 08.09.2017.
Sales of Milk Products
The sales revenue of By-products was `20.43 crore in February 2017. Aavin has created history by achieving Rs 24.44 crore in November 2017, with 20% increase. Aavin has introduced revenue earning products like 500 ml Curd sachet, 1000ml bucket Curd, Rasagulla and 4 varieties of ice creams.
Export of Milk Products
l In order to launch Aavin milk products in foreign countries, for the first time in the history of Aavin, the sale of tetra pack milk with helicap was launched in Singapore on 25.11.2017.
The Government has enhanced the fishing ban period relief assistance from Rs 2,000/- to Rs 5,000/- to each marine fisherman families and disbursed a sum of `79.75 crore to 1,59,506 fishermen families of 13 coastal Districts.
Ockhi cyclone - Relief activities
The severe cyclonic storm "Ockhi" hit the Kanniyakumari coast on 30.11.2017. The Government has sanctioned a sum of `2.20 crore towards providing diesel for bringing back the 217 fishing boats and to meet out the ration expenses 1,754 fishermen.
TAMIL NADU FISHERIES UNIVERSITY, Nagapattinam
l New Fisheries College and Research Institute has been started at Thalainayeru with the budget of Rs 68.1678 crore and the classes commenced on 12.10.2017 presently at TNFU main campus premises.
Natarajan was admitted to the hospital on Saturday with severe chest infection and was put on ventilator support.
Chennai: Husband of jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala, M Natarajan, died on Tuesday at a corporate hospital in Chennai, an official said. He was 74.
"It is with profound grief and sorrow that we announce the sad demise of Natarajan Maruthappa at 1.35 am today," an official release issued by Shanmuga Priyan, chief operating officer of Gleneagles Global Health City, said.
Natarajan was admitted to the hospital on Saturday with severe chest infection and was put on ventilator support.
Natarajan underwent a kidney transplant in 2017.
Natarajan's body was later kept at his Besant Nagar residence for people to pay homage.
"Natarajan Maruthappa was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), Gleneagles Global (Hospital), on March 16 with severe chest infection," the hospital had said in a statement last week.
"Natarajan was on ventilator support and his condition is critical," the hospital's chief operating officer, Shanmuga Priyan had said earlier last week.
Sources close to him said that his body will be taken later in the day to his native village in Thanjavur district for the final rites. However, it was not immediately known when the final rites will be held as the family anticipates a possible parole for Sasikala.
Convicted in the Rs 66.6 crore disproportionate assets case, Sasikala is serving a four year jail term in Bengaluru Parappana Agrahara prison since February, 2017.
She was granted an emergency parole in October, 2017 when Natarajan underwent the kidney transplant.
Natarajan was an avid Tamil activist and was also running a vernacular magazine called 'Puthiya Paarvai'. He was formerly a Public Relations Officer with the state government.
In 2011, he was one of the family members of Sasikala who were expelled by late Chief Minister and then AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa from the party. Though Jayalalithaa expelled Sasikala, her close aide, she later re-inducted her.
VK Sasikala was married to Natarajan Maruthappa for 33 years. He was the first to have introduced Sasikala to Jayalalithaa.
The company has been accused of bias against workers who aren’t from India.
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., the biggest U.S. sponsor of H-1B visas for foreign information technology specialists, says a civil rights lawsuit accusing the firm of bias against workers who aren’t from India is all wrong.
Three former employees claim they were forced out of their jobs and replaced with “less qualified” South Asians after being poorly treated by their Indian supervisors and colleagues, given unjustifiably low performance ratings and denied promotions.
The company contends that what it’s accused of isn’t covered by federal civil rights law.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, but plaintiffs’ factual allegations, on their face, plainly pertain to a claim of discrimination based on national origin -- not race,” Cognizant said in a court filing. It also said the complaint is clearly targeted at “visa holders, but visa-status allegations have nothing to do with race.”
The lawsuit is part of a broader backlash by white IT workers against the visa program that allows U.S. companies to bring in foreign workers for job openings they say can’t be filled otherwise. President Donald Trump tapped into this discontentment to capture the White House in 2016.
Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, signed last April, seeks to ensure that American workers aren’t unfairly disadvantaged by employers who allegedly abuse the H-1B visa program.
U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles said Thursday she would rule on Cognizant’s request to dismiss the claims without a hearing.
Cognizant received 29,000 H1-B visas last year, according to Homeland Security Department data, about twice as much as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., second on the list. The biggest U.S. technology companies, such as Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Google Inc., are much further down the list with fewer than 5,000 sponsored visas each.
TCS may have to face a class-action trial later this year in Oakland, California, by American workers who claim they lost their jobs because the company is biased in favor of South Asian IT employees. The same Washington law firm representing the workers from TCS and Cognizant is pressing similar claims against Infosys Ltd. and Wipro Ltd., two other IT outsourcing firms.
TCS, Infosys and Wipro are all based in India. Cognizant’s headquarters is in Teaneck, New Jersey.
The case is Palmer v. Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., 17-cv-06848, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).
Finns said access to nature, safety, childcare, good schools and free healthcare were among the best things about in their country.
VATICAN CITY: Finland is the world’s happiest country, according to an annual survey issued on Wednesday that found Americans were getting less happy even as their country became richer.
Burundi came bottom in the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s (SDSN) 2018 World Happiness Report which ranked 156 countries according to things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.
Taking the harsh, dark winters in their stride, Finns said access to nature, safety, childcare, good schools and free healthcare were among the best things about in their country.
“I’ve joked with the other Americans that we are living the American dream here in Finland,” said Brianna Owens, who moved from the United States and is now a teacher in Espoo, Finland’s second biggest city with a population of around 280,000.
“I think everything in this society is set up for people to be successful, starting with university and transportation that works really well,” Owens told Reuters.
Finland, rose from fifth place last year to oust Norway from the top spot. The 2018 top-10, as ever dominated by the Nordics, is: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.
The United States came in at 18th, down from 14th place last year. Britain was 19th and the United Arab Emirates 20th.
One chapter of the 170-page report is dedicated to emerging health problems such as obesity, depression and the opioid crisis, particularly in the United States where the prevalence of all three has grown faster than in most other countries.
While U.S. income per capita has increased markedly over the last half century, happiness has been hit by weakened social support networks, a perceived rise in corruption in government and business and declining confidence in public institutions.
“We obviously have a social crisis in the United States: more inequality, less trust, less confidence in government,” the head of the SDSN, Professor Jeffrey Sachs of New York’s Columbia University, told Reuters as the report was launched at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
“It’s pretty stark right now. The signs are not good for the U.S. It is getting richer and richer but not getting happier.”
Asked how the current political situation in the United States could affect future happiness reports, Sachs said:
“Time will tell, but I would say that in general that when confidence in government is low, when perceptions of corruption are high, inequality is high and health conditions are worsening ... that is not conducive to good feelings.”
For the first time since it was started in 2012, the report, which uses a variety of polling organizations, official figures and research methods, ranked the happiness of foreign-born immigrants in 117 countries. Finland took top honors in that category too, giving the country a statistical double-gold status.
The foreign-born were least happy in Syria, which has been mired in civil war for seven years. “The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born,” said Professor John Helliwell of Canada’s University of British Columbia.
“Although immigrants come from countries with very different levels of happiness, their reported life evaluations converge towards those of other residents in their new countries,” he said. “Those who move to happier countries gain, while those who move to less happy countries lose.”
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