Verghese Kurien, a social entrepreneur, popularly identified as the ‘Father of white revolution’, is known for making India, the world’s largest milk producer, from the milk deficiency stage.
It is because of him, the dairy farming has become the largest self sustaining industry in India today.
It is in such legend’s honor, the google had created a doodle, on the occasion of his birth anniversary today, which is even observed as the ‘National Milk Day’.
Origin of Amul cooperative project by Verghese Kurien
Verghese Kurien was born in 1921, to a Syrian Christian family in Kozhikode, Kerala. He completed his graduation in Physics from Loyala College and then Bachelors in Mechanical engineering from the University of Madras.
He later left to USA to pursue MS in Metallurgical Engineering, that was funded by the Government of India.
After coming back to India, he was inspired by Tribhuvandas Patel and started working for the Amul cooperative project.
After noticing the popularity of Amul cooperatives, the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, urged Kurien to replicate the programme, all over India.
It was then, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) was set up and upon the condition to set up its headquarters at Anand, Gujarat, Kurien agreed to work for NDDB.
Since then, he has started setting up several institutions. Kurien nearly found 30 institutions, including AMUL, GCMMG, IRMA, NDDB. All the institutions are owned and managed by farmers, and run by the professionals.
Kurien created Amul brand for the dairy products and invented milk powder processed from buffalo milk. His contribution towards Amul cooperative movement boosted the people to come out of the poverty.
Verghese Kurien - The man behind ‘Operation Flood’
‘Operation Flood’ is launched in 1970 and is considered as a child of NDDB. It has brought the milk revolution in India and increased the availability of milk in the country.
‘Operation Flood’ has created a national milk grid that linked milk producers throughout the country, in over 700 towns and cities. It is with this grid, the seasonal and regional price variation was eliminated and the producer got the major share of the price, as there are no middleman.
All these efforts of Verghese Kurien, made him the ‘Milkman of India’. But the irony is, he never drank milk.
Awards and Honors to Verghese Kurien
In 1986, Carnegie Foundation awarded Kurien the Wateler Peace Price and in 1993, World Dairy Expo made him, as the ‘International Person of the Year’.
In 1999, Kurien was honored with the Padma Vibhushan title by the Indian government.
At the age of 90, the legend left his last breath on September 9, 2012 in Gujarat, due to aged-illness.
By Phani Ch