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Verghese Kurien: Know five things about the father of White Revolution in India


Amul is celebrating National Milk Day on November 26 on the occasion of the birth anniversary of the famous milk revolutionist, Dr Verghese Kurien. Kurien had dedicated his entire life for a cooperative movement which boosted the production of milk in India. Today it is because of him that India is the highest milk producer in the world. Born on November 26, 1921 in Kerala, he passed away on September 9, 2012 in Gujarat.

According to a Times of India report, NDDB’s chairman T Nanda Kumar said, “The idea of celebrating Indian Milk Day was first mooted by IDA. We thought November 26 is best suited to celebrate such a day as it is birth anniversary of Dr Kurien.”

Today on National Milk Day , here are five important events of the revolutionist’s life.

1. Father of White Revolution

Verghese Kurien came to be known as the Father of White Revolution after his pioneer in increasing milk production in the country was a success. His project called ‘Operation Flood’ was the world’s biggest agricultural development programme. It was his initiative which helped India in becoming the largest milk producer of the world.  Later on, he also helped the country become self sufficient in edible oils. His works have helped millions get daily livelihood means and is known across the globe for such a commendable initiative.

2. Initial days of milk production

Verghese Kurien came back from America after completing his master’s degree and quickly got to work with the Government of India’s experimental creamery, at Anand in Gujarat’s Kheda district. He was unhappy about the work profile and also planned to quit the job mid-day. However was convinced by Tribhuvandas Patel to stay back and developed the interest of milk production in him.

3. His works

AMUL is one of the leading milk producers in the country founded by Kurien. Other than that, similar organisations owned and managed by Kurien includes Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), IRMA and NDDB. Milk powder processed from buffalo milk was the a notable invention by AMUL. Seeing his achievements with AMUL, then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri appointed him as the founder chairman of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in 1965. From 2006 to 2011, he also served as the first Chancellor of the University of Allahabad.

4. Manthan (the churning of the ‘milk ocean’)

Veteran film maker, Shyam Benegal made a movie on Kurien and his wondrous job in the country. The movie titled Manthan (the churning of the ‘milk ocean’) was Kurien’s life story around milk. Kurien helped  Benegal in producing the movie as Benegal was under financial crisis.

Kurien’s idea helped the movie maker by asking half million farmers to contribute a token of two rupees for the expenses of the movie.

5. Books by him

Kurien also authored some books including, I Too Had a Dream, An Unfinished DreamThe Man Who Made The Elephant Dance which is an audio Autobiography of Dr. Kurien in the voice of Tom Alter with Audio Foreword by Ratan Tata, in his own voice. Verghese Kurien: The Man with the Billion Litre idea was published in Amar Chitra Katha.