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The dairy man - Dr Verghese Kurien

Dr V Kurien is the great personality who have brought the Dairy Industry in India flourishing and he is called as the FATHER OF WHITE REVOLUTION. The great AMUL DAIRY in Gujarat - replicas of which are found in all States was the brainchild of this Keralite - a noble character.He made INDIA the largest milk producer in the World.

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Verghese Kurien was born in Kerala on 26.11.1921 in a Syrian Christian family. His wife is Molly and they are blessed with a daughter, Ms Nirmala who has a son Siddharth. Kurien after graduation from Loyola College, Madras in 1940 studied BE (Mechanical) from the University of Madras. Soon he joined Tata Steel Tchnical Institute, Jamshedpur.

Later Verghese Kurien was deputed to Michigan University in USA with the Govt Scholarship for Master degree in Mechanical Engineering. Coming back to India, Kurien was assigned at Govt Creanery at Anand in Gujarat as a Dairy Engineer in 1949. At this time, the roots of co-operative movement in Anand slowly cropped up with Dr Tribhuvandas Patel, founder of AMUL DAIRY (Kaira Dist Co-operative Milk Producers Union Ltd) fighting against Polson Dairy.

Polson Dairy was deceiving the farmers, giving meagre value for their milk. Young Kurien, fed up with the Govt job quit it to join the hands of Tribhuvankaka. That tied hands were together almost till the time of Tribhuvankaka's demise. With a magic touch, Kurien brought the tiny Village called ANAND into the international map, building the organisation into one of the world's largest and most successful institutions in the country. The Amul pattern was instrumental in the success of the Dairy industry all over the Country and in almost all States, this industry is not at a loss as is the case with so many in other fields.

It was India's brightest Prime Minister, Late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri who found out the story behind the success of AMUL and formed National Dairy Development Board with Dr V Kurien as the Chairman. This Board (NDDB) helped all the other States to formulate Amul replicas with their technical know how and financial aid. Shri Shastri did not mince in words in telling the world about Dr Kurien's "extraordinary and dynamic leadership".

Dr Kurien set up Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd for the sole purpose of marketing milk and milk products produced by Six District based Dairies viz., Kaira, Mehsana, Banaskanta, Sabarkanta, Baroda and Surat in Gujarat. This Federation grew in big size with branches not only in all States but also abroad like Dubai. Their Dairy products are being exported in very good volume abroad including European countries. Dr Kurien coined the word "Operation Flood" for the implementation of "White Revolution" which infact helped all States to have the Dairy Industries flourishing.

The techniques and technologies used in Gujarat to ensure that scarce milk in Urban areas do not remain scarce and at the same time, under nourished children of Gujarat do not starve as the farmers there were not getting their dues. The poor farmers started to earn more than what they were earning in the past and all of them saw a GODLINESS IN Dr Kurien - a Malayalee. His simple philosophy was "put power into the hands of people" and he found success.

In order to ensure that the marketing skills of the Organisations develop vis-a-vis, he laid foundation for a Management Institute - IRMA (Institute of Rural Management) in Anand. Graduates coming out of the pioneer Institute with a tag "PGDRM (Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management) were taken in by various marketing Bodies particularly in Co-operative sector. Such an IRMAN is now the MANAGING DIRECTOR OF GCMMF - Shri RS Sodhi.

Dr Kurien has don yeoman service to the Nation. He was called as the Hub of Dairy industry. His service was recognised with lot many awards like :

Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1963
Padma Shri in 1965
Padma Bhushan in 1966
Krishi Ratna Award in 1986
Wateler Peace Prize award of Carneige Foundation in 1986
World Food Prize Laurate in 1989
International Person of the year in 1993 by the World Dairy Expo, USA
Padma Vibhushan in 1999
Godfrey Philips Bravery Award in 2003
Karamveer Puraskar - Noble Laureates by iCONGO-Confederation of NGOs

Dr Kurien did havoc in edible Oil to get rid of the middlemen in Gujarat even at the risk of his own life.

He is turning 89 tomorrow, 26/11 and let us wish him good health and peaceful mind for years to come so that he can contribute to the well being of the society.


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Author: T.M.Sankaran12 Sep 2012 Member Level: Gold   Points : 0

Dr.Kurien passed away on 8th September, 2012. He has left a culture which can be emulated by those who are ready to work for a cause. Let his soul rest in peace !!

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