The greatest satisfaction and joy came from the priceless reward that comes when farmers whose lives depend on your efforts appreciate what is being done for them. – Dr Verghese Kurien
Born to a Syrian Christain family in Calicut, Verghese Kurien had his first attempt with milk production in Anand, when he decided to quit his lucrative job in United States upon the completion of Masters in Mechanical Engineering in the year 1949. Disheatened by the condition of Farmers in the country he decided to work for the empowerment of the poor. When he came to India he had the idea of Billion-litre milk production he relentlessly work for 21 years to launch the biggest operation of all time in the country. Kurien’s innovative ways of improving the dairy industry gave India the White Revolution, for Milk Production and earned him the recognition as Milk Man of India.
Here are some facts about Verghese Kurien, that will give you a new perspective to see every glass of Milk in a new way!
1. He gave new birth to the India’s first milk co-operative AMUL by producing 20,000 litres of Milk in one day.
The co-operative was registered in 1946 but barely managed to produce 1-2 litres of milk in a day. Verghese rapidly experimented with the new ways of milk powder production and preservation, that gave farmers of Anand, Gujarat a new light of living.
2. Kurien Replicated the model as Operation Flood, making India the world’s largest producer of Milk.
What started off from a small village of Gujarat, was now benefitting 72,000 villages from milk producing states of India like Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh also started flourishing under Kurien’s working model.
3. While working towards the projects and as an engineer he always believed in placing Management and Technology into the hands of Farmers.
This vision gave birth to many co-operatives in many other states of the Country and empowered millions of rural under-privileged people.
4. He has established more than 30 institutions of excellence including AMUL, GCMMF, IRMA, NDDB that help to decide that standard of the dairy products of India.
Just not this, he also established the grass root training institutes for the farmers and uneducated so that they can learn and produce. The vision behind these institutions was to improve the socio-economic condition of the underprivileged.
5. He received many awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for community leadership, the Padamshri (1965) and the Padmabhushan (1966).
In total he won 9 recognition awards for his work in the field.
6. For his work, innovation and relentless efforts, Michigan State University awarded him with an honorary degree in 1965.
More then 15 honorary degrees he was awarded in his lifetime.
7. Amul’s’ mascot was seen crying for the first time ever (since 1964)
In an advertisement “Thank You For Giving us Hausla, Pragati & Anand……Dr V Kurien 1921-2012,”
8. He marketed “Anand Success Story” as a management model for rural institutional development.
In which he described how a commodity was used for the socio-economic development.
9. Very few of us know that he had to step down from the position of the Chairman of GCMMF and IRMA. After facing a lot of criticism.
Kurien said while leaving the position: “The genesis of IRMA was in response to the need of rural producers’ organisations for professional managers — intelligent young men and women who are fired by the desire to transform rural India and equipped with skills and knowledge of management education combined with development orientation.”
10. His birthday, the 26th of November, is celebrated as National Milk Day.