India celebrates National Milk Day on November 26, the birthday of Verghese Kurien, the Father of White Revolution in India. India credits Kurien for his billion-litre idea that made the country among the large-scale producers of milk in the world. The Father of Milk Revolution is also the founder of the popular dairy brand in India, Amul. Today, India celebrates the 96th anniversary of Kurien remembering his contributions in making India self-sufficient in the production of milk. Born on November 26, 1921, his agricultural development programme changed the agro-industry in the country.
India surpassed the United States in 1988 as the world’s largest producer of milk. Born in Kerala’s Kozhikode district, Kurien is regarded as the architect of India’s White Revolution. He achieved the feat at a time when the country faced uncertainties over its food security. Kurien, the founder-chairman of National Dairy Development Board (1965-98) was also chairman of Gujarat Co-Operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF)(1973-2006). He also headed the Institute of Rural management (1979-2006), dedicated his life to the cause of empowering farmers through co-operatives. Celebration Kurien’s 96th birth anniversary, Amul has dedicated one of their famous posters to the great mind.
Here is the ad:
Here is a list of awards the Milkman of India received:
- In 1963, the Government of India awarded Kurien with the Ramon Magsaysay Award
- In 1966, he was honoured with Padma Bhushan Award
- In 1986, Kurien was awarded the Krushi Ratna Award
- In 1989, the World Food Prize of the United States awarded him with the World Food Prize
- In 1991, he received the Distinguished Alumni award from Michigan State University
- In 1993, he honoured with the International Person of the Year Award by World Dairy Expo
- In 1999, Kurien was awarded the Padma Vibhushan award by the Government of India
Based on Amul’s work model, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) was created by then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri. Verghese Kurien took over as the chairman of NDDB and launched Operation Flood in 1970 which was known as the world’s biggest dairy development programme. Filmmaker, Shyam Benegal made a film called Manthan, on the milk movement in India and the man behind it, Verghese Kurien. Verghese Kurien died at the age of 90 after a brief spell of illness in Gujarat on September 9, 2012.