Dr Verghese Kurien, the father of the White Revolution in India and the founder of Amul passed away on Sunday at Nadiad in Gujarat after a brief period of illness. He was 90.
A Padma Vibhushan awardee, Verghese Kurien was the masterbrain behind making India the largest milk producer in the world. He was also the recipient of the World Food Prize and the Magsaysay Award.
Kurien was the architect of Operation Flood – the largest dairy development program in the world. He helped modernise the Anand model of cooperative dairy development.
Today, over 10 million farmers across the country at 200 dairies produce over 20 million litres of milk every day, thanks to Kurien.
Born in Calicut, Kerala on 26 November 1921 he graduated from Loyola college of Madras and did his BE from university of Madras. He then went to US on a government scholarship to earn his Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan university.
He then joined Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited in 1949 which was formed at the initiative of Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel. Patel asked Kurien to help set up a dairy processing plant, and from here, the journey of Amul and Kurien began.
The Amul pattern of co-operative became a success and it was replicated throughout Gujarat. The different dairy unions were later brought under the banner of Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation.
India’s doodhwallah (milkman) Verghese Kurien and his organisation Amul transformed the life of humble cattle farmers throughout the country.
The last rites of Kurien, who is from Kerala, will be performed late Sunday afternoon. He is survived by his wife Molly and his child, Nirmala Kurien.