Born on 26th November, 1921, a man through his visions and efforts turned India from a milk-deficient to the world’s largest milk producer. That very man who wanted to quit ‘Anand’, an experimental creamery set up by the Government of India in Gujarat on the very first day, made ‘Amul’, world’s largest agricultural development programme. Yes we are talking about Varghese Kurien, “Father of the White Revolution”. Today is is 94th birthday and Google honored the “Milkman” with a doodle.
Kurien managed to transform the milk map of India by inspiring the invention of milk powder prepared from buffalo milk instead of cow milk. Thanks to his efforts, in 1998, India went past USA as the largest milk producer. Apart from Amul, he also founded institutions such as the NDDB, GCMMF and IRMA.
Born of Syrian Christian parents in Kerala, Kurien completed his masters in Metallurgical Engineering from Michigan State University with distinction. Upon his return to India, he was appointed at Anand in Gujarat.he wanted to quit the very first day but was persuaded not to leave by Tribhubandas Patel. His efforts gave rise to ‘Amul’ The success of Amul persuaded the then prime minister lal Bahadur Shastri to head a foundation called National Dairy Development Board or NDDB to replicate the success of Amul nationwide. Thus the billion litre plan known as “Operation Flood” was conceived.
Kurien fought interest lobbies and powerful dairy corporations to make the efforts of NDDB a success. In 1973, the production of NDDB was brought under GCMMF and a single Amul brand was born which still rules the Indian dairy market after 4 decades.
He was awarded with numerous awards including Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri and Ramon Magsaysay award. He won the World Food Prize in 1989 and International Person of the Year Award awarded by World Dairy Expo in 1993.
Kurien breathed his last on 9th September, 2012 near Anand in Gujarat.