Sunday happens to be the birth anniversary of Verghese Kurien, the man known for his work towards revolutionising India's dairy industry. He is called the 'Father of White Revolution' in India for transforming the country from a milk powder importer to the world's largest milk producer and an exporter. During his association with India's dairy industry, its annual milk production increased from 20 million tonnes in 1970 to 80 million tonnes in the 1990s.
Kurien's birthday is also celebrated as the National Milk Day.
As we remember him on his birthday, here are a few facts about his early life and his contribution to India's dairy industry.
Born in a Syrian Christian family in Calicut, Kurien did his graduation in Physics and went on to do his Master's in Metallurgical Engineering from Michigan in the US.
On his return from the US, Kurien founded Amul, which went on the become the largest milk producing company in India.
Other than enhancing milk production, Kurien, through Amul, made dairy farming India's largest self-sustaining industry and the largest rural employment provider.
Based on Amul's model, many companies were created under the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) by the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Kurien was appointed as the chairman of the board.
Under Kurien's leadership, NDDB launched the world's biggest dairy development programme in 1970, known as Operation Flood. The initiative was a major force in bringing White revolution in India.
Kurien, aptly referred to as the 'milkman of India' for inventing milk powder production from buffalo milk, recieved the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards in 1965 and 1966, respectively. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award.