Verghese Kurien, was the architect of white revolution that changed India from a milk-deficient country to the world’s biggest milk producer. He laid the foundation of the nation’s co-operative dairy industry.
Recognized as the ‘Milkman of India’, who created the billion dollar brand Amul passed away on Sunday morning at the age of 90.
The Indian government had conferred on him the Padma Vibhushan while he was also the recipient of World Food Price,Ramon Magsaysay award for Community Leadership, Carnegie Wateler World Peace Prize and International Person of the Year award from US.
Born in Kozhikode, Kerala on November 26, 1921, Kurien had graduated in science from Loyola College in Chennai (1940) and obtained his degree in engineering from the Guindy College of Engineering in Chennai.
After a stint at TISCO, Jamshedpur, Kurien got the Government of India’s (GoI) scholarship to study dairy engineering.
Following specialized training at Imperial Institute of Animal Husbandry and Dairying in Bangalore, Kurien went to the United States where he completed his masters’ degree in mechanical engineering, with dairy engineering as a minor subject, from the Michigan State University in 1948.
On his return Dr Kurien was assigned to join Government Creamery located at Anand in Gujarat to serve his bond period. By the end of 1949, Kurien got release orders from his job at the creamery.
Kurien joined Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Limited in 1949, on the request of Tribhuvandas Patel, then dairy chairman. The dairy was formed at the initiative of Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel.
And thus began his journey which threw him to global lime light. Kurien was visionary no doubt as no one before him had understood the power of networking farmers into a unit and producing milk collectively.
Cooperative model came handy and he exploited it the hilt to go into history as one of the brightest sons of India.