Monday, September 10, 2012

Tribute to Milkmen's Angel of India - Dr. Varghese Kurian

Enikkumoru Swapnamundayirunnu"Father of White revolution" Dr. Varghese Kurian is no more. His illustrious career and exemplary life and commitment to  the work he had undertaken cannot be described in a few words. He was born on November 21st, 1921 and as a young man of 28 years he was appointed on government's deputation at the Government Research Creamery. He aspired to be a mechanical engineer but his minor subject which he took in his graduation made everything changed, not only for him but for the whole country.  He saw the plight of the farmers who had to sell milk for lower price and lead a pathetic life. He was the pioneer of the cooperative movement in milk production, procurement and processing in India. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehu himself inaugurated "Amul " Factory in Anand. Then it was the then Prime minister Lal Bahadur Sashtri who asked him to develop similar model for the country and was named "National Dairy Development Board" and made Kurian the chairman.  He won several awards such as Raman Magsaysay  award (1963), Padma Shri (1963), Padma Bushan ( 1966), Padma Vibushan (1999), Doctor of Science from several Universities including Michigan State University, World Food Prize, USA, Lokmanya Tilak award, etc., to name a few. Above is the front page of the book in Malayalam that he wrote, "Enikumoru swapnamundaiyrunnu", meaning "I too had a dream". Now having created the dreamland, he went on to find abode in another dreamland   very far away from this earth.

He was also innovative. While the whole world produced milk powder from cow's milk, he ventured into the production using buffalo's milk. It seems when a Swiss company did not want to share technology with the "native Indians", he retorted to say he too was a native Indian and started inventing his own method to produce the condensed milk in his factory. 

Var ghee se of Amul

"Anand Milk Union Limited, the acronym   for Amul owes greatly to him. However, when he wanted to visit them the official red-tape delayed him for hours. He sadly remembers it in an interview that "the very people for whom he worked, has not backed him and went on to say "It is life". This greatly touched me. I too several times did so much good to others in helping or in mentoring the students and even giving free training and spending hours with them but, they behave in thankless way and leave even without a word many times. If such great persons could take it at his stride, so I too need to learn it that way was my after thought. He was called "milk Man of India" by many but I felt he should be rightly called "Milkman's Angel". 

Var ghee se of Amul,    is the caption I gave to the cartoon above in line with the famous ads of Amul. Born in Calicut and later studied in Chennai, this great man had made Anand his place of life and died and cremated too there, after all for great men and women where is "the Native place", as the whole Nation belongs to them for which they sacrifice their lives.

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