Who’s Verghese Kurien and why do we celebrate National Milk day?

Hyderabad: Every year November 26 is celebrated as National Milk Day, to mark the birth anniversary of Verghese Kurien, “the milk man” of India.

The National Milk Day is observed every year since 2014. The late social entrepreneur was born on November 26, 1921, in the present-day Kozhikode in Kerala. Kurien mooted ‘Operation Flood’ playing a major role in making India the world’s leading producer of milk.

Operation flood propelled the dairy industry to be the largest self-sustaining industry and the largest rural employment sector. Kurien is best known for setting up Amul, one of the largest milk brands in the country today. In 1946 Tribhuvandas Patel set up The Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union in Gujarat, which was later headed by Kurien.

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In 1950 Kurien had joined The Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union as a General Manager. The corporation was producing 20,000 liters of milk per day. He felt that the production of milk would increase, hence he traveled to New Zealand and Australia to learn more about dairy management. In 1955, the first President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad laid the foundation stone for the Amul dairy. The dairy was inaugurated in 1956, with a capacity of 1 lakh liters per day.

It is to be noted that Kurien had secured the British scholarship to pursue Dairy engineering from Michigan University, in the USA.

Kurien’s constant contribution to the dairy sector earned him the title of ‘Father of White Revolution’. These contributions brought him a number of accolades over the years. He received the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1963, the Padma Shri in 1965, the Padma Bhushan in 1966, the Krishi Ratna in 1986, World Food Prizer in 1989, and The Padma Vibhushan Award in 1999.

Amul shared a post on their social media handles, celebrating the birth anniversary of its founder.

“Celebrating the birth centenary of Dr Verghese Kurien, who empowered India’s dairy farmers, consumers, and the nation at large, making India the largest producer of milk in the world” read the post.

The Union minister for Animal Husbandry and Farming, Parshottam Rupala announced the commencement of the National Gopal Ratna Award at the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) campus in Anand. The awards are a part of the ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations.

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