If you’ve been on Google today, you may have noticed that they’ve got a new doodle; a man sitting on a stool holding a milk can looking faintly pleased with himself while a nearby cow looks on. Click on the doodle and you’ll find that the man is Verghese Kurien known as the ‘Father of the White Revolution’ in India; i.e, the father of milk. Today, the world celebrates what would have been his 94th birthday.
All About Kurien
Born in 1921, Kurien was a Malyali who recieved degrees from Loyola College and Michigan State University. After returning to India after his studies, Kurien began work in Anand in Gujarat alongside Tribhuvandas Patel in trying to bring farmers together to process and sell their milk as a union.
Kurien was behind setting up the popular AMUL (Anand Milk Federation Union Limited) dairy brand and helmed the National Dairy Development Board that took the AMUL model across India. He received several awards for his work including the World Food Prize (1989), the Padma Vibhushan (1999) and the Padma Shri (1965)
Kurien has been credited with spearheading Operation Flood, a project undertaken by the National Dairy Development Board in 1970 to enable farmers to benefit from dairy production. The Operation succeeded in transforming India from a milk-deficient country to the world’s largest producer of milk.
Because of his role in the milk revolution, Kurien has been lauded by the government, farmers and public alike. In 1976, Shyam Benegal put together a film on the cooperative milk movement in India – Mathan – after being financed by token amounts from each farmer under Kurien.
Kurien has also authored several books including ‘I Too Had a Dream’ and ‘An Unfinished Dream’ – perfect reads if you’re looking to find out more about the history of milk in India.