The Milkman of India Dr Verghese Kurien, who was popular known as Amul Founder & Father of White Revolution passed away on Sunday (09 September 2012) morning at a Nadiad-based hospital. Dr. Kurien was hospitalized at Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital in Nadiad last week due to ailments related to old age.
Verghese Kurien was born on 26 November 1921 in Calicut, Madras Presidency, British India (now Kozhikode, Kerala). He graduated in Physics from Loyola College, Madras in 1940 and then did B.E. (Mechanical Engineering) from the College of Engineering, Guindy (then the University of Madras). After completing his degree, he joined the Tata Steel Technical Institute, Jamshedpur from where he Graduated in 1946. He then went to the United States on a government scholarship to earn his Master of Science in Metallurgical Engineering from Michigan State University.
Kurien was founder chairman of both the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) that markets brand Amul and the National Dairy Development Board(NDDB). He transformed India from a milk-deficient country to world’s largest milk producer after he kicked off ‘Operation Flood or The White Revolution’. Operation Flood helped India to become the world largest Milk producer.
Awards & Honors
Known as the “Milkman of India” and the “Father of the White Revolution”, Kurien had won several honours, awards and international recognition.
In 1963 Kurien was awarded with Ramon Magsaysay Award by Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. In 1965, he was honoured with Padma Shri (India’s 4th highest civilian honour) & Doctor of Science by Michigan State University, USA. In 1966, he was honored with Padma Bhushan (India’s 3rd highest civilian honour). in 1986, he was awarded with Krushi Ratna Award by Government of India & Wateler Peace Prize Award by Carnegie Foundation, USA.
In 1989, Kurien was awarded with World Food Prize by USA. In 1991, he was awarded with Distinguished Alumni Award by Michigan State University, USA & Doctor of Science by University of Guelph, Canada. In 1999, he was honored with Padma Vibhushan (India’s 2nd highest civilian honour) .
In 2002, he was awarded with Lokmanya Tilak Award by Lokmanya Tilak Trust. In 2006, he was awarded with Doctor of Science by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. In 2007 he was awarded by Godfrey Phillips National Bravery Award by Godfrey Phillips India Ltd & Karmaveer Puraskaar by iCONGO- Confederation of NGOs. In 2010, he was given Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda & Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by Karunya University. In 2011, he was honored with Life Time Achievement Award by CNN-IBN & recently in 2012 he was awarded with Gangadharan Memorial Award by V. Gangadharan Memorial Trust.
Kurien married his neighbor’s daughter Molly. He is survived by his wife, one daughter Nirmala Kurien and a grandson, Siddharth. Kurien was also a writer. He wrote 2 books; I Too Had A Dream & An Unfinished Dream. Kurien’s life story is chronicled in his memoir I Too Had a Dream.