Father of ‘white revolution’ Kurien dead

Anand(Guj): The father of ‘white revolution’ Dr Verghese Kurien, who transformed India from a milk-deficient country to the world’s largest milk producer and the founder of Amul, passed away today after a brief illness.

Kurien, 90, is survived by wife Molly Kurien and daughter Nirmala.

His mortal remains were consigned to flames in the presence of priests from different religions. The last rites were performed by his grandson Siddharth. Respecting his last wish, Kurien was cremated.

Kurien died at around 1.15 am at Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital in Nadiad, about 25 kms from here. His body was brought to his residence here and kept in Sardar Hall of Amul dairy in Anand, where people paid homage.

His professional life was dedicated to empower Indian farmers through co-operatives.

Kurien joined Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Limited in 1949, on the request of Tribhuvandas Patel, the then dairy chairman. The dairy was formed at the initiative of Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel.

Later, Patel asked Kurien to help set up a dairy processing plant, which saw the birth of Amul, which became a successful cooperative model.

Kurien is also credited with being the first one to produce powder from buffalo milk, when elsewhere in the world, cow milk was used to produce milk powder.

Impressed by the success of Amul, former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri established National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to replicate the Amul model across the country and Kurien was made its chairman.

As Chairman of NDDB, Kurien led ‘Operation Flood’ to make India the biggest milk producing nation in the world, besides making Amul a household name.