National Milk Day 2021: Why is the National Milk Day celebrated? Who is Dr Verghese Kurien?

National Milk Day in India: National Milk Day is celebrated on Dr Verghese Kurien's birth anniversary every year since 2014. Dr Verghese Kurien is known as the "Father of the White Revolution", as he was the brains behind 'Operation Flood', the world's largest dairy development programme. 

Updated: Nov 26, 2021 11:22 IST
Dr Verghese Kurien
Dr Verghese Kurien

National Milk Day 2021: National Milk Day is celebrated on November 26, to mark the birth anniversary of Dr. Verghese Kurien, who is also known as the father of the white revolution. National Milk Day 2021 commemorates the 100th birth anniversary of Dr. Kurien.

National Milk Day is being celebrated on Dr Verghese Kurien's birth anniversary every year since 2014. Dr Kurien played an instrumental role in 'Operation Flood,' which led to dairy farming becoming the largest self-sustaining industry in the country.

The Indian Dairy Association (IDA) had taken the initiative to celebrate National Milk Day for the first time in 2014. 

National Milk Day in India: November 26th

First National Milk Day- November 26, 2014

World Milk Day - June 1st 

Why is National Milk Day celebrated in India?

National Milk Day is celebrated to honour Dr Verghese Kurien and to spread awareness regarding the importance of milk in human life.

Who was Dr Verghese Kurien?

•Dr Verghese Kurien was born on November 26, 1921, in Kozhikode, Kerala. He was the chairman and founder of Amul.

•He is known as the "Father of the White Revolution", as he was the brains behind 'Operation Flood', which was launched on January 13, 1970. It was the world's largest dairy development programme that made dairy farming India's largest self-sustaining industry and the largest rural employment sector providing a third of all rural income.

•Operation flood led India to become the world's largest milk producer and within 30 years, it increased milk output four-fold.

•This was achieved through production by the masses and the process was termed as the "White Revolution".

•In 1965, the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had tasked Dr. Kurien to replicate the dairy's Anand scheme nationwide for which, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) was founded under Kurien.

•The Anand dairy was replicated in districts of Gujarat and Dr. Kurien brought all of them under Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. in 1973 to sell their products under a single Amul brand. 

•Many states attempted to emulate the same by setting up their own federations with varying degrees of success such as Karnataka's Nandini, Rajasthan's Saras and Bihar's Sudha brand.

•Dr. Kurien had also founded the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) in 1979 to groom managers for the cooperatives.

•He also helped manage the Delhi Milk Scheme and corrected the prices. He also helped India become self-sufficient in edible oils. He also established 30-odd institutions that are all run by farmers.

•His continuous contributions to the dairy industry earned him the title of ‘Father of White Revolution and the ‘Milkman of India.’ 

Dr Verghese Kurien Honours

Dr Verghese Kurien was also honoured with several awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1963), Krishi Ratna (1986) and World Food Prize (1989).

He is also the recipient of India's highest civilian awards- Padma Shri (1965), Padma Bhushan (1966) and Padma Vibhushan (1999).

Operation Flood: Important Facts

•Operation Flood was launched on January 13, 1970.  It  was the world's largest dairy development programme.

•Operation Flood helped transformed India from a milk-deficient nation to being the world's largest milk producer,

•India surpassed the United States in milk production in 1998. 

•Within 30 years, the operation helped double milk available per person in India, making dairy farming India's largest self-sustainable rural employment generator.

•The operation gave farmers direct control over the resources they create, helping them direct their own development. This was achieved not only by mass production, but by production by the masses. It is also now known as the "White Revolution".

 

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