National Milk Day 2022: Date, History, Significance and facts about White Revolution (Operation Flood)

National Milk Day 2022: It is observed on 26 November to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Verghese Kurien, the father of India’s White Revolution. Check here for more details about the day, its history, significance, and the white revolution.
National Milk Day
National Milk Day

National Milk Day 2022: The day marks the 100th birth anniversary of Dr Verghese Kurien, popularly known as the 'Father of White Revolution.  

National Milk Day is observed on 26 November to highlight the importance of milk and its benefits. 

India is the largest producer of milk. Milk is food that is not only consumed by human beings but also by animals. On 1st June every year, World Milk Day is also celebrated which was established by the Food and Agricultural Organisation.

National Milk Day: History

The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), the Indian Dairy Association (IDA), and 22 state-level milk federations in 2014 together decided to celebrate the birthday of Dr Verghese Kurien who was known as the father of India's White Revolution on 26 November. Therefore, the first National Milk Day was observed on 26 November 2014.

Do you know about the White Revolution and Operation Flood?

In 1970, India's National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) started a rural development programme known as Operation Flood. It is one of the largest programmes and its aim was to develop a nationwide milk grid. It helps in reducing the malpractices by milk traders and merchants and resulted in making India one of the largest producers of milk and milk products. Therefore, it is also known as the White Revolution.

At that time the chairman of NDDB was Dr Verghese Kurien who gave management skills and necessary thrust to the cooperative sector and is considered as the architect of India's White Revolution or Operation Flood.

The objectives of Operation Flood are as follows:

- To increase the production of milk.

- To augment the income of rural.

- Fair prices for consumers.

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Let us tell you that Operation Flood was implemented in three phases.

Phase I (1970-1980): It was financed by the skimmed milk powder and butter oil gifted by the European Union through the World Food Programme. In this phase, operation flood linked 18 of India's premier milk sheds with consumers in India's major metropolitan cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai, and established mother dairies in four metros.

Phase II (1981-1985): In this phase, milk sheds increased from 18 to 136. Also, around 290 urban markets expanded the outlets for milk. And by the end of 1985, a self-sustaining system of 43,000 village cooperatives with 4.25 million milk producers had become a reality. The production of domestic milk powder also increased from 22,000 tons to 140,000 tons by 1989.

Note: Operation Flood programme was jointly sponsored by the European Economic Community, the World Bank, and India's National Dairy Development Board.

Phase III (1985-1996): In this phase, dairy cooperatives expanded and strengthened the infrastructure to increase the volumes of milk in the market. This phase consolidated India's dairy cooperative movement by adding 30,000 new dairy cooperatives to the 42,000 existing societies that were organised during phase II. Milksheds increased to 173 in 1988-89 with women members and Women's Dairy Cooperative Societies also increased significantly.

In 1995, the Women's Dairy Cooperative Leadership Programme (WDCLP) was launched as a pilot programme to strengthen the dairy cooperative movement by increasing the participation of women as active members and as leaders in the governance of cooperative societies, unions, and federations.

This phase also emphasised research and development in animal health and animal nutrition. The productivity of milch animals also increased due to innovations like a vaccine for Theileriosis, bypassing protein feed, and urea-molasses mineral blocks.

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About Dr. Verghese Kurien

Born: 26 November 1921

Place of Birth: Calicut, Madras Presidency (now Kozhikode, Kerala, India)

Father's Name: Puthenparakkal Kurien

Spouse: Susan Molly Peter

Died: 9 September 2012

Place of Death: Nadiad, Gujarat, India

Famous as: Father of the White Revolution of India and Milkman of India

Occupation: General Manager and later Chairman, AMUL, Chairman of MDDB and IRMA

Awards: Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (1963), Padma Shri (1965), Padma Bhushan (1966), Krishi Ratna Award (1986), World Food Prize (1989), Padma Vibhushan (1999), Economic Times award for Corporate Excellence (2001) and several other awards.

- He had done B.SC in physics from Loyola College in Madras.

- He received a government scholarship and went to the United States of America to pursue a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

- He returned to India and became the head of Anand, a place in the Kaira district of Gujarat where he had to spend five years as an officer of the Dairy division.

- He left his government job and forced Tribhuvandas Patel and the farmers to start the Milk Cooperative movement in the region registered under the name of Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd (KDCMPUL) which was later known as "Amul".

- He worked towards bringing White Revolution to India and executed the programme "Operation Flood". He was the architect of India's White Revolution.

- He helped India to emerge as the largest milk producer in the world.

- He helped in laying the foundation of democratic enterprises at the grassroots.

- On 15 June 1953, he married Susan Molly Peter.

- He established several institutions namely Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF), National Dairy Development Board NDDB) and played a significant role in shaping the Dairy Cooperative movement across the country.

- He also led the replication of the Anand model of cooperative dairy practised all over India.

- In his service of almost fifty years, he attained 15 honorary degrees from different institutions of the world because he always focuses that learning should never stop.

He will always be remembered as the person who redefined the meaning of milk as a powerful tool for economic development.

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