Google Doodle honours Dr Verghese Kurien on 94th birth anniversary

Father of the White Revolution, Dr Verghese Kurien, the man behind Operation Flood who made India the largest milk producer in the world, gets commemorated by a special Google Doodle on the occassion of his 94th birth anniversary.

The Google Doodle depicts an animated likeness of Kurien seated on a stool next to three milk cans about to milk a cow on an open field where outlines of other bovines can be seen in the background.

Google Doodle honours Dr Verghese Kurien on 94th birth anniversary
The doodle honouring Dr. Verghese Kurien. Courtesy/

The morning sun is also seen above them. A rope makes up the letters of the Google logo, which intertwines around the feet of the cow and Dr. Kurien.

Social entrepreneur Dr Verghese Kurien, known as the father of White Revolution, was the man behind Operation Flood. He was the chief architect who made India the largest milk producer in the world.

Born on November 26, 1921 at Kozhikode in Kerala, Dr Kurien graduated with a degree in physics from Loyola College, Madras in 1940. He also did his bachelors in mechanical engineering from Madras University.

For a brief period, he worked at Tata Iron and Steel Company in Jamshedpur. In 1948, he went to the United States on a Government of India scholarship to earn a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University.

On his return to India from the US, Dr Kurien joined the Indian government’s dairy department. In May 1949, he was appointed dairy engineer at Government Research Creamery, a milk powder factory, in Anand.

Dr Verghese Kurien
Dr Verghese Kurien

In 1949, Mr Kurien decided to quit a lucrative government job to join a small-time dairy cooperative. Since then, milk procurement of the cooperative grew from a few hundred litre a day to over 90 lakh litre a day now under one of India's most popular brands - Amul. The co-operative was initially referred to as Anand Milk Federation Union Limited hence the name AMUL.

Often called as Milkman of India, it was under his leadership that small-town Anand became the milk capital of our country. He was the founder Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) from 1965 to 1998, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF), from 1973 to 2006 and the Institute of Rural Management (IRMA) from 1979 to 2006, which are owned, managed by farmers and run by professionals.

Veteran film-maker Shyam Benegal directed the movie 'Manthan', a story set in the cooperative milk movement in India. Not able to finance it, Benegal was helped by Dr Kurien who gave an idea of getting each of his half a million member farmers to contribute a token two rupees for the making of the movie. Upon its release, truckloads of farmers came to see their film, making it a success at the box office.

Dr Kurien's work has received tremendous national and international recognition. The Indian government conferred on him the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest honour. He is also the recipient of the World Food Price, the Ramon Magsaysay award for Community Leadership, the Carnegie - Wateler World Peace Prize and the International Person of the Year award from the US.

He dedicated his life to the welfare of Gujarat's cattle owners and turned the state's dairy co-operative sector into one of the most successful cooperative models in the world. He passed away after a brief illness in Nadiad, Gujarat on 9 September 2012.

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