One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien

In today article we’ll know about the man who followed his mission. Rightly described by Hon. Prime-minister of India; One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien. So lets start the journey. In the past the communication channels were less but the message was loud and crystal clear. The man how understood the meaning of co-operative moment, and withhold the pulse and throughout his life followed this ethic like and become the North Star.

Table of Contents

Childhood and Education

Dr. Verghese Kurien, a visionary and pioneer of India’s White Revolution, was born in the serene town of Calicut, Kerala. On 26th November 1921, Today is his 102-birth anniversary. His father, a government doctor serving as a district medical officer, instilled in him values that would shape his future.

Despite his Kerala roots, Kurien’s educational journey unfolded in Madras, where he attended ordinary schools in small towns and taluka headquarters. His early years were marked by a promising academic record, laying the groundwork for the successes that would follow.

Early Career and Challenges

Venturing into the corporate realm, Dr. Kurien embarked on a career at Tata Steel as an officer apprentice. However, the influence of familial connections, particularly the king of Jamshedpur, led him to question the path he was on.

Unwilling to ride on the coattails of privilege, he made a pivotal decision to pursue a government scholarship, setting the stage for his journey abroad. This marked a turning point in his life, showcasing his commitment to building a future based on his efforts.

Overseas Education and Return to India

Abroad, Dr. Kurien excelled in his studies, obtaining a master’s degree in America with distinction.

Marriage and Early Struggles in Anand

Settling in Anand, Dr. Kurien faced the trials of bachelorhood, living in the garage of the dairy. His unconventional living arrangements were a testament to his commitment to self-reliance.

Despite the challenges, he maintained a touch of sophistication, with a uniformed bearer announcing dinner, adding a unique flavor to his life. Trips to Bombay became occasional escapes, providing him moments of rejuvenation amid his responsibilities.

Marriage and Career Challenges

Marriage came later in life, delayed by financial constraints and the pursuit of a successful career. Dr. Kurien’s mother faced difficulties finding a match due to the perceived lack of prestige in the cooperative sector.

Despite these challenges, he tied the knot and continued facing financial struggles in the nascent years of his career.

Critique of Economic Policies

Dr. Kurien’s concerns extended beyond personal challenges. He emerged as a vocal critic of India’s economic policies, particularly the influx of foreign brands. He passionately advocated for the recognition of Indian talent and managerial skills, highlighting the pitfalls of subservience to international institutions like the World Bank.

Formation of the Co-operative Movement

The co-operative movement in Anand, initiated by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, laid the groundwork for change. Dr. Kurien joined the movement later, infusing it with his engineering expertise. The turning point came when farmers, facing exploitation from private contractors, went on strike.

Sardar Patel’s intervention paved the way for the formation of the Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producer Union, a significant milestone in India’s dairy industry.

Transformation of the Dairy Industry

Upon joining the co-operative, Dr. Kurien recognized the need for modernization, urging Trivandas Patel to invest in new equipment. His dedication and expertise transformed the struggling dairy, and he assumed additional responsibilities. The co-operative, initially granted a disused government dairy, evolved into the iconic Amul brand. Dr. Verghese Kurien’s unparalleled contributions to India’s dairy industry set a precedent for success, earning him the title of the Father of the White Revolution.

The canvas of Dr. Verghese Kurien’s life, each phase contributed to the larger narrative of transformation and empowerment. His journey from a small town in Kerala to the forefront of India’s dairy revolution exemplifies the indomitable spirit of a man who turned challenges into opportunities, leaving an indelible mark on the nation’s agricultural landscape.

One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien Amul's Success Formula: Initially helped by
Trivandas patel.
One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien – The power dedication and courage to transformation.

The Persuasion of Tribandas: A Pivotal Moment

The turning point in Dr. Kurien’s career came when Tribandas, a persuasive advocate, convinced him not only to stay but to spearhead a groundbreaking dairy project. The negotiation process, marked by pragmatism and determination, showcased Dr. Kurien’s ability to navigate challenges and secure a fair deal that would pave the way for the birth of Amul.

Beyond Financials: Challenging Stereotypes

Dr. Kurien recognized the deep-rooted societal perceptions hindering the growth of cooperatives. He boldly challenged the notion that certain occupations were more prestigious than others, asserting the dignity of labor.

His commitment to empowering farmers became a cornerstone of the Amul success story, elevating the status of those traditionally overlooked.

One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien Amul’s Success Formula: Engaging Farmers and Democratic Governance

In the face of government opposition, Emily’s dairy emerged as a resilient force, defying challenges and becoming a symbol of triumph. Dr. Kurian, the driving force behind this success, believed in the power of cooperatives not just as a five-year plan inclusion but out of sheer necessity.

According to him, when adversity strikes and opposition arises, survival becomes the crucible for strength. Cooperatives, in his view, are not just structures but lifelines for farmers, ensuring they receive the lion’s share without middlemen siphoning off margins.

As the cooperative movement gained momentum in Anand, the key to success lay in engaging farmers actively. Dr. Kurien addressed their essential needs – fair pricing and involvement in decision-making.

The establishment of a cooperative board from the outset, free from government interference, showcased his belief in democratic governance as a vital component of sustained success.

Challenges and Triumphs: Overcoming Skepticism

Dr. Kurien’s initial reception as a “foreigner” in Anand presented challenges. However, the pivotal role played by Tribandas in dispelling skepticism highlighted the collaborative and inclusive nature of the cooperative movement. Dr. Kurien’s dedication and his ability to overcome doubts ultimately endeared him to the community.

National Recognition: Prime Minister Shastry’s Visit

The national recognition of Amul came with Prime Minister Shastry’s visit. Dr. Kurien’s revelation that the real secret behind Amul’s success was farmer ownership resonated deeply. It marked a realization that the cooperative model could be replicated on a broader scale, setting the stage for a broader dairy revolution in India.

Legacy of Transformation: Dr. Kurien’s Enduring Impact

Dr. Verghese Kurien’s legacy is one of transformative leadership, negotiation acumen, and a commitment to challenging societal norms for the greater good. His role in shaping the cooperative movement in India, particularly in the dairy sector, remains unparalleled.

The success of Amul serves as a beacon of inspiration for future generations, showcasing the power of visionary leadership and democratic governance in driving societal change.

Empowering People: Dr. Kurien’s Vision for True Development

Dr. Verghese Kurien’s journey took a significant turn during the visit of Lal Bahadur Shastri, the then-Prime Minister of India, recognized the transformative potential of involving people in true development. Dr. Kurien recounts a pivotal conversation where Shastri offered him a blank check, urging him to work not just for a particular region but for the entire nation. However, Dr. Kurien laid down two conditions – he would not work as a government employee, and any involvement should be contingent on satisfying these conditions.

The Birth of the National Dairy Development Board

The Prime Minister’s acknowledgment led to the birth of the National Dairy Development Board, a monumental step in replicating Emily’s success on a national scale. However, bureaucratic resistance and initial challenges greeted this visionary initiative.

Dr. Kurian’s determined efforts to secure funds, despite initial setbacks, showcased his unwavering commitment to the cause.

To meet Dr. Kurien’s conditions, Lal Bahadur Shastri proposed the formation of the National Dairy Development Board, with Dr. Kurien as its chairman.

This marked the inception of a crucial institution that would play a central role in shaping India’s dairy sector. Dr. Kurien’s principled stance and commitment to non-governmental employment set the stage for a new chapter in India’s development.

Overcoming challenges required innovative solutions. Mr. Subramanyam’s suggestion to create “invisible money” became the catalyst for kickstarting the initiative.

The journey to replicate Emily’s success and create a dairy board gained momentum, showcasing the transformative power of determination and innovation.

One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien. Explore the untold story of Dr. Verghese Kurien, the visionary behind India's dairy revolution, and his incredible impact on global agriculture.
One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien

Challenges and Triumphs in Securing Funds

The initial financial requirements for the National Dairy Development Board were modest – Dr. Kurien requested a sum of 30,000 rupees from the Ministry of Agriculture.

However, bureaucratic resistance and skepticism led to a delay in securing the funds. Dr. Kurien’s persistence and his assertion that he could build institutions without substantial monetary support eventually prevailed, and the funds were granted.

Self-Reliance and Technical Expertise: A Unique Funding Model

Dr. Kurien’s resourcefulness came to the fore as he sought alternatives for funding the National Dairy Development Board. The farmers of Kaira district generously contributed the funds needed for the initial building, showcasing a unique model of self-reliance.

Additionally, leveraging the technical expertise of Amul, the Board began offering services to other farmer groups, thereby ensuring financial sustainability.

Operation Flood: A Revolution in Dairy Development

Dr. Kurien’s enduring legacy lies in Operation Flood, a multi-phase initiative that transformed India’s dairy landscape.

The success of Operation Flood is not merely measured in financial terms but in its profound impact on farmers and the dairy industry.

Through democratic structures and farmer involvement, the initiative not only increased milk production but empowered millions of farmers across the country.

Challenges to Democracy: Evils and Solutions

Addressing concerns about the viability of democracy in the present day, Dr. Kurien acknowledges the presence of evils within the democratic system.

However, he firmly believes that the solution lies in more democracy, in creating additional democratic structures. Drawing parallels with the cooperative model, he advocates for the involvement of people in governance, stating that the only way to combat the evils of democracy is to empower citizens through more democratic institutions.

Amul: An Exemplar of Democratic Structure

Amul stands as a testament to Dr. Kurien’s vision of democratic structures.

Despite its financial success, Amul remains untouched by political maneuvering, a result of the members’ commitment to preserving its democratic essence.

Dr. Kurien emphasizes that involving the good people of India in governance is the key to overcoming challenges and building a robust and democratic nation.

Operation Flood Phase Three: Building on Success

With Operation Flood’s three phases concluding, Dr. Kurien reflects on the monumental achievements – tripling India’s milk production, establishing 176 dairy factories, and initiating dairy product exports.

However, he envisions an expansion of this success into other sectors, advocating for reduced government dominance and increased focus on people’s institutions.

Dr. Kurien’s commitment to empowerment and his unwavering belief in the potential of the Indian people remain at the core of his vision for a prosperous and democratic nation.

Challenges and Triumphs: Co-operative Education and Bureaucratic Resistance

Despite the remarkable success of cooperatives in Gujarat, Dr. Verghese Kurien acknowledges the hurdles faced in expanding this model to other states. The bureaucracy, in particular, presents a significant challenge.

While some bureaucrats understand and sympathize with the cooperative approach, others resist the paradigm shift. Dr. Kurien remains optimistic, pointing out that those who have seen the positive impact of cooperatives on the ground are hopeful indicators for change.

The Co-operative Model: A Touchstone of Democracy

Dr. Kurien emphasizes that the success of cooperatives hinges on democratic principles. In states where cooperatives have not flourished, the issue lies in the failure to uphold true democratic values.

Mere nomenclature doesn’t make an organization a cooperative; the touchstone is whether the people are genuinely managing it. The essence of democracy lies in people having the final say, electing their leaders, and having the power to appoint or remove key figures.

One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien Amul's Success Formula: Engaging Farmers and Democratic Governance
One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien

Cooperative Education: Empowering Farmers

To address the dearth of true cooperatives in various states, Dr. Kurien advocates for co-operative education.

This campaign aims to enlighten farmers about their rights and responsibilities within cooperatives.

Dr. Kurien underscores the interdependence of rights and responsibilities, emphasizing that a cooperative thrives when members actively participate in its management and uphold their end of the co-operative bargain.

The Simple Secret: Farmer Ownership and Professional Management

The revelation, however, was surprisingly simple. The success of Emily’s dairy lay in the fact that farmers owned it, and professional management was the keystone.

Dr. Kurian’s commitment to being an employer of farmers, not a government employee, exemplified this ethos.

Farmer ownership, combined with astute professional management, emerged as the formula for success.

Turning Losses into Profits: A Demonstrable Success

Dr. Kurien cites examples of successful turnarounds to counter skepticism about the viability of co-operatives outside Gujarat.

In Maharashtra, the Kolhapoor dairy, initially deemed unprofitable, was handed over to Dr. Kurien, resulting in profitability within just two months.

Similarly, 14 dairy cooperatives in Rajasthan, previously running at a loss, were taken over, and through effective management, they are now in the black.

The Need for Trust and Fair Chances

Dr. Kurien passionately asserts that the key to the success of co-operatives lies in giving them a fair chance and trusting the people to manage them. He dispels the misconception that people are inherently incapable or corrupt. Instead, he urges policymakers to trust the inherent goodness and wisdom of the Indian people. Cooperatives, when given a genuine opportunity, can showcase their potential and contribute significantly to the nation’s progress.

Co-operatives: A Source of Prestige and Global Respect

Reflecting on the global respect garnered by co-operatives, Dr. Kurien acknowledges their pivotal role in enhancing India’s prestige. Co-operatives, particularly exemplified by Amul, have demonstrated that success is achievable through democratic structures and farmer involvement.

Dr. Kurien commends those who have taken the initiative and brought cooperatives to the forefront, contributing to the country’s standing on the world stage.

A Paradigm Shift: People’s Empowerment through Cooperatives

Dr. Kurien underscores the transformative power of co-operatives, not only in economic terms but as a tool for empowering people. The shift from bureaucratic control to people’s ownership and management is pivotal.

He advocates for reducing the profile of the government and elevating people’s institutions, allowing the inherent goodness and wisdom of the Indian people to prevail.

Co-operatives in Bihar: A Misconception Dispelled

Responding to misconceptions about co-operatives in Bihar, Dr. Kurien shares his experience with the Patliputra Cooperative Union. Despite initial skepticism, the people of Bihar successfully managed the Patliputra dairy, turning it into a profitable venture.

Dr. Kurien emphasizes that co-operatives are not confined to any particular region or community; they can thrive when given the trust and opportunity to flourish

The Distinct Factor: The Power of People

Once, in response to a question about the distinct factor among Gujaratis, Dr. Kurien challenges the notion that co-operative success is exclusive to Gujarat.

He highlights that when the power is given to the people, irrespective of their region, they can effectively run and manage co-operatives. The key, he asserts, is reducing government intervention and allowing the inherent capabilities of the people to shine.

A Vision for India: Trusting People and Reducing Government Profile

Dr. Kurien passionately advocates for a paradigm shift in governance. Trusting the people, reducing the profile of the government, and embracing democratic structures are crucial elements in his vision for a prosperous India.

He firmly believes that the success of co-operatives, when genuinely embraced, can transform not only the dairy sector but various facets of the nation’s development.

Strategic Planning and Expertise:

A Tale of Unlikely Expertise

Dr. Verghese Kurien sheds light on the evolution of Amul and his role in its success. Initially thrust into the dairy sector by circumstances, Dr. Kurien realized the need for expertise.

Lacking knowledge in dairy, he sought the assistance of a classmate from Michigan State University, Harichand, who hailed from Uttar Pradesh and possessed extensive knowledge of dairy operations.

Despite initial reluctance, Harichand played a pivotal role in the success of Amul, utilizing his expertise in dairy manufacture.

Division of Labor:

Talk and Work

Dr. Kurien humorously acknowledges the division of labor in Amul’s success.

While he took on the role of spokesperson and advocate, Harichand, with his hands-on experience and technical proficiency, executed the operational aspects.

The synergy between Dr. Kurien’s advocacy and Harichand’s operational excellence proved to be a winning combination, leading to significant advancements in dairy technology.

Professional Management for Cooperative Success

A key element in Amul’s triumph was the realization that co-operatives, despite being owned by farmers, needed professional management for success.

Dr. Kurien emphasizes the need for competent managers, citing the example of Amul employing eight Ph.Ds from foreign universities during his tenure.

The co-operative, he asserts, should not be run as a charitable organization but as a business enterprise, demanding the highest standards of professional competence.

Building Resources: A Gradual Accumulation

Amul’s initial success in supplying milk to Bombay marked the beginning of its profitability. Dr. Kurien recounts how profits were steadily accumulated, and the cooperative set aside funds for expansion.

The journey involved accumulating resources incrementally, reinvesting profits, and seeking financial support when necessary. Notably, the construction of a new dairy plant was facilitated through a loan from the government of Bombay and support from UNICEF.

Challenges with Multinationals: A Critical Perspective

Dr. Kurien expressed skepticism and dissatisfaction with his experiences dealing with multinationals, particularly citing some multinational companies.

He highlights instances were multinationals, driven solely by profit motives, compromised product quality.

The example of milk powder from one nation, contaminated post-Chernobyl, and repackaging it for sale in underdeveloped countries raised concerns about ethical business practices and the potential health hazards for unsuspecting consumers.

Multinationals’ Exploitative Practices: A Strong Critique

Dr. Kurien condemns the exploitative practices of some multinationals operating in developing countries.

He contends that their primary goal is to extract profits, often at the expense of ethical and legal considerations.

The narrative underscores the importance of vigilance in regulating multinational activities, especially in countries lacking adequate regulatory infrastructure.

The Role of World Bank: A Critique of Economic Imperialism

Expressing dismay, Dr. Kurien criticizes the World Bank’s role, originally intended for aiding development, as serving developed countries economic imperialism.

He questions the policies of liberalization and globalization, arguing that they expose developing countries to exploitation rather than fostering genuine development.

The hope rests on the shoulders of a then farmer-turned-Prime Minister to reconsider and reshape these policies.

Collaboration with Some Packaging Companies: A Mixed Experience

Dr. Kurien details a collaboration with one packaging company, one of the world’s largest and most powerful multinational companies.

Despite its global stature, he highlights the challenges faced in their partnership and points out the need for caution when engaging with such entities.

The narrative underscores the complexity of interactions with multinationals and the importance of protecting local interests and values at that time.

Advocacy for Caution and Local Empowerment

Dr. Kurien’s experienced with multinationals emphasized the need for caution and vigilance. He advocates for policies that protect local interests, empower farmers, and ensure ethical business practices.

His life’s journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of cooperatives led by visionary leaders and professionals, working hand in hand for sustainable development.

Dilemma of Liberalization and Multinational Influence: A Struggle for Autonomy

Dr. Verghese Kurien unveilrd the challenges faced by Amul during the era of liberalization. The narrative reveals the unsettling encounter with a global packaging player, a multinational corporation.

The demand for majority shareholding in exchange for technological support exemplifies the inherent power dynamics within such partnerships. The ultimatum given—comply or lose essential know-how and spare parts—exemplifies the ruthlessness of multinational corporations.

Dr. Kurien condemned the influence of liberalization policies, asserting that they allow foreign entities to dictate terms to Indian institutions, undermining national prestige.

One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien. The true leader, An engineer who understood the pulse of rural development without political support and proved that co-operative movement needs will to deliver growth result if you want and if you think to deliver.
One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien

National Pride and Farmer Empowerment: A Call for Policy Change

Dr. Kurien raised concerns about the erosion of national pride and autonomy in decision-making due to liberalization policies. The narrative suggests that policies should strengthen India and prioritize the well-being of its citizens, particularly farmers.

The critique extends to ministers who, in Dr. Kurien’s perspective, fail to protect India’s prestige and interests. The story paints a picture of a clash between foreign interests and the imperative to safeguard India’s accomplishments in agriculture and co-operative development.

Farmer Constraints: Power Dynamics and Genuine Rights

The dialogue shifts to the challenges faced by farmers, highlighting their legitimate demands for fair compensation and better working conditions.

Dr. Kurien emphasized that farmers don’t seek freebies but demand reliable and uninterrupted resources, such as water and electricity, to enhance their productivity.

The narrative critiques government policies that may not fully address farmers’ needs, especially regarding power supply. Dr. Kurien advocates for a nuanced understanding of farmers’ constraints, urging policymakers to appreciate the ground realities faced by the agricultural community.

Empowering Farmers: The Role of Cooperatives in Social, Economic, and Political Reform

Dr. Kurien delved into the transformative impact of cooperatives, asserting that they bring about social, economic, and political reform. The narrative posits that cooperative structures serve as training grounds for future leaders.

The progression from managing a village society to becoming an MLA exemplifies the potential for personal and professional development within the cooperative framework. Dr. Kurien argued that cooperatives offer practical training, instilling values of dignity, decorum, and decency, essential for effective governance.

Social Reforms and Cooperative Agendas: The Unforeseen Impacts

Dr. Kurien sheds light on the unintended social reforms catalyzed by cooperatives. While the original agenda may not explicitly specify social initiatives, he emphasizes that effective managers leverage the structure to address broader societal needs.

Examples such as clean milk production leading to sanitation practices and the veterinary department becoming a model for rural health initiatives showcase the unintended yet positive consequences of cooperative endeavors.

Educating Rural Communities: Protein, Vitamins, and Empowering Women

The narrative unfolds the educational aspects incorporated into cooperative initiatives. Dr. Kurien always shared instances where the introduction of cattle feed becomes a platform for educating rural communities.

Women visiting centers are educated about protein content, vitamins, and minerals in the feed, expanding their understanding of nutrition. This multifaceted approach not only enhances agricultural practices but also contributes to the overall well-being and awareness of rural communities.

The Paradox of Progress and Challenges Ahead

Dr. Kurien’s unveiled the paradox of progress and challenges faced by co-operatives. While progress is evident in agricultural and cooperative development, external influences and policy decisions pose threats to autonomy and national pride.

The complex dynamics between farmers, policymakers, and multinational corporations underscore the ongoing struggle for equitable and sustainable development in India’s agricultural landscape.

Empowerment of Women in Dairy Farming and Beyond: A Societal Shift

Dr. Verghese Kurien highlighted the pivotal role women play in dairy farming, underscoring the economic and social significance of their contributions.

He advocated for women to directly receive payments for milk, emphasising the financial autonomy it provides.

The narrative portrays women as the primary caretakers of buffaloes and the ones responsible for ensuring a stable income through milk.

The commitment to paying women twice a day reflects an understanding of their immediate financial needs and challenges.

Challenges in Achieving Gender Equality: A Gradual Transformation

Dr. Kurien acknowledged the prevalent gender disparities in rural areas, where women can face exploitation and domestic violence.

He discussed the slow progress in ensuring that the money earned by women is retained and utilized for the family’s welfare.

The narrative suggested that achieving true gender equality requires not just economic empowerment but also a shift in social attitudes and behaviors. Dr. Kurien stresses that education plays a crucial role in empowering women, providing them with the tools to resist exploitation and make informed choices.

Education as a Catalyst for Change: Women’s Empowerment and Birth Control

The narrative delves into the transformative power of education in empowering women.

Dr. Kurien contends that education is the key to preventing the exploitation of women and promoting birth control.

He draws a direct correlation between female education and population control, citing Kerala as an example where the growth rate has been brought down to zero due to women’s education.

This highlights the multifaceted impact of education, not just on individual empowerment but also on broader societal issues.

Apart from dairy, farming not only earning money, he has emphasised family life and especially importance of family planning to the rural people.

The Unintended Social Consequences of Co-operatives: A Catalyst for Change

While the primary focus is on dairy farming and co-operatives, Dr. Kurien reveals the unintended yet positive social consequences of these initiatives. The cooperative movement becomes a platform for educating women on various aspects, from nutrition to animal husbandry.

It inadvertently becomes a tool for broader social reform, challenging traditional norms and fostering awareness. Dr. Kurien suggests that cooperatives should serve as a stepping stone for various developmental initiatives, emphasizing the interconnectedness of economic and social progress.

A Glimpse into Dr. Kurien’s Personal Life: Work Ethics and Leisure

The narrative provides a glimpse into Dr. Kurien’s personal life, revealing his work ethics and approach to leisure.

He expresses a preference for keeping his personal and professional life separate, ensuring that his house is not an extension of his office. The delineation of work hours, commitment to family time, and the insistence on not discussing official matters at home underscore his dedication to maintaining a work-life balance.

Philosophical Reflections on Religion: Atheism and the Concept of God

Dr. Kurien shares his philosophical stance on religion, identifying as an atheist. He challenges the traditional concept of a higher power, viewing religion as a crutch that people lean on during difficult times.

The narrative reflects a pragmatic and rational perspective, dismissing the idea of an afterlife and highlighting the importance of facing reality without relying on supernatural beliefs.

His political career, so he may use the co-operative as a stepping stone, and therefore the village co-operative movement is not as good. So, we have accepted this fact, and I have said that the woman must succeed me.

Diversification and Future Projects: Expanding Beyond Dairy

Dr. Kurien discusses the ongoing and future projects of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). One significant project involves extending the fruits and vegetable initiative beyond Delhi to other cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, and locations suggested by state governments.

The aim is to establish a grid connecting various regions to facilitate the marketing of diverse agricultural products.

In addition to dairy, NDDB plans to diversify production to include ice cream, cheese, and other products. There is also a focus on incorporating traditional Indian products like rasgullas and sandesh.

Dr. Kurien addresses challenges related to mustard oil production, including the transportation of the oil from western to eastern India. The potential transformation of Anand into a beautiful town is another aspect of the developmental vision.

Strengthening Institutions and Autonomy: Supporting Universities and Cooperative Law

NDDB is exploring opportunities to contribute to the strengthening of institutions like Baroda University. Dr. Kurien highlights the need to finance research, enhance infrastructure, and contribute to the overall well-being of the university.

There is an emphasis on the cooperative movement’s role in fostering autonomy and reducing political interference. The cooperative law is expected to be revised to provide more independence to cooperatives and reduce external influences.

Challenges in Vegetable Oil Production and Policy Advocacy

Dr. Kurien addresses the challenges faced in the vegetable oil sector, particularly the impact of liberalization and globalization policies. He explains the initial success in reducing imports and achieving self-sufficiency, only to face setbacks with changing government policies.

The discussion reflects Dr. Kurien’s advocacy for protecting farmers and promoting policies that favor agricultural self-sufficiency.

One need to collaborate on expertise or seek technical assistance, we do engage with international organizations and experts. For instance, we might collaborate with experts from countries like New Zealand, Denmark, or the United States to gain insights into best practices and advancements in dairy farming.

It’s important to note that the success of cooperatives lies in empowering local farmers and ensuring that they own and control the cooperatives. Dr. Kurien emphasized the need for cooperatives to be grassroots organizations run by the people, for the people.

Government’s Role and Challenges: A Level Playing Field

Dr. Kurien addresses the role of the government and challenges faced by cooperatives. He asserts that while he is not afraid of multinational competition, he is concerned about political interference and the need for a level playing ground.

Dr. Kurien advocated for a decentralized approach, giving more power to people’s organizations and reducing bureaucratic control.

Expansion of the Cooperative Movement: Operation Flood

The cooperative movement, exemplified by Operation Flood, has shown remarkable success in India. The idea is to replicate the Amul model in various states, and Operation Flood has led to the establishment of 176 unions across the country. The response from farmers in different states has been positive, with the cooperative model being adopted widely.

Dr. Kurien once said,to then Prim Minister Hon/ Lal Bahdur Shastry," I told the Prime Minister so the secret is very simple this dairy is owned by farmers it is managed by elected board of directors elected by the farmers in their wisdom they have understood that to run dairy you need professional management so they have appointed me as the chief executive of this cooperative and I have been left free to build up my team and so it is it is business which is commanded by farmers and we all of us are responsible to the board for our jobs and I am NOT on deputation from them if I do not satisfy my board I lose my job I have no father-in-law here to protect me neither so I will demonstrate is kept happy now if there is a dairy that is sensitive to the needs of farmers which is responsive to their demands the dairy will succeed and so the secret is farmer should own the Daley's."
One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien

Evolution of Amul Dairy: From Two Villages to a Statewide Network

Dr. Kurien traces the evolution of Amul Dairy, which began with 200 farmers in two villages. Over the years, the cooperative movement has expanded significantly. In Gujarat alone, there are now nine thousand village cooperatives, each contributing to a robust structure with district unions and a state federation.

State-wise Performance and Future Prospects

Gujarat stands out as a leader in the cooperative movement, followed by states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, and others. Dr. Kurien expresses optimism about the potential success in Tamil Nadu, where the government has shown interest.

Rajasthan, with its commitment to creating more Anands, and Madhya Pradesh, with a supportive chief minister, are also seen as promising areas for cooperative development.

International Collaboration for Expertise

While there is no foreign equity participation in Indian cooperatives, there is a willingness to collaborate with international experts and organizations to enhance technical expertise.

The focus remains on empowering local farmers and ensuring that cooperatives remain owned and controlled by the community.

Regional Unity in the Southern World

Dr. Kurien emphasizes the importance of unity among nations in the southern world. He acknowledges the role of external forces in attempting to divide these nations but encourages them to support each other.

Dr. Kurien points out the necessity for advanced countries to stop using divisions among these nations for their benefit

Self-sufficiency and Global Collaboration

Dr. Kurien shared his perspective on self-sufficiency and global collaboration, particularly in the context of India. He believes that India can achieve self-sufficiency without heavy reliance on foreign collaboration, especially in areas like dairy.

While there have been some collaborations, Dr. Kurien emphasizes the need for Indians to take charge of their own development and not excessively depend on foreign expertise.

Multinationals in India

Regarding the entry of multinationals into India, Dr. Kurien believes that most of them will not succeed. He points out that competing with established cooperatives like Amul, which has a strong network and farmer support, is not an easy task. Dr. Kurien expresses concerns about the impact of liberalization and globalization policies on agriculture, stating that agriculture should be protected to ensure the well-being of Indian farmers.

Discipline and Unity

Dr. Kurien touches upon discipline and unity, citing examples from other cultures like the Japanese and the Chinese. He believes that discipline involves not hurting others and working together for common goals.

He acknowledges that Indians might lack discipline when it comes to accepting leadership and working cohesively. He emphasizes the importance of discipline in ensuring that individuals and groups do not harm others for personal gain.

Taking Responsibility for Governance

In discussing Indian politics, Dr. Kurien emphasizes that blaming the British for India’s challenges is no longer valid after 50 years of independence.

He asserts that Indians are responsible for the current situation, and it’s crucial to move beyond blaming others. He also highlights the need for Indians to elect leaders based on merit and integrity rather than factors like caste or monetary influence.

Co-operatives and Global Collaboration

Here, Dr. Kurien discusses the role of cooperatives in India and their ability to compete globally. He believes that cooperatives, especially in the dairy sector, can effectively compete with multinationals. He emphasizes the success of the cooperative model in empowering farmers and providing quality products.

Drawing parallels with the European Union, Dr. Kurien proposes that nations like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Nepal should contemplate confederating into a unified bloc. He suggests developing policies to foster friendly relations, forming a counterbalance to the blocks created by advanced nations. This approach aligns with his vision of strengthening developing countries and resisting external forces that seek to divide and conquer.

Empower individuals

Reflecting on his childhood inspiration, Dr. Kurien credits Tribhuvandas Patel for shaping his perspective. Patel’s leadership style, marked by inclusivity and a focus on merit rather than narrow prejudices, left an indelible mark on Dr. Kurien. Patel’s ability to empower individuals irrespective of their background and provide the freedom to function without interference became a guiding principle for Dr. Kurien’s leadership at Amul.

However, Dr. Kurien expresses concerns about the scarcity of such visionary leaders in contemporary times. He mourns the diminishing presence of individuals like Patel and Verghese Kurien, highlighting their high integrity, commitment to cooperatives, and humility despite their significant roles in society.

Dr. Kurien suggests that the political sphere has acquired a negative connotation due to the prevalence of corruption, emphasizing the need to produce leaders of similar caliber to navigate India’s progress effectively.

Collective efforts to eradicate Corruption

Corruption, in Dr. Kurien’s view, cannot be eradicated solely through laws but requires a collective effort. He advocates for each individual to refrain from corruption, not tolerate it in those below them, and avoid gaining personal benefits through corrupt practices.

Dr. Kurien stresses the importance of enforcing existing laws, suggesting a thorough review and elimination of unnecessary legislation to streamline the legal framework.

On the topic of consumer protection, Dr. Kurien dismisses it as a mere “fad.” He critiques the existing laws, stating that they are not pro-consumer, and calls for a reevaluation of legislation to truly safeguard consumers’ interests.

His pragmatic approach underscores the need for effective enforcement and a reduction in redundant laws to ensure the well-being of consumers.

Lal Bahadur Shastri and Sardar Vallabhai Patel

The leaders who have left a lasting impression, Dr. Kurien lauds Lal Bahadur Shastri and Sardar Patel for their outstanding qualities, integrity, and capacity.

He also mentions Norman Borlaug, a Nobel laureate, expressing admiration for his love for India and his contributions to the Green Revolution. Dr. Kurien recalls the pivotal role played by Shivaraman in advocating for the importation of seeds from Mexico, a decision that catalyzed the Green Revolution in India.

Peoples affection

As Dr. Kurien reflects on his most memorable experiences, he modestly notes that the love and response of the people have been a constant source of inspiration. His impactful work at Amul, marked by transforming it into a globally recognized co-operative, has earned him the affection and respect of the masses.

Eradicate corruption and building Nation

Dr. Kurien’s insights touch upon critical aspects of nation-building, leadership, corruption, and consumer protection. His vision for a united bloc of developing nations, inspired by the European Union model, underscores the importance of collaboration and mutual support.

Throughout the conversation, Dr. Kurien’s pragmatic approach and commitment to ethical leadership shine through, leaving a legacy that continues to influence India’s co-operative movement.

In the culmination of this insightful lifescape of Dr. Kurien, a luminary in India’s co-operative movement, his unique perspective and impactful contributions to the nation’s agricultural landscape come to the forefront. What emerges is not merely a narrative of personal achievements, but a testament to the enduring power of well-constructed institutions in fostering sustainable change.

One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien Father of Co-operative revolution in India

Dr. Kurien’s narrative unfolds against the backdrop of the co-operative revolution he spearheaded, notably exemplified by the iconic Amul dairy and the Dairy Development Board.

The inspiring life of Dr. Kurien encapsulates not just the story of a man, but a philosophy deeply rooted in empowering farmers and communities through co-operative endeavors.

The humility with which Dr. Kurien attributes success to the collective efforts of teams and institutions underscores a visionary approach that transcends individual acclaim.

Building strong institutions across demographic boundaries

The recurring theme of Dr. Kurien’s commitment to institution-building as a catalyst for lasting change resonates throughout his inspiring journey. His emphasis on the Dairy Development Board and Amul as instruments of social and economic transformation underscores a belief in structures that outlast individuals.

This approach, inherently selfless, speaks to a profound understanding of the dynamics required for sustainable progress. It’s not about personal glory but the creation of systems that continue to benefit communities long after their architects have passed.

Furthermore, the discussion on Dr. Kurien’s potential entry into politics unveils a deliberate choice. He expresses contentment with his role, emphasizing that effective change need not always manifest through political avenues. This viewpoint challenges conventional notions of influence and power, asserting that the ability to evoke change lies not just in political positions but in the creation and nurturing of institutions that address the root causes of societal challenges.

As the canvas traverses’ geographies, from Gujarat to Patna, Bangalore, and Hassan, the scale of Dr. Kurien’s impact becomes evident. The overwhelming support from diverse farmer communities, irrespective of linguistic or regional differences, underscores a profound connection built on trust. It’s a testament to the universality of co-operative principles and the resonance of a vision that transcends boundaries.

One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien Legacy and Conclusion

Today, the legacy of Dr. Kurian’s vision endures—a thriving co-operative model replicated across India. Emily’s dairy success story is not just about milk but a testament to the transformative impact co-operatives can have on national development.

In every challenge, Dr. Kurian saw an opportunity, and in every farmer, he saw a potential owner, not just a laborer. The success of Emily’s dairy continues to inspire a nation towards a future where cooperative ownership and professional management walk hand in hand.

Dr. Kurien’s narrative is not just a chapter in India’s agricultural history but a manual on visionary leadership. His legacy extends beyond personal achievements, echoing in the co-operative structures that have become pillars of sustainable progress.

The inspiring life of Dr. Verghese Kurien serves not only as a reflection on the past but as a NORTH STAR for future endeavors, emphasizing the transformative potential of institutions rooted in integrity, dedication, and a commitment to the greater good. Dr. Kurien’s story inspires a reevaluation of leadership paradigms, urging a shift from individual-centric narratives to collective, institution-driven approaches for fostering enduring change.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien. India’s Co-operative Movement and Milk Production

Who is Dr. Kurien, and what is his significance in India’s agricultural landscape?

Dr. Kurien, known as the “Father of the White Revolution,” played a pivotal role in India’s co-operative movement. His leadership at Amul and the Dairy Development Board transformed India into one of the world’s largest milk producers.

What key institutions did Dr. Kurien contribute to, and how did they impact India’s milk production?

Dr. Kurien was instrumental in establishing institutions like Amul dairy and the Dairy Development Board. These played a crucial role in organizing farmers into cooperatives, significantly increasing milk production and empowering rural communities.

What is the significance of co-operative movements in the context of India’s milk production?

Co-operative movements, as exemplified by Amul, proved instrumental in bringing together farmers, ensuring fair pricing, and streamlining the dairy supply chain. This collective approach led to a substantial increase in milk production across India.

How did Dr. Kurien view the role of women in co-operative movements, especially in the context of dairy production?

Dr. Kurien highlighted the essential role of women in cooperatives, emphasizing that women-led cooperatives often exhibited better management, honesty, and efficiency. He advocated for the involvement of women in decision-making roles within these organizations

What is the impact of cooperatives on rural development and democracy, according to Dr. Kurien?

Dr. Kurien believed that cooperatives, functioning as democratic structures at the grassroots level, contribute to rural development and strengthen democracy. They empower farmers, providing them with the means to manage their resources and livelihoods effectively.

How did Dr. Kurien address concerns about the entry of multinationals into India’s dairy sector?

Dr. Kurien expressed confidence in the ability of cooperatives to compete with multinationals. He argued that the decentralized, farmer-centric approach of cooperatives, like Amul, is better suited to handle the complexities of managing large-scale dairy operations.

Did Dr. Kurien advocate for collaboration with foreign countries in the field of dairy production?

While Dr. Kurien discouraged unnecessary foreign collaborations, he did highlight instances where knowledge exchange and collaboration were beneficial. For instance, he mentioned a memorandum of understanding with Sri Lanka to develop dairy in the country.

What was Dr. Kurien’s stance on liberalization and globalization in the dairy sector?

Dr. Kurien expressed concerns about excessive liberalization and globalization in agriculture. He emphasized the need for a level playing field for co-operatives and urged against compromising the independence and freedom of action of these organizations.

How did Dr. Kurien perceive the impact of divisions based on religion and ethnicity, drawing from India’s historical context?

Dr. Kurien cautioned against divisions, noting that the partition of India based on religion eventually led to further internal divisions. He advocated for confederation and collaboration with neighboring countries to strengthen the region.

What is the overarching philosophy that emerges from Dr. Kurien’s lifescape?

Dr. Kurien’s philosophy revolves around institution-building as a means of sustainable change. He believed in creating robust structures, such as co-operatives, to empower communities and address societal challenges, emphasizing the collective over individual acclaim.

One Man One Mission-Dr. Verghese Kurien, These FAQs provide insights into Dr. Kurien’s perspectives on India’s co-operative movement, milk production, and his vision for sustainable rural development. His legacy continues to shape discussions on agricultural practices and co-operative principles in India.

Once again saluting the true visionary and a great leader. Who has fought against every adverse condition and emerged as a winner. Leading from front he has set milestones in co-operative sector in India, His entire lifescape is filled with challenges and successful confrontations.

Without any government support, any adequate resources he has executed pioneered the co-opreative moment in India, rather we can say he never ever took or like the support and indulgence of government body in co-operative sector. At one place he said if you want to eliminate any institution give them government grant.

The Honorable Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi expressed very precisely about his journey “One Man One Mission”. Saluting the Legend, Who really with his will and dedication transformed the life of farmers of Anand, Gujarat and whole nation.

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