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Father of White Revolution, Who is He?

In the annals of history, specific individuals emerge as catalysts of change, revolutionizing entire sectors and making a lasting impact on society. Verghese Kurien, renowned as the “Father of White Revolution,” exemplifies such a visionary. His groundbreaking contributions to India’s dairy industry sparked a transformative revolution in milk production, leading to a substantial enhancement in the quality of life for countless individuals.

Early Life and Education

Birth date: 26th November 1921

Birth place: Kozhikode, Kerala.

Dr. Verghese Kurien attended Loyala College in Chennai and graduated in Physics in 1940. Later, he pursued mechanical engineering at the College of Engineering, Guindy. His thirst for knowledge led him to Michigan State University in the United States, where he earned a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1948.

A Visionary Impact

Verghese Kurien’s pioneering work caught the attention of then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. In 1965, Shastri established the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to extend the cooperative model across the nation. This was a result of Kurien’s ground-breaking efforts to transform dairy farming.

The Amul Journey and White Revolution

Kurien’s life took a transformative turn when he joined a creamery in Gujarat in 1949. There, he met Tribhuvandas Patel, who is determined to unite farmers into a cooperative movement against exploitation. Dr. Verghese with Tribhuvandas Patel co-founded a cooperative named the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producer’s Union Limited, known as Amul Dairy. It played a crucial role in India’s White Revolution, turning the country from a milk-deficient nation into one of the largest milk producers globally.

Revolutionizing the Dairy Industry

Kurien’s innovative thinking led to the creation of milk powder and condensed milk from buffalo milk, transforming the Indian dairy sector. The Amul Dairy’s success inspired other regions in Gujarat to replicate the model, marking a significant achievement in the nation’s dairy evolution.

Quality of Leadership

Verghese Kurien’s influence extended beyond the dairy farms. In 1979, he founded the Institute of Rural Management in Anand to nurture managers for cooperatives. His dedication led to the establishment of companies under his leadership and his work influenced the creation of NDDB.

Awards and Honor presented to Father of White Revolution

Honors and achievements presented to Father of White Revolution, Dr. Verghese Kurien are as follows:

Year Awards Awarding Organization
1963 Ramon Magsaysay Award Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation
1965 Padma Shri Government of India
1966 Padma Bhushan Government of India
1986 Krishi Ratna Government of India
1986 Wateler Peace Prize Carnegie Foundation
1989 World Food Prize World Food Prize Foundation
1993 International Person of the Year World Dairy Expo
1997 Order of Agriculture Merit Ministry of Agriculture, France
1999 Padma Vibhushan Government of India


An Inspiring Legacy

Verghese Kurien’s legacy lives on through many avenues. His support paved the path for the iconic “Amul girl” ad campaign and even inspired TV series “Surabhi”. His book “I Too Had A Dream” narrates the empowering journey of farmers and the growth of milk cooperatives in India.

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Who is the father of White Revolution?

Dr. Verghese Kurien, known as "Father of White Revolution" transformed India's dairy industry through Amul, pioneering dairy cooperatives and ushering in a milk self-sufficiency era.

What is White Revolution?

The White Revolution, also known as Operation Flood, was a campaign aimed at increasing milk production in India.

About the Author

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