Verghese Kurien, the father of White Revolution in India and the founder of Amul, died after a brief spell of illness early on Sunday at Nadiad in Gujarat. He was 90. Kurien's body has been kept in Anand for people to pay their last respects. Dr Kurien died a natural death due to his age. He was admitted in a hospital for some time. His last rites will be conducted in late afternoon. Kurien has been the architect of Operation Flood - the largest dairy development program in the world. He helped modernise the Anand model of cooperative dairy development and engineered the White Revolution in India, and made India the largest milk producer in the world. Today over 10 million farmers across the country at 200 dairies produce over 20 million litres of milk every day.
In 1949, Kurien decided to quit a lucrative government job to join a dairy cooperative. Since then, milk procurement of the cooperative grew from a few hundred litre a day in early 1950s to over 90 lakh litre a day now under one of India's most popular brands Amul. Today, the turnover of Amul-led cooperatives stands at Rs. 10,000 crore. These dairy cooperatives produce and process a range of products such as liquid milk, cheese, curd, milk powder, milk drink, sweets, ice cream, chocolates and butter among others. The Amul group now consists of 15 district unions with 30 lakh farmer members in close to 16,000 villages of Gujarat. A majority of its farmer members are women.
After the grand success of the Amul brand, the model has been replicated in several states where brands like Verka, Nandini, Sudha, Mahananda and Saras are dominating the market. The World Bank has identified the Amul model as one of the key tools to fight poverty. GCMMF receives frequent requests from African countries to assist them in replicating the model. Kurien introduced some of the best international technology and practices in Amul that even rivals tried to copy.