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National Milk Day on Kurien’s birth anniversary
VADODARA: November 26 will be etched as a special day in the annual calendar of India – world’s largest milk producer.
For the first time in the history of India’s dairy sector, all the dairy majors have joined hands to celebrate November 26 as National Milk Day in the memory Dr Verghese Kurien, Father of India’s White Revolution.
The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Indian Dairy Association (IDA) along with around 22 state level milk federation’s including Gujarat’s own – Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) that markets brand Amul will celebrate National Milk Day this Wednesday- Kurien’s 93rd birth anniversary.
Globally, since 2001, June 1 is annually celebrated as World Milk Day after the day was designated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to publicize activities related to milk and milk industries and raise public awareness about the importance of milk and milk products for everyone throughout life.
“The idea of celebrating Indian Milk Day was first mooted by IDA. We thought November 26 is best suited to celebrate such a day as it is birth anniversary of Dr Kurien,” NDDB’s chairman T Nanda Kumar told TOI, adding that the Anand-headquartered national dairy board has written to all the co-operative dairy federations in the country to join in the celebrations.
As part of the celebrations, 200 lakh milk pouches of Amul every day will carry the National Milk Day’s logo featuring Dr Kurien for a week across the country.
“All our district level milk unions who are part of our federation are organizing district level celebrations which will be attended by around 10,000 milk producers. Amul story will be shared through pictorial exhibitions while there will be technical sessions for farmers,” GCMMF’s managing director R S Sodhi told TOI.
GCMMF affiliated district dairy unions have 35 lakh milk producers (farmers) associated with it contributing 165 lakh litres milk per day.
At Palanpur, Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel will address a mega gathering of farmers in a programme organized by Banas Dairy to celebrate the birth anniversary of Kerala-born Kurien, who had made Gujarat his home.
“CDs and DVDs of the national award winning movie ‘Manthan’ – India’s first feature film that was financed by five lakh farmers and was jointly written by Dr Kurien and Shyam Benegal – will be sold online at discounted price,” said Sodhi.
“At Anand, all institutes founded by Kurien – Amul, Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), Anandalaya and NDDB have joined hands to celebrate the day,” said Kumar.
Anandalaya has already organized inter-state drawing and debate competition for school children of Anand district – winners of which will be felicitated during Wednesday’s function at NDDB’s campus.
Since the time he died at the age of 90 in September 2012, thousands have joined online petition seeking Bharat Ratna for Kurien, India’s Milkman and the architect of Operation Flood – the ‘billion litre’ idea that turned India into world’s largest milk producer surpassing United States in 1998.