Dara Nusserwanji Khurody: A Pioneer in Indian Industry

OV Digital Desk

Dara Nusserwanji Khurody (2 January 1906 – 1 January 1983) was an Indian entrepreneur known for his contributions to the dairy industry of India.

Life and Career

He was born on 2 January 1906, in Madhya Pradesh, India. When he was a kid, he helped his uncle deliver dairy products to the military establishments in Mhow. In 1923, he enrolled in the Imperial Institute of Animal Husbandry in Bangalore (now the National Dairy Research Institute). After receiving training at the Government Creamery at Anand, Gujarat, he won the All-India Dairy Diploma Exam in 1925 with a gold medal from the government.

In Jamshedpur, he worked as a dairy farm superintendent for Tata Iron & Steel Co. He visited Denmark and the Netherlands for various training sessions. In 1935, Khurody joined the Agricultural Marketing Department of the government. He worked in this newly formed department as the dairy and animal husbandry marketing officer. He played a big part in formalizing Agmark’s grading system during his tenure. Several of his reports are considered important in the field of milk marketing, including one from 1941. This report came up with the idea for the Aarey Milk Colony. He also proposed toned milk in this report.

He proposed that toned milk with 2 percent fat and double-toned milk with 1 percent fat and 10 percent solid non-fat should be introduced and promoted for the Indian market. Toned milk is made by blending buffalo milk with water and skim milk powder. It keeps its nutritional quality while reducing its cost significantly. Toned milk was introduced in Bombay for the first time on 13 February 1946.

There was an increase in demand for ghee in military establishments because of World War II. He was the Deputy Milk Commissioner of Bombay State during the war period when the state was still struggling with the pressures of subsidized milk supplies. He implemented the Safe Milk Policy and new laws which required hotels to use only skimmed milk, imported from abroad and supplied at a premium price by the government. Later, UNICEF promoted the Safe Milk Policy in Europe. The profits from the sales of imported skimmed milk went toward setting up a buffalo colony in the suburb of Aarey, also known as the Aarey Milk Colony.

The Bombay Milk Scheme, which he set up, procured milk in large quantities from Polson’s Dairy in Anand for supply to Bombay. Aarey Milk Colony was founded in 1949 and officially inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1951. In the Colony, they used modern technologies for milk processing, toning, sterilization, and large-scale cheese production. As a result of his Aarey Colony, UNICEF coordinated with Khurody on a lot of other stuff in 1953. There were about 15000 buffalos in the Colony at that time, and it was a tourist spot. Khurody and UNICEF worked together to open Worli dairy in May 1963. With a daily capacity of 300,000 liters, it was then the biggest dairy in the world. He died on 1 January 1983, in Madhya Pradesh, India.

Awards and Legacy

He received the Ramon Magsaysay Award jointly with Verghese Kurien and Tribhuvandas Kishibhai Patel in 1963. In 1964, he received the Padma Bhushan from the Government of India.

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