National Milk Day: History and Significance

OV Digital Desk
11 Min Read
National Milk Day

National Milk Day in India is observed on November 26th each year. This day is dedicated to commemorating the birth anniversary of Dr. Verghese Kurien, also known as the “Father of the White Revolution” in India. Dr. Kurien was instrumental in transforming the dairy industry in India and making it one of the largest producers of milk in the world.

The White Revolution, also known as Operation Flood, was a program initiated by Dr. Kurien that aimed at making India self-sufficient in milk production. Under his leadership, the successful implementation of cooperative dairy development programs significantly increased milk production in the country, benefiting millions of dairy farmers.

History of National Milk Day

National Milk Day is a tribute to Dr. Kurien’s contributions to the dairy sector and, by extension, to the rural economy of India. The day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of milk and dairy farming and to acknowledge the efforts of those involved in the dairy industry. Various events, seminars, and activities are organized on National Milk Day to highlight the significance of milk in nutrition and to promote the dairy sector’s growth and development. Additionally, educational programs may be conducted to inform people about the nutritional benefits of milk and dairy products.

National Milk Day in India has its roots in the contributions of Dr. Verghese Kurien and the White Revolution, a transformative movement in the country’s dairy sector. Here’s a brief history:

  • Birth of Dr. Verghese Kurien (1921): Verghese Kurien, the architect of the White Revolution, was born on November 26, 1921, in Kozhikode, Kerala.
  • Formation of Amul (1946): The story of the White Revolution began with the formation of the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Limited in Anand, Gujarat, in 1946. This cooperative, better known by its brand name Amul, played a pivotal role in Dr. Kurien’s dairy development initiatives.
  • Cooperative Movement (1960s): Kurien’s notable contributions came to the forefront during the 1960s when he spearheaded the cooperative milk producers’ movement. He emphasized the empowerment of farmers through cooperative societies and aimed to replicate the Amul model across the country.
  • Operation Flood (1970s-1990s): Operation Flood, launched in 1970, was the world’s largest dairy development program. Dr. Kurien played a central role in its implementation. The program aimed to enhance milk production and make India self-sufficient in milk. It led to the creation of a nationwide network of dairy cooperatives.
  • Recognition of Dr. Kurien’s Birthday: In recognition of Dr. Kurien’s immense contributions to the dairy sector and rural development, November 26th was chosen to be celebrated as National Milk Day. This day honors his vision, leadership, and efforts in transforming India into one of the largest milk-producing countries globally.
  • Declaration of National Milk Day (2014): The Government of India officially declared November 26th as National Milk Day in 2014. This declaration aimed at recognizing the significance of milk and the dairy sector in the country’s socio-economic development.

Today, National Milk Day is observed annually as a tribute to Dr. Verghese Kurien and as a day to acknowledge the importance of the dairy industry in India. It serves as a reminder of the impact of the White Revolution on the lives of millions of dairy farmers and the growth of the dairy sector as a whole. The day is marked by various events, seminars, and activities across the country, celebrating the legacy of Dr. Kurien and promoting awareness about the nutritional benefits of milk.

Significance of National Milk Day

National Milk Day holds significant importance in India due to its association with Dr. Verghese Kurien and the White Revolution. Here are some key points that underscore the significance of National Milk Day:

  • Celebrating Dr. Verghese Kurien’s Legacy: National Milk Day commemorates the birth anniversary of Dr. Verghese Kurien, often referred to as the “Father of the White Revolution.” It serves as a day to honor and celebrate his visionary leadership and significant contributions to the dairy sector.
  • White Revolution’s Impact on Dairy Industry: The day marks the success of the White Revolution, initiated by Dr. Kurien. This movement transformed India from a milk-deficient nation to one of the largest milk producers globally. It highlights the positive impact of cooperative dairy farming on rural livelihoods.
  • Empowerment of Dairy Farmers: Kurien’s work was instrumental in empowering millions of dairy farmers through cooperative models. National Milk Day recognizes the role of dairy farmers in the economic development of the country and acknowledges their contribution to the growth of the dairy industry.
  • Promoting Nutritional Awareness: National Milk Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness about the nutritional benefits of milk and dairy products. It encourages the inclusion of these products in daily diets to ensure the overall well-being and health of the population.
  • Showcasing India’s Achievements in Dairy Production: Celebrating National Milk Day is a way of showcasing India’s achievements in the field of dairy production. The country’s journey from a milk-deficit nation to a major milk producer is highlighted, showcasing the success of strategic initiatives.
  • Encouraging Cooperative Movements: Kurien’s emphasis on cooperative dairy farming as a means of empowering farmers and ensuring fair returns for their produce is a central theme of National Milk Day. It encourages the promotion and adoption of cooperative models for sustainable rural development.
  • Inspiration for Agricultural Innovations: National Milk Day serves as an inspiration for agricultural and dairy innovations. It encourages the exploration of new technologies and practices to further improve milk production, quality, and processing methods.
  • Raising Awareness about Rural Development: The celebration of National Milk Day contributes to raising awareness about the importance of rural development, especially in the context of agriculture and dairy farming. It highlights the potential of cooperative movements in uplifting rural communities.

In summary, National Milk Day is a day of reflection, celebration, and awareness. It recognizes the achievements of Dr. Verghese Kurien and the dairy industry’s impact on the economic and social fabric of India. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of sustainable and cooperative models in agriculture and rural development.

Events at National Milk Day

National Milk Day in India is celebrated with various events and activities that highlight the significance of milk, honor the contributions of Dr. Verghese Kurien, and promote awareness about the dairy industry. Some common events and initiatives include:

  • Preamble Reading and Commemorative Speeches: Many educational institutions and organizations organize events where individuals come together to read the Preamble to the Constitution of India. Commemorative speeches may also be delivered, emphasizing the values and principles associated with National Milk Day.
  • Dairy Farm Visits: Some schools and colleges arrange visits to local dairy farms to provide students with firsthand experience of dairy farming practices. This helps in creating awareness about the challenges faced by dairy farmers and the importance of the dairy industry.
  • Seminars and Workshops: Educational institutions, research organizations, and dairy industry associations often organize seminars and workshops on topics related to dairy farming, cooperative models, and advancements in the dairy sector. Experts may be invited to share their knowledge and insights.
  • Dairy Product Exhibitions: Exhibitions showcasing various dairy products, their production processes, and nutritional benefits are organized. This provides a platform for dairy industry stakeholders to showcase their products and innovations.
  • Awareness Campaigns: National Milk Day is an opportunity to run awareness campaigns on the nutritional benefits of milk and dairy products. These campaigns may include posters, pamphlets, social media posts, and other forms of communication to reach a wide audience.
  • Cattle Shows and Competitions: Livestock and cattle shows may be organized to showcase different breeds of dairy cattle. Competitions for the best-maintained dairy farms, best cattle breeds, and other categories may be part of these events.
  • Milk Pledge Initiatives: Some organizations promote the idea of taking a “Milk Pledge,” where individuals commit to incorporating milk and dairy products into their daily diets for better health. This initiative is often linked to the nutritional awareness aspect of National Milk Day.
  • Interactive Sessions for Farmers: Events specifically designed for dairy farmers may include interactive sessions on best practices, technology adoption, and strategies for improving milk production and quality. These sessions may involve agricultural experts and industry professionals.
  • School Competitions: Schools often organize competitions such as essay writing, drawing, and quiz contests related to National Milk Day. These activities engage students in learning about the importance of milk and its role in nutrition.
  • Media Coverage: National Milk Day events receive coverage in the media, including newspapers, television, and online platforms. This coverage helps in spreading awareness and educating the general public about the significance of the day.

The specific events can vary across regions and institutions, but the common theme is to celebrate the contributions of Dr. Verghese Kurien, promote awareness about the dairy industry, and encourage the consumption of milk and dairy products for nutritional well-being.



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