Dairy industry in India has come a long way. The path it has travelled, I am talking of Cooperative sector in particular, has been full of turbulence. Making India self-sufficient in milk could become possible, as we all know, because of one man and he is Late Dr. Verghese Kurien. He The has rightly been named ‘as “The Milk Man of India’ and ‘The Father of White Revolution’.
‘Bihar’ has been notoriously famous, like many other states, for mis-management of public affairs particularly during the period of 1990-2005, some fifteen years for the reasons which need no elaboration.
But the beauty of this period (1990-2005) is that the Dairy industry did fairly well, during this period, in the state of Bihar. To corroborate this statement, I would share an incidence of AGM of Ajmer Milk Union which took place some time during this period.
The Chairmen of all the Milk Unions of Bihar got invitation from the Ajmer Chairman of Ajmer District Milk Producers Union for attending their Annual General Body meeting. However, only one of the Chairmen from Bihar attended this meeting. He was invited, out of courtsey, to address the general body. During his address, this Chairman from Bihar, as a matter of praise for his state, told that “बिहार में दो ही उद्योग फल -फूल रहे हैं -एक है अपहरण और दूसरा डेयरी ” He meant that in Bihar only two industries are flourishing, one is kidnapping and other is Dairy.
As is known to everyone, the turning point for Dairy industry in Bihar came with the signing of agreement between the NDDB and the Govt.of Bihar.
This agreement was the outcome of the historical meeting the then NDDB Chairman Dr.V. Kurien had with the then Chief Minister of Bihar, Late Dr.Jagannath Mishra.
This meeting was historical in the sense that to counter the strong belief of Dr. Mishra, the then Chief Minister of Bihar that “Anand” model will never be successful in a state like Bihar, the NDDB Chairman took this up as a challenge.
Dr Kurien was undeterred, and as usual took this as a challenge and said very confidently to the CM that “Sir, if this project does not perform, all the losses will be borne by the NDDB”.
Dr Kurien did not stop there. He continued and adding further that in case the project performs well, all the surpluses which would have been generated will go to the state of Bihar”.
Listening this, the CM was spell bound. He was left with no choice but to accept Dr.Kurien’s liberal offer. Let me add here that the CM was under pressure by a group of bureaucrats and technocrats, as generally happened those days in many state, that under no circumstances the NDDB be allowed entry into the state of Bihar.
This historic meeting paved the way the to end an era of inertia plaguing the Dairy industry in Bihar. A a historical agreement on the lines discussed between the CM and Chairman NDDB was signed.
Incidentally, it also marked the end of that decade. The new era, with the begining of a new decade (nineteen eighties), of Dairy Development started in the state of Bihar under the able leadership of Dr. Jagjit S. Punjrath who was made incharge of the Patna Dairy Project.
One can write volumes on the nitty gritty details of implementation of the project, which began after signing of the agreement.
For Dr Punjarath and his team It was a period of struggle against daunting opposition, perseverance and belief in the vision of Anand Pattern Cooperatives.
Readers may be wondering as to why the title of this write up has been given as “NDDB TEAM WAAPAS JAAO”.
In fact these four words also have a historical significance in the context of dairy development in Bihar.
Those who joined NDDB in late sixties and seventies would be aware that the implementation of Operation Flood (OF) programme in Bihar was officially launched much before the agreement which was signed between the NDDB and the Govt. of Bihar.
To be precise, it was in October,1975 when a NDDB Spearhead team was deployed in Patna (Bihar).
NDDB had a mandate to create 18 “Anands” -in other words a mandate to replicate Anand model of Dairy cooperatives during the in first phase of Operation Flood. And Patna was one of those identified 18 “Anands”
At that time the modus – operandi of working over NDDB in milk shed projects was different. Project execution in a state was not the responsibility NDDB. But it wrested with an agency in respective participating state in Operation Flood. In case of Bihar, it was Bihar State Dairy Corpn. (BSDC).
The participating State would select a group of their officials called the shadow team. This team after getting trained at NDDB would then be deployed with NDDB-SHT. However, their administrative control of the shadow team members remained with a senior officer of the sponsoring state agency, not with the NDDB-SHT Leader. This arrangement used to create many operational difficulties, most of which could have been avoided had there been the rein in the hands of SHT Leader.
The background of the working, which is given above, is necessary to understand the dynamics under which the SHT had to perform for replicating Anand model of Dairy cooperatives in the identified milk sheds.
Coming back to the deployment of NDDB SHT at Patna in October 1975, let me give a brief of first hand account of our welcome on arrival at Patna.
I write it as a first hand account because I was one of the SHT members and thus an eye witness.
In Bihar, the largest Dairy the state had to boast of those days was Patna Milk Supply Scheme (PMSS). This Dairy had the installed capacity of 10KL , yes, ten thousand litres per day.
The PMSS campus was situated near the Patna airport, supposed to be away from the city those days but that is some 45 years back. Now it has become a very busy place of Patna.
It (PMSS) was the place where the SHT was supposed to report on arrival at Patna. The SHT, which had departed from Anand loaded in two station wagons, travelled over 2000 kms. by road. It took us some three and a half days and finally we reached Patna in the evening.
One can very well imagine the physical and mental status of the SHT members on arrival at Patna. So much tired.
Not even in a position to walk properly. But we were from NDDB. We were not supposed to express any type of laxity. Moreover, we had the benefit of the instructions and command that we got from our great leader, (Late) Dr.A. A. Chothani .
Further, the tips and reminders that our Team Leader Shri BK Garg would every now and then give through out our travel helped us to make ourselves presentable on our arrival.
A large gathering was standing out side the PMSS campus to greet us, we had no choice but to stop our jeeps and get down.
From their appearance they did not look to be good people. And this became evident immediately as they started shouting slogans like “एनडीडीबी टीम वापस जाओ, वापस जाओ – आणंद पद्धति मुर्दाबाद – नहीं चलेगी, नहीं चलेगी अमूल पद्धति नहीं चलेगी ” so on and so forth.
I would not write now anything further to it on SHT and its working but a small para, a part of my contribution to FIS (Field Information Service), a news bulletin which was being published those days by the Farmers’ Organisation Group of NDDB is given at the end.
The sprawling campus of COMFED, the Bihar Milk Federation, what it is now, spread in quite many acres in the heart of Patna is not a newly acquired campus. It is the same campus of good old days which housed the erstwhile Patna Milk Supply Scheme. It is the same campus at the entrance of which we were greeted with the slogans, in the year 1975, as mentioned above.
How the campus which once was so much averse to NDDB and Anand pattern became the hub of Anand pattern Dairy cooperatives in the state of Bihar ! ! !
Yes, during 1988-91, when I was posted at Patna as the State Programme Coordinator, out of many important tasks , I also had the mandate to prevail on the state Govt. for putting the Bihar State Dairy Corpn. under liquidation. My regular persuasion incidentally worked. The BSDC was put under liquidation and as a good part of it, the Managing Director of the COMFED was also made the In-Charge of the BSDC. The control of PMSS campus those days rested with the BSDC.
Now I would proceed towards winding up (पटाक्षेप -patakshep) part of my write – up….
The G.O. (Govt.order) on BSDC ignited my thought process. I found this as a God sent opportunity in disguise. It also reminded me of the ugly incidence we had to face at the entrance of the PMSS in the year 1975. My resolve to grab this campus became more intense. I started lobbying strongly with the MD, COMFED as well as all the important functionaries in the Govt. I also lobbied with the elected Chairmen of all the Milk Unions of Bihar. My efforts really worked. To begin with, one agenda was placed in the COMFED Board.
A unanimous (सर्वसम्मति से ) resolution was passed in its favour which was then forwarded to the Govt. It did not take much time that another G.O. was issued for shifting the entire establishment of COMFED Hqs. from rented accommodation to the BSDC campus. Since I also had a table in rented office of COMFED, I too shifted my office to this BSDC campus.
Thus, in a dramatic move,the ‘आणंद पद्धत्ति ‘ came back to this campus to stay forever and ever.
In respect of FIS which I have mentioned some where above, I would share here with the readers that after shifting to the BSDC campus I sent a write-up for FIS. This write-up had the contents of how COMFED Hqs. shifted to the BSDC campus.
Caption of this write-up was NDDB TEAM WAAPAS JAAO … एनडीबी टीम वापस जाओ !
Acknowledgement by Dr Manubansh : I would not be fair on my part if I do not acknowledge the inspirations I drew from our dynamic leaders like Late. Dr.A.A. Chothani and Dr.Jagjit S.Punjrath