By Dr. Mukund Naware
Launch of Operation Flood -II
Sometime in 1980 a meeting/workshop was convened at NDDB Anand to discuss the modalities for implementation of Operation Flood (OF) phase II. The Phase II was to cover 155 districts and the State Dairy Federations were to be the Implementing Agencies.
The phase I of OF wherein NDDB sent Spear Head Teams (SHT) was over and the idea of sending a State Coordinator for each Federation had emerged. Senior officers of NDDB and IDC who could be sent as State Coordinators were called at Anand so that greater clarity on the role that a State Coordinator was expected to play and dos and dont were to be discussed.
I had participated from RO Bangalore.
Tolerance to ambiguity
I remember the lead speaker was Dr Malati Bolar who was invited to deliberate on the topic most appropriately titled as ‘Tolerance to Ambiguity’ ! She made us aware of the complex situation any organization may face and how it could be tackled by gathering experience of all.
In that workshop broader objectives of OF II including the details of the plan of action such as coverage of number of village; farmers to be brought under the ambit of the cooperatives; milch animals to be brought under Animal Health Care;AI Centers to be established using frozen semen; animals to be be covered so as to raise National Milch Herd that would ultimately increase the per capita milk availability etc. were shared.
On the next day towards the end of our program we had a meeting with Dr. Kurien , Chairman NDDB/IDC. All the senior officers of both the organizations were also present.
State level federations under Operation Flood -II
Dr. Kurien told us why the idea of having State Cooperative Federation was mooted. In his opinion the State Dairy Corporations had become bureaucracies and that there was a need to replace them with Farmers’ Organisation, a Federation at the start of the project itself so that in future there would not be questions raised on transfer of milk processing plants to unions and the farmers will retain their rights. He also briefly explained the important provisions in the proposed Memorandum of Understanding to be signed like a State Govt. guarantee for repayment of loan, setting up of Audit Board etc.
Towards the end we were asked questions if we had any doubt or clarifications to seek.
There was some response but I remember one question very well.
One participant mentioned that the broad objective of OF II was to raise milk availability through genetic improvement in cows and buffaloes for which a massive effort would be made using frozen semen technology and paraphernalia.
He further elaborated, that this effort could be useful only if there is culling of cows and buffaloes and the culling means eliminating the inferior stock from the herd at every stage which every breeding program taken up anywhere in the world has acknowledged. This question was indirectly touching the issue of cow slaughter. The questioner then requested the Chairman why this particular aspect was missing in the project and why this is also not been raised at Govt. level.
Have patience and change will happen
Dr. Kurien replied to that question citing a couple of examples which were quite interesting.
First he mentioned about a certain delegation from Pakistan that had come to India to study dairy development in India. On completion of their visit to Anand they came to meet Dr. Kurien. However, when they were about to leave he found one of the delegates in tears.
When Dr. Kurien enquired about the reason the delegate said that he was moved by the efforts made by India in dairying. The delegate had said that ‘ both Pakistan and India became independent at the same time but India did well in preserving dairy breeds whereas in Pakistan they have eaten away most of the cattle.’ Citing this, Dr. Kurien said that we should look positively on issues like this.
Citing the second case, Dr. Kurien said he worked with Chairman Shri Tribhuvandas Patel who was a Gandhian worker and followed all its principles like a religion.
” Shri Patel was hundred percent Vegetarian and I have no doubt about it whereas, the same can not be said about his son who went to US and settled there. He may or may not have tasted meat. But if you ask me about the grandson of Tribhuvandas Patel who is born and brought up there I would not be surprised if eating meat may have become a routine for him, unless he decides against doing so”, he said. “This is what happens over the generations.”
Dr. Kurien continued. “People will change , we have to give time. As it is we have been asking for so many changes. But if you ask too many changes, then the easiest thing for them is that they will change you. Therefore you have to have patience that one day or the other change will be there.”
Dr. Kurien told his Mantra and with that the meeting ended.
Contributed by Dr Mukund Naware NDDB 1972 – 1986. He spent five years in field and was in RO Bangalore, for more than eight years. He was also Manager (Procurement) for F& V Project, Mother Dairy, Delhi during 1985-1986.