Dr. Mukund Naware
Move to “Sangam” at Vadlamudi in Guntur
Towards the end of December 1976 NDDB decided to send a Spear Head Team (SHT) to Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. The Feeder Balancing Dairy under Operation Flood – I was under construction at Vadlamudi ( popularly called Sangam ) and Dr. Chothani, Director (FO&AH) thought it was high time to start organizing Dairy Cooperative Societies on Anand pattern in Guntur.
Recent picture of Sangam Dairy courtesy Wikipedia
I was made Team Leader Designate and other members were also identified with Dr. Sreemannarayan as second in command.
However, there was a hitch. Around the same time NDDB had also decided to send a Task Force to Jalgaon Dairy Project under the leadership of Shri R.D. Patel and I was to be a part of that group as well for a few weeks. Other members were Shri V.G.Tulpule and Shri M.N.Vyas. Accordingly I went to Jalgaon first and was to go from there to Guntur after three weeks.
So this time without the Team Leader SHT went ahead from Anand to Guntur in a Jeep . It took them two three days they reached Sangam and to get settled.
Soon they started moving around in the villages and began spade work.
The word spread that the NDDB team was at Sangam and soon a lot of new things would happen in villages and milk would be collected by Sangam ‘Paalpudi’ (milk powder) Factory. The idea of Farmers owning a Dairy was new to understand and it was our job to create that kind of awareness.
Felicitation of the team
When I reached Sangam I found that the field work had gathered momentum. Expectations were high and we thought it was better that the tempo continued. Just around that time the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh also nominated the Board Of Directors for Guntur Milk Union with Shri Y. Venkata Rao, MLA as Chairman.
When that nomination came the local politicians organized meetings in villages to felicitate the MLA and his team and also the SHT.
On a few occasions the MLA was taken on a bullock cart in a procession with musical instruments playing and so on. He was keen to know how we would organize our activities further. I narrated to him my experience in Jalgaon and he appreciated that the Sangam dairy would be benefited.
Farmers induction Programme
Because the sets of Milk Testing Equipment were not ready as yet, we were not able to organize and begin the milk collection. However, we had to go ahead with whatever was possible to do.
One such activity was Farmers’ Induction Program (FIP) under which we could send batches of farmers to visit Anand so that they could see Amul dairy and other activities. Luckily, Head Office had informed us the dates reserved for Guntur on which we could send the batches in that month. We decided to send the first batch on appointed dates. We identified the farmers from different villages to book their to and fro rail tickets.
At that time I realized one hurdle. We had no project fund and for that matter no Bank Account in the name of NDDB since the Board Resolution authorizing me to open and operate the bank account has not been received.
What is more, it would have taken few weeks for that to happen. So we had to work out some alternative arrangement. Then Mukund Naware came to the rescue of SHT and he offered personal funds. There was some shortfall and that was contributed by Dr. Sreemannarayan, Advance was shown on Receipt side in our Cash Book and we went ahead to purchase railway tickets for ten farmers.
Then another hurdle came. We were informed that in the NDDB’s Farmers’ Hostel there was pressure on FIPs and we should cancel the visit of farmers from Guntur.
The letter said.. you know we consider farmers as our honored guests and during their visit we would not like them to be put to any inconvenience etc.etc….
I didn’t agree to those contents since I knew how farmers live in villages against all odds. So I decided to insist for the visit and wrote a straight letter to Dr. Chothani, requesting that alternate staying arrangements may be made outside NDDB campus and if need be, even in Baroda ; but cancellation of the visit of the very first batch from Guntur would damage our credibility.
That SOS letter worked well and we got instant approval to send the first batch as scheduled ! When the batch actually left from Vijayawada station Shri Venkata Rao MLA was there to see them off. By that time he had come to know that the farmers were traveling on the money spared by Mukund Naware and Sreemannarayan and he openly appreciated that.
Move back to Anand
Well begun is half done, they say ! It happened with our activities in Guntur and we received a good response from the farmers. Our activities continued as we progressed.
Sometime in August or September, I received orders to return to Head Office and Dr. Sreemanannarayan was to continue there as Team Leader. We could foresee that it would take couple of weeks before NDDB authorized him to operate the Bank Account. Hence it was decided that I sign some crossed cheques and that could give coverage for a month or two. Looking at our experience in the beginning we thought it was the best option.
With that arrangement I returned to Anand.
After about a month and half Dr. Chothani called me to his cabin and handed over one Audit Note received from Audit wing. He suggested that I should go and personally explain the objection raised by them.
Mukund, now explain why did you do what you did in good faith ?
It said that Mukund Naware was operating Sangam SHT’s Bank account even after his withdrawal ! One Auditor had just visited Sangam and put up his findings in writing. “When I went there I was told that cheques were found signed and issuing them when Mukund was not there amounts to his operating the Account and it was irregular” .
My arguments, … that in good faith.. so as not to hamper field activity ..were not acceptable to them but they cautioned me to avoid such things in future.
However, I felt happy that the Auditor had not pointed out Mukund Naware’s mixing of personal fund with NDDB’s funds to purchase rail tickets for farmers as reflected in the very beginning of the Cash Book.
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.