Working with Dr Kurien for over 24 years has been a great blessing. He led from the front and was totally committed to the dairy farmers of India and showed the thoroughness that was needed to handle the tremendous challenges that we faced. He was able to muster support from the highest levels in the country and that helped in the successful implementation of OF. His real strength came from the farmers supported by professionals working for them. This is an unbeatable combination. I was lucky to have a ring side seat and watched events unfold as they did to make the country a leader in milk and milk products.
When I went to Karachi to prepare a dairy development plan on behalf of SAARC in 1996, our nodal point was the Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan. The General Manager of the Bank was not very enthusiastic about an Indian Team coming for this purpose. He narrated to us as to how “Indian spies were following him when he went to Delhi for a regional conference”. He said that he was however impressed by the milk booth outside his hotel in Delhi. When he went to see it he became keen to see the Mother Dairy that ran the booth. The Booth Manager then put him in touch with the General Manager of the Mother Dairy in Delhi. The General Manager arranged for a car to pick him up and show him the Mother Dairy and he was most impressed with it. He then mentioned to us that he could not believe the name of the General Manager as it turned out to be a Muslim gentleman by the name of N A Shaikh.
I then mentioned to him that Shaikh was an engineer who started his career as an apprentice engineer at the NDDB and that we had a Chairman, Dr V Kurien, who was a Christian. When he learnt that I used to be the Managing Director of the same NDDB, he warmed up and did everything that he could, to help with the SAARC study which recommended the setting up of a Mother Dairy for Karachi.
I hope the new generation, with all the technology that they now have at their disposal, will further our age-old values of honesty, sense of purpose, hard work and compassion. The guiding principle has to be “Love All, Serve All”.
Poverty in India is going to harm the rich almost as much as the misery it causes the poor. The rich are refusing to see the reality and are living in virtual bubbles. When the bubbles burst, the reality will dawn on them in the most horrific manner.