A memorable moment

MM Patel
MM Patel

I heard Dr Kurien speak to a group of people only once.

While was working as a team member of NDDB Spearhead Team (SHT) at Kolhapur in 1980, I got an office order transferring me from Dairy Project (NDDB, SHT) to the newly launched NDDB Oil Seeds and Vegetable Oil Project, Bhavnagar, in October 1980.

I was nominated to part in a seminar cum training programme of ten-day duration after six months of joining at Bhavnagar. The participants were staff chosen from National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and Gujarat Cooperative Oilseeds Growers Federation Ltd (GROFED. The subject areas covered were Agriculture Extension and Cooperation. The venue was the government agriculture farm Talaja, Bhavnagar. Oilseeds Growers were also invited on the day of the inauguration of the programme.

At the inaugural function Shri GM Jhala and Dr Chothani from NDDB addressed the seminar. They briefed about the NDDB Oilseeds and Vegetable Oil Project designed on the Anand pattern, with oilseed processing plant so that farmers get a remunerative price and steady marketing channel for their produces. At the end of the inaguration programme I got the opportunity to propose a vote of thanks to the speakers and participants.

Later, along with other training programme participants, I visited Lokbharti, Sanosara, Gujarat Agriculture University Campus, National Research Center for Groundnut at Junagadh and Soil testing Laboratory at Gandhinagar. It was a study visit and at each of these institutions we were briefed about the objectives, operations and specific activities of the institutions we visited. We also learnt about research work being carried out at these institutes.

It was heartening to learn about the research work in oilseeds production through the development of high yielding varieties. During the training, we also had sessions conducted by NDDB officers as well as from the Agriculture and Cooperation Department of the Government of Gujarat.

The seminar cum training programme ended at NDDB Anand.

Dr Kurien Sir addressed the concluding session. He briefed us about the NDDB Oilseeds and Vegetable Oil Project which was designed on the pattern of Anand Milk Cooperatives for the Oilseeds sector. Objective being to integrate production, processing and marketing of Oilseeds and edible oils as also provision of inputs for increasing Oilseeds production under Oilseeds Producer owned cooperative institutions.

In his address, Kurien also mentioned the telephonic conversations he had with the Minister in the Government of India about our project. Dr kurien Sir spoke in English with some sentences in Gujarati, which was very sweet. At the end he asked about our working conditions and problems faced and about our remunerstion.

This gesture on his part indicated his concern for employees. He was sensitive to the needs of both the employees and the oilseeds producers.

I fondly remember this event when I heard Dr Kurien speak to the participants of the seminar cum training programme. I was lucky to have been present on that occasion.



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