HIGHLIGHTS

  • D. N. KHURODY began, in the early 1940s, to evolve the scheme that today is revolutionizing the processing and marketing of milk in Bombay.
  • At the Aarey Colony cattle owners pay rent for farms and the plant buys the milk. Over 20,000 cattle have been removed from Bombay city and suburbs by this means.
  • The RMAF board of trustees recognizes “his creative coordination of government and private enterprise to improve the supply of an essential food and sanitation in one of Asia’s largest and most crowded urban complexes and to raise living standards among village producers.”

 CITATION

In the predominantly vegetarian diet of South India, milk provides protein and cooking fat called ghee. For centuries families kept their own milk cattle, usually buffalo. In Greater Bombay, as the population expanded beyond the island city to over three million, the cattle became a major problem. Crowded into unsanitary stables in congested residential areas, many animals died for lack of grazing or other feed. Producers began to overcharge for milk which was often contaminated and adulterated and in ever shorter supply.

D. N. KHURODY began, in the early 1940s, to evolve the scheme that today is revolutionizing the processing and marketing of milk in Bombay. Now Dairy Commissioner and Joint Secretary to Maharashtra State, he was then Milk Commissioner of Bombay City. In that capacity he argued persuasively for government support and carried to implementation in 1949 the Aarey Milk Colony. Located 20 miles north of Bombay City, this largest dairy establishment in Asia is a combination of model dairy farms and milk pasteurization plant. It distributes clean milk of controlled quality and price to about one and one-half million city dwellers and over 300 hospitals and institutions. Also purchased from Aarey by the Bombay Municipality is the milk issued free daily to some 72,000 undernourished school children.

At the Aarey Colony cattle owners pay rent for farms and the plant buys the milk. Over 20,000 cattle have been removed from Bombay city and suburbs by this means. With proper care, milk yield per animal has increased from 18 to 20 per cent and thousands of calves and buffaloes have been saved from starvation or slaughter. A second plant at nearby World which began operation in 1962, is designed to service similarly the other one-half of the city population.

Bombay’s growing demand for milk also has provided the basis for a new rural way of life around Anand, some 200 miles inland. Here TRIBHUVANDAS K. PATEL and VERGHESE KURIEN developed the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union. It was organized in 1948 by combining two village milk producers’ societies and a dairy processing 500 pounds of milk daily. Now President of the Union, Mr. PATEL was the organizing genius in building this cooperative effort. As Manager, Mr. KURIEN provided the necessary administrative and scientific direction to a hardworking staff of specialists, laborers and villager-aides. Rapid expansion, by 1962, had brought into the Milk Producers’ Union 219 farmer societies with 46,400 members. Milk processed in that year grossed over US$6 million.

The Kaira Union was encouraged by the then Bombay State Government, which contracted for its entire supply of pasteurized milk at stable, premium prices. Veterinary and technical aid was extended to villagers and the Public Works Department built new roads to facilitate collection of milk from outlying villages. Providing repasteurizing and distribution facilities for the milk from Anand was the Aarey Milk Colony near Bombay.

A substantial increase in dry season milk production at Anand was stimulated by year-round requirements of the Aarey Colony. To absorb the surplus thus created during the more productive winter months the Kaira Union ventured into milk processing. Generous financial assistance came from the Bombay Government and other help from UNICEF, New Zealand under the Colombo Plan and several foreign countries. The new plant was the first in India to produce milk powder, condensed milk and special powdered milk for babies. It is the first in the world to convert buffalo milk into powdered milk. Now marketing these products under the trade name of AMUL through their own all-India sales organization, the Union’s concern is further expansion to meet mounting orders.

These advances have raised the quality of the dairy industry in Anand as farmer-owners under tutelage of their Union leaders gradually accept new ideas of feeding and caring for cattle and handling milk.

As evidence of their pioneering leadership, DARA N. KHURODY, TRIBHUVANDAS K. PATEL and VERGHESE KURIEN today are asked to help initiate similar agencies elsewhere in India. Their efforts have become a model of accomplishment by patient but determined joining of government concern with the capabilities and aspirations of ordinary farmers.

In electing these three men to receive the 1963 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, the Board of Trustees recognizes their creative coordination of government and private enterprise to improve the supply of an essential food and sanitation in one of Asia’s largest and most crowded urban complexes and to raise living standards among village producers.

 RESPONSE

It is a matter of great honor and privilege for any person, howsoever gifted or great, to be qualified to receive the distinguished and internationally recognized Ramon Magsaysay Award. I am a very humble individual and never expected any such distinction in the field of Community Leadership.

A leader is no leader, unless he has a following. I, therefore, share this honor with my staff of over 8,000 strong, who have worked with me with great loyalty, sincerity and hard labor and without whose help and cooperation the Bombay Milk Scheme would not have developed to the extent it has, nor would world attention have been focused on it from all sides.

For me, this event is of special significance. After serving my country in the field of dairy development, market research and dairy education for over 38 years, I am receiving this honor from the friendly country of the Philippines on the very eve of my retirement from government service, now within about a month. In India, government servants retire at an early age of 58, to make room for others.

I shall now shortly be leaving India to take an appointment under the Dairy Society International. My new appointment will enable me to be of use to a wider area in the West Asian region in the field of dairy development and marketing matters.

I am also delighted to share the cash prize with two of my distinguished and near colleagues from Anand who are present here. We have had the pleasure of working together for over a decade in pursuit of a common cause.

During the past 18 years that I have been connected with the Bombay Milk Scheme, I have seen the good cheer it has brought to hundreds of poor homes when they started receiving regularly cheap and wholesome milk, which they could not afford before. It has minimized sickness. It has prevented pain. I have noticed gratitude on the faces of thousands of mothers when their children began to get free milk in the schools, which they could not provide by themselves.

Proper nutrition for the poorer classes is a service, I am sure, that would have occupied a high position in the heart and in the ideals of life of that great, selfless leader—Ramon Magsaysay, on whose birthday anniversary we are gathered to pay our homage.

We, Indians, believe in the non-destructibility of the soul. We believe soul is immortal. At this very moment, therefore, when this solemn ceremony is taking place, the noble soul of Ramon Magsaysay must be gladdened in the heavens to know these Awards are being given in the service of mankind.

We have a saying that we enter this world with empty hands. We leave it with nothing in them. What goes with us are our deeds, through which alone we can be remembered.

I come from an old middle class family in Central India. My father was a government servant and had a small income. Before him, his father was also a public servant. I know, therefore, what monetary handicaps can mean. I myself received my dairy education, 38 years ago, through the generosity of a dear departed distant relative.

In these circumstances, I can do no better than to inform the Trustees, now and here, that my entire share of the cash Award, namely $3,333.33, will be donated by me to start a new endowment at the Dairy Technology Institute, Aarey Milk Colony (Bombay), to perpetuate the greatness of the spirit of Ramon Magsaysay. This endowment will render help to deserving boys and girls coming from poor families, who wish to receive dairy education. I am hopeful of increasing the fund to a sizable amount, through other contributions, so that the poor and needy students can study dairying, irrespective of who they are. This would be the first endowment in India donated to helping dairy students who cannot afford such education themselves.

At this juncture, ladies and gentlemen, believe me, the greatest happiness of mine and that of my family is that we have been afforded by Providence a new opportunity for service by being granted the Magsaysay Award.

Before I end, I wish to invoke, Mr. Chairman and Trustees, your blessings, that the nucleus endowment to be newly started out of the Award bestowed upon me may grow from strength to strength, to perpetuate the spirit of Ramon Magsaysay far and wide in India.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas. Jai hind.

 BIOGRAPHY

Born in Mhow in the Central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh on January 2, 1906 DARA NUSSERWANJI KHURODY developed at 16 years of age the keen interest in dairying that was to lead to a life-long career devoted to the study and solution of problems connected with dairy farming and allied industries. The decisive experience in 1922 of working for his uncle who supplied cream and butter to the military establishments at Mhow prompted him to apply for training in the first course to be given at the Indian Institute of Animal Husbandry and Dairying at Bangalore. In 1925 he received the Government of India Gold Medal, standing first in the All-India Dairy Diploma Examination.

Upon graduation he was employed as Farm Superintendent for the 2,000-acre dairy farm of the Tata Iron and Steel Company at Jamshedpur in Bihar. During his 10 years in this position he was sent to Denmark and Holland for specialized training.

His father and grandfather having been in government service, in 1935 young KHURODY fulfilled his family’s expectation that he would follow in their tradition. First accepting an appointment as Marketing Officer for Dairy Products in the newly created Agricultural Marketing Department of the Government of India in Delhi, he was promoted in 1939 to Senior Marketing Officer for Dairy and Animal Husbandry Products.

(For the complete biography, please email biographies@rmaf.org.ph)