Acceptance Speech by Chairman,NDDB at Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial Summit & Awards function


20 January 2018: Shri Ajay Tamta, Minister of State for Textiles, Government of India, Shri RCP Singh, Member of Parliament, Bihar, Shri Dnyaneswar Mulay, Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Shri Amir Shubhani, Principal Secretary, Government of Bihar, Smt. Anuradha Mall, CEO, Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority, Shri Anuj Dayal, Executive Director, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd., Shri Vishnu Dutt Sharma, Social Transformer and Shri Srijan Pal Singh, CEO,  Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Centre and invitees at this Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial Summit & Awards function.  

Firstly, I would like to thank Dr APJ Abdul Kalam centre for instituting the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial Innovation in Governance Awards.  As you are aware, today India is not only the world’s largest milk producing nation accounting for about 20% of the worlds’ milk production, our growth rate in milk production is consistently above 5% over the last few years.  The credit of this achievement largely goes to the millions of milk producers of the country and the efforts of visionaries and leaders like Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Tribhuvandas Patel and Dr V Kurien who laid the foundation of the large network of milk producer institution which gave market access to millions of small milk producers and thereby ensured a fair price for their produce.  

Operation Flood, world’s largest food aid for development programme which was implemented by NDDB 40 years ago, helped transform our country from a milk deficit nation to one of self-sufficiency.  NDDB is now continuing to work on its mandate to serve the dairy farmers of our country through the implementation of National Dairy Plan (NDP) which aims at strengthening and expanding market access to milk producers which remained uncovered by the organized dairy sector, along with delivery of input services to enhance animal productivity.  Some of the less developed areas where NDDB is currently working with the milk producers to enhance their incomes through dairying include Vidarbha-Marathwada, Jharkhand, Assam, some parts of Bihar and Bundelkhand region in Uttar Pradesh & Madhya Pradesh. 

NDDB, inspired by the principle of Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of Gram Swaraj, which aims to create autonomous, self-governing and sustainable village communities,  is currently working on developing pilot models to bring about all round development of our villages centered around village level dairy cooperatives in partnership with several other organizations including APJ Abdul Kalam Foundation`.  Today we have more than 1,70,000 village level dairy cooperatives in the country and imagine the huge impact which such an intervention can make in bringing about rural and national transformation centered around dairy cooperatives.  

Now, coming to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s association with NDDB, we are proud and fortunate to have been associated with Dr. Kalam when he presided over IRMA’s convocation in 2002 and again when he came to deliver a lecture at NDDB, Anand in 2004.

In his book “Transcendence: My spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swamiji”, Dr Kalam shared his deep admiration for NDDB and IRMA’s founder Chairman Dr Kurien’s contributions to India’s dairy sector by including him among the major leaders who inspired him. 

I would like to quote a few lines from his book: 

(And I Quote): 

“The stories of Verghese Kurien and Mahatma Gandhi have a common theme of using an educated mind and an exposure to modern methods for the empowerment and sustenance of villages. 

Mahatma Gandhi – using his experiences in law and familiarity with the ways of the modern urban classes- ignited the minds of Indian peasants and ordinary people with the aspirations to live in an independent India.

Vergehse Kurien developed a model of business where villagers produced their goods, which they owned and sold them to urban dwellers using the tools of a typically urban centric business. He gave milk producers the control of procurement, processing and marketing and hired professional managers to attend to business matters. He turned the tables on multinational dairy companies and made economies of scale work for poor milk producers.”


We in NDDB continue to be inspired by Dr. Kalam’s vision in bringing about sustainable and all round rural development and we stand committed to realize our shared dream – (and I quote him again) “where people can live in a clean, free environment without pollution: prosper without poverty: experience peace and development without fear of conflict: and have a happy place to live their lives”.  (Unquote)

Jai Hind.