Shivamogga link to Kurien's bust at Michigan State University

Shivamogga link to Kurien's bust at Michigan State University

'Father of India's White Revolution' was an alumni of the US varsity

Shivamogga link to Kurien's bust at Michigan State University

Probably, the late Verghese Kurien, father of India’s White Revolution, could not have had a better recognition than this. Michigan State University (MSU) in the US has honoured its notable Indian alumni by installing his bust on the campus, in the lobby of the International Centre on the campus on June 30, 2016. 

Kurien had received a master’s degree from the MSU Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1948. 

And, there is a Karnataka connection to the installation of Kurien’s bust on the MSU premises. Mallikarjuna Devapur Veerabhadrappa, a dairy engineer with SHIMUL (Shivamogga Co-operative Milk Union Ltd) was the one who mooted the idea and facilitated the installation of Kurien’s bust in MSU. Vipin Badaria, a sculptor from Sagar, has created it with marble powder.

Mallikarjuna told Deccan Herald over phone from the US that around 15.2 million farmer families have directly benefitted from Kurien’s white revolution. “On behalf of these families, I donated the bust to MSU. When I discussed the idea with Engineering Dean Leo Kempel and Department of Mechanical Engineering Chairman James Klausner, they were thrilled. They made all the necessary arrangements for the installation of the bust on the MSU campus.”

According to MSU, no graduate from the college of engineering, or maybe even the MSU has transformed more lives than Kurien. “MSU treats Kurien as an excellent example of Spartans Will,” he said. 

Mallikarjuna said many people made his dream come true. Nirmala Kurien, daughter of Verghese Kurien, gave the much-needed cooperation and support.

Ashwin Maurya, a research scholar at the MSU and Satish Udpa, the MSUI executive vice-president co-ordinated with him. 

 Patricia Mroczek, Communications Manager, MSU in an email stated that the bust dedication ceremony received positive response from the US citizens on the MSU website and social media. The college of engineering’s Facebook site had 9,425 views in a few days and the College of Engineering Twitter handle 13,259 views.

According to Mallikarjuna, Kurien founded 30 institutions in India which are presently owned and managed by farmers and run by professionals. Due to his efforts, India increased its milk production from 22 million tonnes in 1970 to 66 million tonnes by 1996. Since then, milk production has touched 160 million tonnes per year, with support from 15 state cooperative dairy federations, 189 district milk unions, 156,000 village dairy cooperative societies and 15.2 million milk producer members.

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