Since the last few weeks I have been in the USA. While sitting with a group of NRI friends well settled here, we heard the sad news about the sudden demise of Dr Verghese Kurien on 9th September. Those who knew him and those not knowing much about him but knowing “Amul” very well, all of them were shocked.
I narrated how not only thousands of milk producing female farmers of Gujarat, but also each and every co-cooperator in India must have felt as well as the iconic “Amul Girl” wept on losing her father.
The big void created by the passing away of the “Milkman of India” will have to be filled, though only partly, through our rededication towards adopting all those principles preached and practiced by Dr Kurien.
His book “I Too Had A Dream” and also a collection of his speeches “An Unfinished Dream” need to be read once again to imbibe his principles.
Creating our Brand Equity, rendering Quality Service, giving Value for Money to all our stake-holders, Financial Self Reliance and not the least, a firm Commitment to Co-operative Principles would be our real tribute to Dr Kurien.
Neglect of the Co-operative model of enterprise vis-a-vis Private and Public model by our planners right from the post-independence days is the basic woe of the co-operative sector of India.
But we, the co-operative workers are also equally responsible for the plight and deterioration of our sector.
Our movement must be totally free from political influences. It should not be seen and used as a ladder to political positions either.
On behalf of the oldest urban co-operative bank of our country, the Cosmos Bank, running in its 106th year, I offer heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Dr Kurien.
May God give us all a strong will and courage to fearlessly follow Dr Kurien’s philosophy in our respective co-operative activities.