Friday, September 22, 2023

XLRI holds the first-ever �Verghese Kurien Memorial Oration

Himalayan Paths

Jamshedpur : XLRI Jamshedpur organised the first-ever Dr Verghese Kurien Memorial Oration on Sustainable Development to the founder of AMUL, Dr. Verghese Kurien, popularly known as �the Milkman of India�. Nirmala Kurien, the daughter of Dr. Verghese Kurien was present at the event as the guest of honour.

The oration was delivered by Dr. P Sainath, eminent journalist and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for journalism, literature and creative communication arts.

Dr. P. Sainath in his lecture on the topic �Unequal is Unsustainable�, highlighted the growing crisis in rural areas because of growing inequality and excessive usage of resources. By drawing the audience attention to the 100 days of rural livelihood, he said, �According to survey figures on an average on any given 100 day 4,600 Indian farmers will commit suicide, 46-70,000 will attempt suicide, 200,000 will give up farming and 1000s will leave country side for search of job in the urban areas�. The three �giant crisis� that the country is facing today are — water, agriculture and health.

Dr. Sainath criticised in his speech, the unrestrained wastage of water at a time when people in the countryside have to travel miles for a bucket of drinking water. �India is the largest over- user of underground water in the world� There is water crisis not because of drought, but because of the way it is used for, what it is used for and on what it is allocated for�, he said.

He also expressed concern on the growing health expenses that have forced many to avoid medical assistance. He said that according to the third round of NSSO health survey the number of Indians who have stopped seeking medical aid purely due to financial reasons has doubled in the recent past. The number is more than double particularly in urban areas because of the increase in distress peasant migration. Privatization of health sector has made medical aid unaffordable for many in the country.

Dr. Sainath argued that the country needs to include a moral dimension to its growth model, sustainable growth is impossible in a scenario where resources are being exhausted. He said that Dr. Verghese Kurein�s real work was towards organising of funds so that there is growth and development for everybody and he proposed �growth through justice� as the ideal approach through which development for all could be achieved.

In his address, Fr. E Abraham, S. J. Director of XLRI said, �XLRI�s relation with Dr. Verghese Kurien goes back to last over 22 years. Dr. Verghese Kurien, as we all know was a renowned Indian social entrepreneur and is best known as the �Father of the White Revolution� for his billion litre idea or operation flood � the world�s biggest agricultural development programme. He was instrumental in taking India from a milk deficient nation to the largest milk producer in the world surpassing The United States of America in 1998 accounting for about 17% of the global output of milk.�


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