Oct 05, 2012 at 08:52am IST

Online campaign seeking Bharat Ratna for Verghese Kurien

A campaign by a group of people who think ‘better late than never’ is snowballing in the e world. An online petition, which has  already been signed by more than 4000 supporters, urges President Pranab Mukherjee to confer Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour, on the late Verghese Kurien.

Immediately after the death of Kurien at the age of 90, there was a hue and cry over why he was denied the Bharat Ratna. This time the campaign went one step further and aims at reaching the President. The petition features in an online campaign portal Change.org. Launched by Mumabi-based Sucheta Dalal, the campaign lists 10 reasons why Kurien deserves Bharat Ratna. 

The petition says the country has not adequately recognised the work of Kurien who transformed lives in rural India. ‘’His breadth of vision was stunning. No matter how familiar we may be with his work, it is awe inspiring. He transformed India from a milk-deficit country to the world’s largest milk producer and did it through the cooperative route so that women and small farmers were empowered and found an additional source of revenue to augment their farm income.

In doing so, he brightened the future of millions of children by ensuring they had access to milk when they needed it the most, in their childhood,’’ the petition says.

The architect of Operation Flood, world’s biggest agricultural development programme, was a recipient of Magsaysay Award and Padma Vibushan.

With the support of renowned personalities such as Shekhar Kapur and Rajdeep Sardesai, the campaign is gaining momentum.

Lal Bhadur Shashtri, Kamaraj, Vinoba Bhave, M G Ramachandran, B R Ambedkar, Rajiv Gandhi, Abdul Kalam Azad, Aruna Asaf Ali, Jayaprakash Narayan and former Assam Chief Minister Gopinath Bordoloi are the posthumous winners of the award.

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