Manthan, a not so famous movie released in 1976 was produced by 5 lakh people. Yes, you heard it right. It was produced by 5 lakh farmers of Gujarat. It went on to win two National Awards and one Filmfare.
Now, what exactly is in this movie that made it so special. The movie is based upon the struggle of Verghese Kurien in establishing a cooperating milk society, famous by the name Amul. Dr. Verghese Kurien was the man behind the White Revolution in India also known as Operation Flood.
After independence, India had limited resources and the majority of villages were too backward to utilize the present resources. In 1950s and 60s, India’s production of milk was in negative, even after having a lot of cattle. It was due to the lack of cooperation and technology.
The Operation Flood made India, from a milk-deficient nation to, the world’s largest milk producer. Presently, India has a global output of 16%. This chart says it all:
How Did It All Happen?
Dr. Verghese Kurien established self-sufficient milk cooperative societies which were owned by the farmers themselves. Each farmer has an equal share in the society, doesn’t matter if he gave more milk than others. By this method, farmers were given a fair amount and the concept of middle man was removed.
Meanwhile, Dr. Kurien along with his colleagues developed a method to convert milk into powder, without it being spoiled for years. Cow milk could be easily converted into powder but buffalo milk was, at that time, considered impossible to convert. No country was able to do so. They demonstrated their experiment to UNESCO and voila, it worked.
Under the leadership of Dr. Kurien, Milk production in India increased from 17 million tons in 1950-51 to 84.6 million tons in 2001-02. India received immense support from the European Union and World Food Programs during the initiation.
Back to the movie, Manthan, was produced by 5,00,000 farmers who contributed 2 Rs each for THEIR movie. After the release, they went to see THEIR movie on truck loads making it a huge commercial success.
The Amul currently is jointly owned by 3.6 million farmers in Gujarat. And it is THEIR OWN company.
Do watch the movie. Here is the YouTube link:
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