Aah! It was an honour for me to have an hour long discussion with World Food Prize winner, Padma Vibhushan and Father of India's Green Revolution, Prof MS Swaminathan yesterday. Awards becomes very shorter in stature when it comes to Prof Swaminathan. When India won freedom from British empire in 1947, the country was not able to feed its 350 million population, largely dependent on imports with no foreign exchange, the situation was too harsh, femines and starvation deaths were the frequent affairs. Inspired by Gandhian thoughts and visionary leadership of India's first prime ministers, Jawaharlal Nehru and another prime minister Indira Gandhi, Prof Swaminathan led the Green Revolution in the country. Quoting Nehru he said yesterday, "everything else can wait, but not agriculture." Due to his efforts, today India is the largest producer of various crops such as rice and wheat. Even after feeding 1.3 billion population, today India is one of the biggest exporters of foodgrains.
Besides cereals, today India is the largest producer of milk and various types of horticultural produce. For milk, the credit goes to another World Food Prize winner and Padma Vibhushan, Father of India's White Revolution, Dr. Verghese Kurien. Both of them are honoured with Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri along many national and international awards and honours.
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