Celebrated agriculture scientist Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan passed away at the age of 98 in Chennai on Thursday, 28 September. Swaminathan, who was also referred to as the father of India's Green Revolution, is survived by his three daughters.
Swaminathan was born to MK Sambasivan, a surgeon, and Parvati Thangammal in Tamil Nadu's Kumbakonam on 7 August 1925.
The Green Revolution, spearheaded by Swaminathan, led to a jump in the production of wheat and rice, using technological means.
As an Agricultural Scientist, he assumed various offices like:
Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (1961-72),
Director General of ICAR and Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (1972-79),
Principal Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture (1979-80),
Acting Deputy Chairman and later Member (Science and Agriculture), Planning Commission (1980-82)
Director General, International Rice Research Institute, the Philippines (1982-88), reported The Indian Express.
Swaminathan's daughter, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, former Chief Scientist and former Deputy Director-General at the WHO, said that his father was "was committed to the farmers' welfare and to the upliftment of the poorest in society till the end."
"...He was not keeping well for the last few days... His end came very peacefully this morning... Till the end, he was committed to the farmers' welfare and to the upliftment of the poorest in society. On behalf of the family, I would like to thank everyone who has expressed their wishes," she told news agency ANI.
"My father was one of the few people who recognized that women are neglected in agriculture... He had taken a lot of initiatives to promote women's empowerment... His ideas have led to programs like the Mahila Sashaktikaran Yojana, meant to support women farmers. When he was a member of the Sixth Planning Commission, for the first time, there was a chapter on gender and environment included... These are the two contributions of which he was very proud," she added.
'Will Always Be Remembered': Condolences Pour In
Recalling Swaminathan's contributions to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Deeply saddened by the demise of Dr. MS Swaminathan Ji. At a very critical period in our nation’s history, his groundbreaking work in agriculture transformed the lives of millions and ensured food security for our nation."
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, "Dr MS Swaminathan's steadfast commitment to revolutionising India's agriculture turned us into a food surplus country. His legacy as the Father of the Green Revolution will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences go out to his loved ones during this time of loss."
President Droupadi Murmu said, "The demise of Dr M S Swaminathan, internationally renowned agricultural scientist, saddens me no end. A visionary who worked endlessly to achieve food security, he was rightly called the Father of Green Revolution that ensured our country’s self-reliance in food grains."