“I came to Bombay when I was 13 years old, hoping to support my ailing parents and two brothers in Jharkhand. I quickly got a job as a chaiwalla where I was serving tea at the shop as well as delivering tea to offices nearby. At the age of 15, one of the offices I was serving tea to offered me a job as an office boy – which I accepted.
I realized soon that I didn’t want to just serve other people coffee but actually wanted to work and make a difference. I decided to educate myself again, and even though I was working full time to support myself, I studied hard to clear my 10th standard examinations.
I failed my first time, but passed the second time around. Likewise, I went on to clear my 12th examinations as well, and today I’m a web developer in that very company that hired me as an office boy. But the hunger is still alive…I want to complete my graduation and better my skills to become the best in the business. Today, I have a family of my own and everyday I work to make sure my son doesn’t have to go through any struggle and my wife get’s everything in the world! I came here for family, and I’ve made it this far for family as well.”
Retiring after spending 32 years in the Indian Army, Col Chris Rego is helping change the destinies of hundreds of children in conflict-affected North East India through his “White Bullets” initiative. With this initiative, he hopes to bring peace and progress to communities across North East India.
Luminouswanted to bring out the Colonel’s story to the world to inspire and motivate others as it believes that education is a strong tool to empower women. It is supporting Col Rego’s cause through an initiative called #Luminaries – the brave people who stand up for causes like girl child education and make a difference in the society.
Col Rego’s journey started over a decade ago in Manipur when a tribal woman knocked on his door pleading for support for her daughter’s education. Touched by the woman’s story, Col Rego and his wife delved into their savings and arranged for the money for the girl’s education. Two years down the line, the woman returned, this time with a small pumpkin and a shawl that she had knitted, and all the money she had borrowed. Moved and realizing that their money could make lives rather than earn paltry interest, Col and Mrs. Rego embarked on a journey to arrange for sponsorship of many more underprivileged children.
Retiring from the Army, Col Rego took over as CEO of Sunbird Trust, a not-for-profit organization which he founded in 2014. The Trust now sponsor over 1,000 children in 21 locations acrossNorth East India. The centre of Sunbird Trust’s activities is at beautiful Ijeirong, Manipur.
Recognizing Col Chris’s immense work, Luminousacknowledged him as their first Luminary. Through this, they hope to bring more power to his elbow in the notable work he is doing. The Luminousteam travelled to remote Ijeirong village and installed solar products. These solar products will help in providing power to the entire campus 24/7 for the very first time.
The Logical Indian salutes Col Christopher Rego for his untiring efforts and leadership. His efforts are already having a cascading effect on people from across India joining the “White Bullets” endeavour. Quite amazingly, education, in itself so empowering, is merely a means to PEACE. We hope the path illuminated by #Luminary Col Rego and his Sunbird Trust team acts as a beacon for others to follow.
If you too have stories of change, share them with us. And if you want to connect with Colonel Rego, click here.