“People often surprise you. 2 years ago I was in Delhi on 31st December when in the middle of the night I got separated from my friends and to make things worse I had misplaced my cell phone. I was terrified at that point — it was past midnight, there was not a single cab in sight. I tried asking five or six women for their cell phones but they looked through me and walked away.
I was lost and just standing on the road when a man approached me and asked me what was wrong. All kinds of things were going through my mind — you hear so much about Delhi being unsafe that I was terrified, but this man who came upto me said, ‘don’t worry, I only want to help you’ — and that’s what he did. He cancelled his own plans and dropped me to safety. That’s the thing with this world — we read so much that we stop believing that someone wants to help and on the day I needed it the most, it came not from the 6 women who I thought would help me out, but the 1 man who approached me. Not all men are like the ones you read in the papers…so stop believing it.”
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.