Siemens was one of the first multinational corporations to set up base in India. The company successfully sent a telegram from London to Calcutta, now Kolkata, for the first time in history through an 11,000-km long telegraph line it had constructed. The telegraph line shortened the time required to send messages from Britain’s capital to India headquarters down from 30 days to 28 minutes. The project paved the way for Siemens strong relations with India which continue till date. The India unit of Siemens continues to be one of its largest sources of revenue today.
Nehru’s Industrial Policy & Siemens
Nehru’s industrial policy reforms paved the way: Siemens set up its first manufacturing operation in Mumbai in 1955. In 1966, Siemens set up a factory at Kalwa in Thane to make motors. It also began its first full-fledged factory at nearby Worli, they started by making switchboards and later they started making drilling machines, health-care equipment, and railway signaling gears. Some of the future governments did not welcome foreign corporations with similar enthusiasm in a bid to boost indigenous industries.
It was reported that, during the early days of Siemens, the streets would be deserted and there would a meagre number of cars which would be on the street. Today Siemens is one of the biggest multinational corporations in the world and India remains an important part of their revenue and production facilities.
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.