It is a dream come true for 22-year-old Renuka Yadav. A young girl who used to sell milk going door-to-door in Rajnandgaon, she is now going to become Chhattisgarh’s first woman Olympian. Renuka has been named in the 16-member women’s hockey squad for the Rio Olympics. A team that has got the opportunity to display its mettle in the Olympics after a gap of 36 years.
A difficult journey
It’s been a difficult journey for Renuka who comes from a lower-middle class family where her parents work as domestic help in people’s home, reports Times of India. Renuka plays as a midfielder or sometimes as a fullback for the Indian women’s hockey side. She took up hockey at an early age of 7 under the mentorship of Bushan Sao — a school-level hockey coach in Rajnandgaon. After passing class X, she got selected in Girls Hockey Academy, Gwalior where she got free coaching. For brilliance in sports, she has also secured a job of a train ticket examiner with Central Railway in Mumbai.
Historic Olympic comeback
India women’s field hockey team qualified for the Olympics by having achieved a top five finish at the 2014–15 Women’s FIH Hockey World League, and reached the semifinals signifying its historic Olympic comeback after 36 years. A large contingent of Indian athletes is going to participate in Rio Olympics which starts from August 5. The Logical Indian wishes them all the best.
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.