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Peace though education in north east India

The theme was addressed by colonel Christopher Riggo retired from Indian National Army after
serving for 32 years. He has worked across INDIA in combat Bridge Engineering unit, the
Military Engineering Services, the Assam Rifles (Mizoram) and the Border Roads Organization
He is an Alum of XIME and after his retirement he took the post of Managerial Director of
Sunbird Trust in North East India a nonprofit organization working for the education and welfare
of the children.
He has also authored 3 books “Cradle of Valour”, the history of my alma mater the Bombay
Sapper Centre at Kirkee, Pune and a travelogue on Kerala.
He was also honored as global Ashoka Fellowship from South Asia for his work in Peace
building. In 2018, he was recognized as the first Indian “Luminary” by Luminous for their
national campaign for the girl child.
After serving all across the world he liked to serve for the north east of INDIA where people
live in war.
During his tenure in north east INDIA there was an incident that led to the first pillar of Sunbird
Trust. One night there was a woman accompanied with her daughter on his door asking help for
further education of her daughter, Providing all the saving of his family he helped her. After 2
years the woman returned with a shawl and all the money collected b the daughter and this
incident motivated and realized him the importance of education in an individual life and this led
to the first stepping stone of Sunbird trust.

As he has served in an armm in every 2 ear he has to shift from one place to another which
led to develop a quality of tolerance understanding and joy of hanging around with people of
community having different culture. Arm help in to develop certain quality which led him to
think about the humanity. He was a nature lover, loves to learn about snakes, musician and cook.
North East was the place where all his hobbies and interest can live with him. So he started his
career in Mizoram, he was part of SM Riffles for 3 ears. While living there different issues faced
b people living in that area and their perspective came in to knowledge to him.
He and his wife invested their time while visiting families they started sponsoring student with
their own pockets in these remote villages. The output they were getting from these four five
children attracted his friends and families to join to help them and from four , five student the are
at 2500 student across the country.During his last posting he was offered to serve in Banglore but
instead he choosed to serve his final ears in arm in Manipur. To live with the people and
understanding the problems faced b them.
Story of Sunbird
The logo of Sunbird trust consist of a Sunbird, the reason behind that is the Sunbird is found
mostly in North-East India and its significance is energy for the small group and the people the
work with just like the importance of Humming Bird in America. The green circle behind the
bird represents the rich tradition and forest of the north east INDIA. The wings of the bird signify
that whatever issues, problem face b them, they will lift and rise above them.
Due to the high instability around Mizoram and need of unit around the state and showing no
bias between different cultures this led to the design of logo and name of the Sunbird Trust.
There was an incident when two bombs were placed one where he was staing with the officer
and other in the bus . One was called off b the BRSF but unfortunately the second one got
blasted, No one got killed because of the security wall but man were injured, there was a girl
with her mother who was already suffering from down syndrome was highly injured, her family
got support from the trust, later her sister joined as a part of this trust.
They are working around 21 different location and he discussed about the first three of them
about their significance and how the developed them. The first school that opened was in Paangr
a village in the Mizoram this became the base of operation of the Sunbird trust .Though this
place was anti Indian but someone there had had heard the work of him and his wife and offered
a place to make a base of their trust there. The already had a school there but 10 village students
come there to stud and they had one hostel there and school was also made of mud roof ,they had
only one toilet shared b the student and the staff. So he was offered a piece of land to make
hostel for the student so with the help of villagers he build a hostel. As there was no electricity
the trees were cut b hand and the laborers working there were paid for their work.
In 2014 the completed there first blue colored hostel with the help of Assam Riffles and
villagers. From 40 students to 150 students in 2016 providing different type of facility like food
,games and music.The second school was set up at Sungcham Friendship School,Puichi. It
started within a army barracks, and with time they started developing it.Nutrition was the primar
focus which come in the face of egg. The also watch movie together.The third school was named
after another bird Hummingbird School situated in Majuli Island near Bramhaputra which get
flooded regularl .It was made with the help of bamboo.In june 2017 because of flood school was
submerged under water but with the help of Goonj people the build the school back.
After discussing the success of his school he brief us with 5C’s of a professional.
1. Clarit of the purpose and individualit
2. Convinction means people should know what the are doing and what ou are willing to do.
3. Commitment to our dreams and goals.
4. Courage to stand on our decision
5. Compassion a necessary element for achievieng success.
Next he discussed about the the 3P’s i.e. passion,Persevarance and patience important
element to have asuccessful carrer ahead.
He discussed about the different problems faced b them to avhieve the trust of the people and
what problem the face for developing the North East INDIA. Language barrier was the major
issue for ever 50 km there was a new dialect used b people. Other than this issue agriculture,
skills,land holding,lack of electricit etc. are the main blockage for development of a
place.Finall he told that the are targeting around 25000 student to educate and build 50
hostels b 2025 across the countr.
Critical Reflection:
The session was mostly focused on the problem faced b people of the North-East India., and
why education is important and how it is bringing the change in individual. Being in arm he
gained the trust of villagers and provide them with proper education, food and place to live.
The school provide them with basic education, taught them organic farming, and teach
student the true meaning of friendship and how to live happy.
White Bullets representing white chalks are the most powerful weapons which are used to
change an individual life b creating thoughts, dreams to think big for them and most
importantly providing education to them including food and Shelter
Sunbird trust itself is a motivation for the young social entrepreneur who wanted to work in
development sector, its story itself is motivating for thousand of individual saing”if ou have a
will there is always way”.

The Discussion part contained following question:-

1. Why it is so tough to implement any schemes in Arunachal Pradesh even if there are
Answer: Because of the corruption part ,officials take mone from the people and it’s the
same story in different part of India.

2. How safe are these places for a girl to stay alone and work?
Answer: Mr. Rego gave a relation to this question with his employee how she is enjoing her
work and sta there, those place doesn’t hurt women.

3. Bandhs and Haartals are very common in city, it is effecting the education. How to
minimize this problem?
Answer Because of the inactivness of the government in that region 70 to80 das are wasted
per ear.
4. Has the perception changed in the minds of the locality about the India army? Can the
same be applied in Jammu and Kashmir?

Answer: Yes, it has changed a lot what from what the use to have before. Bos go to arm
camp for workout and are provided with food so the can join arm later.
About implementing it in Jammu, it will not be very easy to implement it there because of
political and social issues. Because of selfish reason b some individual development has man
stones in his path.

5. If you were given unlimited money then how will you find the people to allocate the

Answer: Choosing the right people is important. But we have to keep in mind that the money
is for everyone and not for anyone’s entertainment. One rupee going in the other way will not
be good.