'An ambassador of my community'



27, guide, Reality Tours and Travel

Reality Tours and Travel is a travel social enterprise that empowers locals to lead tours around their community. It also channels 80 per cent of its profits back to the community. 

“I used to work at a garment factory within Dharavi before joining Reality Tours and Travel (RTT). I was a supervisor and would watch small groups of people, mostly foreigners, being taken through Dharavi. I speak fluent English, so I went and met with the team at Reality. That was around five years ago and that’s how long I have been working as a guide here.

Forty-two per cent of Mumbai lives in slums and somehow the only picture that gets painted is about despair. I have lived here and spent my entire childhood in Dharavi. I hadn’t known life here to be one of despair! If anything, it’s one of hope. I have grown up watching everyone around me work hard and make the most of their day to earn an honest living wage. I used to think that it was the same even outside of Dharavi. That everyone was enterprising and always working.

Things have changed personally for me (since joining RTT). I now have a full-time job as a tour guide. I get to meet people from all across the globe. I have the opportunity to be an ambassador of my community and to some extent, even the city because I am the touch-point for the people who are a part of our tours. In turn, I am also exposed to different perspectives and worldviews. This isn’t something I would have had the opportunity to avail of at my previous job.”

Read our Weekend of Good Mumbai guide for more Mumbai travel ideas 

Find about more about Reality Tours and Travel here

  •  Elita Almeida 
  •  Reality Tours 

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