'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.”
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Find about more about Reality Tours and Travel here
- Elita Almeida
- Reality Tours