We have a strict no photography policy on all of our tours of Dharavi and Sanjay Colony. This is to respect the residents
We train and employ exclusively local guides who are friendly and speak excellent English. These guides are almost always from underprivileged communities and are thus able to give an accurate insight into local life.
We communicate regularly with the community to ensure that there are no issues with the tours. This happens informally as our staff is always in the community and formally through interviews. In 2013, we commissioned a study that interviewed 75 residents along our tour route about the tours and Reality Gives. You can read the entire report here.
We use 80% of the profits from our tours and 100% of the profits from merchandise sales to support local education programs in Dharavi and Sanjay Colony through our sister NGO Reality Gives.
For our Dharavi (Mumbai) and Sanjay Colony (Delhi) tours we have a dress code and request that you do not wear clothes that might offend its residents such as low cut shirts, short shorts/pants etc.
The community is heavily involved in the organisation as guides, teachers, and community and reception centre staff. Sometimes it is difficult to see where the line is between Reality Tours, Reality Gives and the community. Some staff have worked for both Reality Gives and Reality Tours, or started out in a Reality Gives program. Visitors on our tours come back to volunteer or start a program. Reality Tours staff volunteer for Reality Gives. And the list goes on.
Our groups are kept small (6 people maximum) to ensure that our tours are as unobtrusive as possible.
We generally visit places which are off the beaten path and not fully accessible by car. For example, on our tours through Dharavi and Sanjay Colony, you have to walk through the communities on foot.
Here at Reality Tours, we believe that it is important to not only support the communities where we operate but also to do what we can for the environment. Most of our tours are designed around public transport routes which not only give guests the opportunity to see the Real India but is also much better for the environment! We also encourage guests to limit their usage of single-use plastic and offer reusable water bottles to guests on our multi-day tours and also have convenient refill stations in our offices in Sanjay Colony and Dharavi.