We have a strict no photography policy on all of our tours of Dharavi and Sanjay Colony.
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 NGO Reality Gives.
We have a strict dress code and will turn away any customers dressed in a way that might offend residents (i.e. no tank tops, low-cut shirts, shorts, 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. Local residents and factory workers have seen the tours, inquired, and become guides. 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.
All of our tours through Dharavi and Sanjay Colony are walking tours.
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.