— Text and images by Susmita Mukherjee
“8 million people in Delhi live in the slums,” Ravi Kumar tells us as we make our way through the narrow alleys of the Sanjay Colony slum area. “The slum is spread across 25 acres and it came up sometime in the 1980s.”
Ravi grew up in the same area and always had an inkling to volunteer for social development. His passion for it took him to a few organisations before he was offered a job by Reality Tours and Travels. “I was hesitant at first. I already had a few projects going but Chris and Krishna of Reality Tours were sure of my ability,” he shares. “I took up the job in a few months. In a short while, I rose through the ranks and am presently the Operations Managers in Delhi.”
In the short duration of two years of operations in Delhi, Reality Tours and Travels has taken on several responsible initiatives including bicycle tours of New and Old Delhi along with day tours to Agra apart from the Slum Walks.
While there is still widespread concern about how slums of India are being portrayed to the world, Ravi believes that the opportunity of connecting more frequently with an international audience will encourage the children of Sanjay Colony to work towards a better future.
The office of the brand has been set up in Sanjay Colony, Ravi’s neighbourhood. Being from the slum, Ravi understands the dynamics very well and has been helping the children of the slum get a fair chance of acquiring skills to move ahead in their lives.
Ravi and his team have managed to touch a chord with inbound travellers and their diligence has paid off in the form of dedicated visitors coming in to experience India, the Reality way. The map below displays visitors to India from various parts of the world through Reality Tours’ Delhi Chapter alone.
ALSO READ: Slum Tourism And What It Means To India
The primary source of income of the people at the slum, at present, is mass manufacture of clothes. The new generation, however, is looking to join the service centre and expand their horizons.
If you’d like to connect with them or undertake a walk with Reality Tours and Travels, you can connect with them here.
So, who is up to be the change we wish to see in the world around us?