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Team

The most important members of our team are our guides, but here's the rest of us!

Chris Way

Co-founder

Chris' original inspiration for the tours came from witnessing the potential of slum tourism in the fevela's of Rio de Janeiro.

Chris is from the UK. He studied Business and Hispanic Studies at Birmingham University, and is a part-qualified chartered accountant.

Chris first came to India in 2002 to do four months of volunteer work at a school that served children living in a slum. When Chris had previously lived in Rio die Janeiro, Brazil, he had witnessed how tourism was beneficial for local communities. With this understanding, Chris relocated to India in 2004 to start the project that would become Reality Tours & Travel.

After eight years living in Mumbai, he decided to give up his duties at both Reality Tours and Gives to the experts as he says. Currently he helps a NGO in Manila, Philippines to set up a similar model of slum tours as well as searches for opportunities to expand further.

Krishna Pujari

Co-founder

Krishna originally moved from his home state of Karnataka to Mumbai to work in the restaurant business.

Krishna is from a village in Karnataka called Heranjalu. When he was 13, he came to Mumbai to work in various restaurants and cafeterias. During these years, Krishna also attended night school until he passed his final school exams.

Krishna loves meeting people and taking them on our tours. His favourite comment is "Oh, that's nice!" He loves playing cricket when he has time. Krishna is the glue between Reality Tours and our communities. He loves fish curry cooked by his Mum.

Joseph Bird

CEO

Joe joined Reality Tours & Travel having worked as Marketing & Fundraising Director at Reality Gives for the previous three years. He's delighted that because of our business model, he continues to raise funds to support the work of Reality Gives

Having quit his corporate job in London in 2009 Joe came to India and since then has worked at international and grassroots NGOs and in Corporate Social Responsibility. This breadth of experiences which has helped him understand and value the unique benefits of now working in a social business.

When not found running around Dharavi or Sanjay Colony you'll find him running marathons. He can't say no to a chai and whilst his Hindi isn't great, he's just about mastered Indian head-wobble.

Beatrice Crestini

Marketing Director

Beatrice is originally from Italy but lived in the UK for a number of years. Her first trip to India was in 2011 during which she fell in love with the country and kept coming back on holiday to travel around.

She holds a Masters in Foreign Languages and Literature and worked in the financial services sector. After this she decided to change career and became involved in charity work, moving to Mumbai to do some volunteer work and gain more experience.

Back in the UK she worked doing marketing and fundraising for a major charity that helps and supports mobility for blind and partially sighted people. Now she is back in India working for Reality Tours, and to follow her passion to work for a good cause and contribute to a social business that helps the local community.

She is a dedicated Iyengar yoga practitioner. Her hobbies include dancing, reading, gardening, listening to music, cooking, going to concerts and travelling with the aim of immersing herself in a foreign culture to fully experience each destination.

Asim Shaikh

General Manager (Mumbai)

If you want to understand Reality Group, look no further than Asim's history with Reality!

Asim is our incredible Reception Centre Manager/ Community Centre Manager/ Tour Guide Manager / Tour Guide / Operations Manager. He started at Reality as a part-time computer teacher in November 2009 and has taken on more and more responsibility ever since. Today he is responsible for the day to day running of all our Mumbai Operations

He loves his work because it is challenging and he is never bored - there is always something new to do and learn (and he's a quick learner!). In the future, he can't see himself working anywhere else. Asim is particular grateful to Lee from Atma (NGO partner) for introducing him to Reality and to Jonny (Reality Gives Curriculum Development Director) for being his guide and mentor.

Asim was born in Antop Hill in Mumbai, and still lives there with his wife, parents, two younger brothers, son and daughter. His work with us has taken him across India, to Berlin to collect an awards on behalf of Reality and to Dharamshala for a private meeting with his Holiness The Dalai Lama.

Ravi Kumar

Operations Manager (Delhi)

Ravi has been a resident of Sanjay Colony (the slum in which Reality Tours & Travel are based in Delhi) since he was just 3 years old.

With his passion for exceeding expectations and showing people his beloved Delhi, Ravi has quickly risen to the role of Operations Manager. When he's not busy at work his hobbies include playing cricket (he has played at state level for Delhi's under 14 and under 17 teams), chess, traveling and making new friends (he manages to do the last two even when he is busy with work!). He's also currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from NIMC.

Ravi's dream is to visit every corner of India and then the world.

Uday Pujari

Senior Accounts Manager

Uday was born and brought up in a village in Karnataka and graduated from University with a degree in commerce.

He has been in Mumbai for 8 years. He loves yoga, cricket, volleyball, swimming, listening to music, and reading the newspaper and about the various religions. Uday was recently married to his girlfriend of 3 years. He currently lives in Bandra with his wife. Uday and his wife hope to one day start an organization in Karnataka that will support and rehabilitate orphaned girls and rescued girls who were kidnapped or abused.

Suraj

Guides Manager (Mumbai)

Suraj lives in Matunga Labour Camp, in Dharavi, with his parents and elder sister.

Suraj is a tug of war player for Maharasthra- as anchorman- and his team won a bronze medal for 2011/12. Suraj's dream is to play for India at tug of war. He is also a wrestler.

He also likes to watch his movies, such a 3 Idiots and Slumdog Millionaire. His favourite food is Punjabi and Gujurati, and his favourite snack is dhokla.

He likes the job because he enjoys communicating with people.

Mayur Parmar

Operations Executive (Mumbai)

Mayur is our non-stop Operations Executive, who never seems to spend more than 5 minutes in one place.

He is the youngest member of staff, and also the busiest, with a job description that can only be described as 'varied'.

And he doesn't go home and rest after work. He's studying for his 12th Standard exams, as well as Tally (accounts program) and Desktop Application.

When he does have free time, he likes to play Australian football, and in the future, he wants to play in the AFL!

He was born in Mumbai and stays in Dharavi with his family, originally from Gujarat

Evelyn D'Souza

Reservations Manager

Evelyn is our continually smiling Reservations Manager, who you will be in contact with when you book a tour.

Evelyn comes from a small village outside Mangalore called Beltangady. She likes to listen to music, reading and swimming. When she has some spare time, she loves to sit on the sea shore and watch the waves for hours!

Arul Bala

Reservations Consultant

Arul is from Mumbai and lives in Dharavi. Before working for Reality Tours she was a student at the Youth Empowerment Program run by our sister NGO, Reality Gives.

She decided to join the team and helps with all of our tour bookings and travel reservations. What she likes the most is how her job keeps her constantly interacting with people and her constant smile is famous in the office.

During her free time she likes to listen to music and her biggest dream is to buy a flat in Mumbai for her parents and live a healthy life.

Tabrez

Colaba Sales Executive

Tabrez lives in Dharavi and he loves to meet new people.

His hobbies are reading books, watching movies and playing marbles.

Ramesh Pujari

Caretaker (Mumbai)

Ramesh is our hardworking caretaker at the Reception Centre.

Ramesh's family lives in Byandor and he visits them or they come to Mumbai every six months. He enjoys watching Hindi and Kannada movies.

Hiren

Caretaker (Mumbai)

Hiren lives in Kumbarwadha in Dharavi with his parents and one brother.

He took part in Project Front Foot, the cricket programme run by our sister NGO Reality Gives. As well as being a good cricket player, he has since then developed many life skills and decided to join Reality Tours and Travel. He loves his job and always has a smile on his face.

He is a big fan of World Wrestling Entertainment and his favourite wrestler is The Rock.

Sagar

Caretaker (Delhi)

Sagar was born in Delhi and is 22 years old. Before joining us, Sagar studied filmmaking and photography. As well as working for us in Sanjay Colony he continues his studies at Delhi University.

He loves travelling to different places and getting to to know more about people and their culture (which he often does when supporting our bicycle tours!). In his spare time he likes to hang out with my friends and plays frisbee in Lodhi Garden every Sunday.

History

Reality Tours & Travel was founded in 2005 by Chris Way and Krishna Pujari. Krishna recently told our founding story on the TEDx stage.

The Dharavi Tour and the concept behind Reality Tours was originally inspired by the favela tours that Chris had seen in Brazil. The pair wanted to use walking tours of Dharavi to raise awareness about life in slums and simultaneously raise funds for local community projects.

Krishna Pujari, the son of rice farmers from Heranjalu in the South Indian state of Karnaraka, was working in a Colaba restaurant when Chris originally came to India. The two met when Chris ate at Krishna's restaurant. Later, the two serendipitously met again on the Oval Maiden when Chris was looking for a cricket match. The two quickly became good friends and Chris shared his idea of educational walking tours of Dharavi.

Reality Tours & Travel was founded in August 2005 but we didn’t run a Dharavi tour until January 2006. It wasn't easy to convince people to come and visit a slum: hotels wouldn't work with us because we wouldn't pay commission and people were sceptical of flyers being handed out on the street trying to bring them to a slum. Despite only having 367 visitors in 2006, we remained determined. We knew that Dharavi was a fascinating place and that the tour was an important step to raise awareness. In addition, the feedback we received from first tours was extremely positive. Our big break came when Lonely Planet included us in their 2007 guidebook.

In 2007, even though Reality Tours was not yet profitable, we decided to begin community work. After assessing the needs of the community, we founded a community centre that provided English classes. Before long we began offering computer classes as well. In 2009 we expanded our social work by establishing our own non-profit organisation that would focus on providing high quality education to young people from underprivileged communities. The charity, Reality Gives (formerly Reality Cares), was founded out of long talks with the community in Dharavi. It became clear that there was a need for additional education facilities in the area.

Currently, Reality Gives runs educational programs, designs curricula, and trains teachers. We have three community centres around Dharavi where we run English, Computer and Life Skills classes and offer additional sport and art activities. So far we have positively impacted the lives of over 6,000 local youth. You can read our 2015 annual report here.

There have also been big changes for Reality Tours over the past couple of years. In 2011, Reality Tours started offering tours in South Mumbai with the creation of the Local Transport, Market and Night Tours. We also made our first move outside of Mumbai with our village tours to Chinchoti. In 2013, we

added an early morning Bicycle Tour and a Street Food Tour. As with the Dharavi Tour, 80% of the profit from all of the Mumbai city tours and village tours support Reality Gives.

In 2012, we were recognised for our efforts when we were chosen as the overall winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards. The judges encouraged us to expand our model of sustainable development. In 2013, Reality Tours expanded to Rajasthan and Kerala by offering multi-day tours through these two beautiful Indian states.

In the summer of 2014, we opened in Delhi and began working with the New Delhi slum, Sanjay Colony, which is located in the Okhla Industrial Area, India's largest industrial area. We also offer Old Delhi Tours, Old Delhi Street Food Tours, and Sightseeing Tours. Reality Gives is now looking to invest the Delhi profits in replicating Reality Gives’ Computer Program using the curricula we have already developed. Reality Group now welcomes over 15,000 guests each year and employs over 50 members of staff.

Phone

+91 9820822253

Office

1/26,
Unique Business Service Centre,
Akber House,
Nowroji Fardonji Road,
Opposite Bademiya Restaurant,
Colaba, Mumbai - 400 039

Timings

Mon - Fri: 10.15am to 6.00pm,
Sat: 10.15am to 3.30pm, Sun and
Public Holidays: Closed

How to Find Us

It's best to book tours online, by phone, or by email, but if you need to find us, our office is located on Nowroji Fardonji Road which is the street next to Leopold Cafe. You will see our signboard attached to a light pole. Our office is located in the building behind SSS Corner Store. Go through SSS Corner Store, up the stairs, to the right, and into the Unique Business Service Centre. (Photo: One, Two, Three, Four, Five)

Warning

Be wary that there are other tour operators on the street that may claim to be Reality Tours. You will recognize our staff by our shirts with the Reality Tours logo on it.

Terms & Conditions


Payment & Fees


All our trips are in INR (Rupees) and if you are using an international card to pay via our online booking system (which uses PayPal) a small percentage fee may be applied. This is due to foreign exchange conversion and certain Paypal transaction fees incurred.

Payment for most tours needs to be made when we have confirmed availability. Payment needs to be done in advance of the tour to confirm your booking in one of the following ways:

- by paying online via our online booking system, OR

- by visiting our office and making the payment

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CHANGES, CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS


CHANGES MORE THAN 48 HOURS IN ADVANCE OF TOUR You may change your tour, subject to availability, 48 hours before the start. If changes cannot be accommodated, there will be a full refund except for any non-refundable expenses (see below)

CHANGES LESS THAN 48 HOURS IN ADVANCE OF TOUR Changes within 48 hours of the start of the tour cannot be guaranteed, even if there is availability. If changes cannot be accommodated, there will NOT be any refund

CANCELLATIONS MORE THAN 48 HOURS IN ADVANCE OF TOUR A full refund (less any non-refundable expenses- see below) will be given to you if you let us know more than 48 hours before the start of the tour.

CANCELLATIONS LESS THAN 48 HOURS IN ADVANCE OF TOUR No refund will be provided if you cancel the tour within 48 hours of the start of the tour.

LATE ARRIVAL BY CUSTOMER The tour starts at the designated time. If you arrive late for whatever reason and miss the tour, then no money will be refunded

CANCELLATIONS BY US While we always endeavour to avoid cancellations and changes, we must reserve the right to do so. However, we promise we will only cancel your confirmed booking where we are forced to do so as a result of circumstances outside our control or because an insufficient number of people have booked your chosen tour.

We will notify you before the tour starts if we have to cancel for lack of numbers. Please note that we do reserve the right to run tours with less than the stated minimum number. If we have to make a significant change or cancel, we will tell you as soon as possible. If we have to cancel, we will pay back the full amount and will not deduct any non-refundable expenses. Compensation will not be payable and no liability assumed by us.

NON-REFUNDABLE EXPENSES If you cancel/change a tour, if we have incurred expenses which we can't recoup (such as car hire), then you will have to pay for these expenses.

CONTACT US Please contact us at info@realitytoursandtravel.com to let us know about any changes or cancellations.

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ASSUMPTION OF RISK


You understand and accept that your proposed tour may expose you to inherent dangers including but not limited to physical exertion, equipment failure, or the activity itself. You acknowledge that alterations to the schedule itinerary or activity may be made as necessitated by weather, group size, road transport, road closures, illness or other factors, you agree to accept the decisions of the tour leader or representative, and you accept that neither we nor the providers of services can be held responsible for expenses or inconvenience incurred as a consequence. You acknowledge that the enjoyment of your tour or holiday is derived in part from travel beyond the safety risks of life at work or at home, and you accept and assume all the risks involved.

All disputes are subject to Mumbai jurisdiction only.