Reality Tours and Travel has launched a new initiative to raise social awareness in students from Mumbai and Internationally. In the last couple of weeks we have hosted two student groups on our tours with the hope that they will walk away with a better understanding of the city and the complex social issues that it faces.
As part of our World Environment Day initiative on the 5th of June, Reality Tours and Travel welcomed a group of 30 students from École Mondiale to our Dharavi tour, http://realitygives.org/blog/index.php/2012/06/05/reality-gives-eventsworld-environment, we were blogging about this last week. Students visited the recycling area where they saw plastic recycling and aluminium recycling and discussed the major role Dharavi plays in recycling mumbai’s waste, but also the issues related to working conditions and pollution. They also visited the residential areas where they talked about the strong sense of community that exists in Dharavi as well as the social factors facing residents in the slum area including sanitation, health, and education issues.
Two days later, Reality Tours and Travel hosted a group of 13 students from the Singapore International Foundation who came to Mumbai to learn about social entrepreneurship. RTT guided them through trains, buses and taxis to provide a street-level view of the cultural and social landscape of the city.On the tour we discussed issues related to transportation and urbanisation in Mumbai, visited 3 of Mumbai’s most prominent bazaars, and learned about two businesses that are the life blood of Mumbai: the Dabbawallahs and the Dhobi Ghat.
These visits are the extension of an idea that emerged when students from the Martin Luther Christian University in Shillong, North East India, came on the tour as part of their studies on urbanisation and development in India. After returning home, the students wrote articles about their impressions and learnings about Dharavi. Their visit was sponsored by a couple who had gone on our tour the previous year, Simon and Karlien, a wonderful example of our Ambassador’s program at work.
“We really believe in the importance of exposing India’s future leaders to the realities of the industry and community found in urban slums. We want to welcome more students from India to come on the tour and so are working with schools to develop programs that go hand and hand with what they are learning in the classroom.” said Krishna Pujari, Co-founder of Reality Gives and head of school programs. “In addition, we have seen the impact that our tours have had in raising social awareness for international students as well and look forward to working more with these schools as well.”
If you are interested in having your student group experience a different side of Mumbai and learn more about the social issues that face our city, please contact Krishna firstname.lastname@example.org.