Krishna is a farmer’s son. When he was 13, he came to Mumbai from his village in Karnata to follow his dreams.
During the day, he worked at a restaurant in Colaba and at night, he studied at night schools.
One day in 2002, he met and became friends with Chris, the co-founder of what became Reality Tours and Travel. When Chris came back to Mumbai in 2005, Chris told Krishna that he went on a slum tour when he was in Brazil and that they could do something similar in Mumbai and use the profits for community projects.
At first, he didn’t think it was a good idea because he thought "Dharavi is dangerous." Then when they visited it, they realised that there were many industries in Dharavi, and that many people were facing issues but were still cooperating and helping each other.
Krishna and Chris decided that they wanted to use the money from the tours to help with some of these issues. So they decided to start running tours of Dharavi with two main goals: to change the outdated image of Dharavi and to raise money for education programs and other development projects.
It's hard to explain in words how all this changed Krishna's life. From working in a restaurant, he then started to work for a good cause. Krishnas has learned so many things about Mumbai, India, and foreigners. Not only has he travelled to Europe to receive tourism awards and recognition, he has also been to the USA three times so far to represent the business. Krishna feels that it's a privilege to be able to work for a social business who gives 80% of its profits to their sister NGO, Reality Gives, who invests in offering quality education to the local community.
He cannot explain in words how all this changed his life.
The local connection
After a Lonely Planet author came on one of the tours and was impressed, he wrote about Reality Tours in their guidebook. The tour and the business idea started to become really popular, and they are now one of the top tour companies in Mumbai. They also give other tours of the city, which are very popular with foreigners but also among locals. Now, the people in the community not only have a strong connection with Krishna, but also Reality Tours.