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How are the charity 'Reality Gives' empowering youth in India’s underprivileged communities?


Philanthropic travel is incredibly rewarding, both in terms of the communities which you support and also in terms of the enrichment that it brings to your own life. In Mumbai, one can visit Reality Gives and see the work they are doing for some of the most underprivileged youths in India.

For a fleeting moment you are offered the an insight into the lives of other people, not just in theory but to spend time with them, in their communities and homes, experiencing how life is for them and the challenges they face on a daily basis, with the added knowledge that you are directly making a difference yourself as part of your holiday.

On your exploration of Mumbai during your holiday to India, we encourage you to spend some time in Dharavi with Reality Gives to witness some of the excellent and uplifting work that they are doing with young people in one of Asia’s largest slums.

With a population of one million across an area of 1.7 square kilometres (520 acres), living conditions within the slums are overcrowded and lack basic amenities such as water and sanitation, as well as providing few facilities for education. Despite these challenges, Dharavi recycles 80% of Mumbai’s plastic and is home to an industrial sector which produces between $665 million to $1 billion of goods every year. It is one of the most entrepreneurial slums in the world.

Operating in Dharavi is Reality Gives, an organisation that focuses on providing high-quality education to young people from underprivileged communities. Reality Gives is also active in Sanjay Colony, a slum community in New Delhi. It is a small slum built on 0.1 square kilometres (25 acres) and is home to approximately 50,000 people.

Reality Gives was established in 2009 and over the last 11 years has also provided tours in and around the city of Mumbai, as well as the aforementioned tours of Dharavi – indeed their signature tour is the ‘Educational Slum Tour of Dharavi’, which challenges negative stereotypes of slum communities. These tours also help to fund their empowerment programs. One can spend time with a local guide who knows Dharavi and its people very well and visit the various enterprises that the local people run, as well as the programs run by Reality Gives. Reality Gives addresses the challenges faced in both urban slum communities through the delivery of a Youth Empowerment Program in two community centres, as well as a School Program in one school.

The Youth Empowerment Program in Mumbai and New Delhi is comprised of courses in English, life skills and computer skills. It is aimed at young people from the age of 16 who have a basic understanding of English, who dropped out of school at an early age and subsequently struggled to find a job, as well as young women determined to enhance their status in the world. In recognising the reasons for young people joining the Youth Program, Reality Gives also established a School Program that aims to give primary aged students the strong foundations from which they can grow and develop into confident and empowered individuals. Teachers are hired from the community rather than overseas and offered high quality in-house training.

Reality Gives’ achievements:

  • Reality Gives have worked in Dharavi (Mumbai) for over 10 years.
  • From inception, Reality Gives have reached out over 8000 beneficiaries in the communities of Dharavi, (Mumbai) and Sanjay Colony (Delhi).
  • 80% of their employees are hired from the community and 90% are women. Reinforcing their commitment to empower women in the communities.
  • In 2018, 100 Grade 4 students graduated from Reality Gives School Program (Nursery to Grade 4). They started in 2013.

How can you help Reality Gives empower underprivileged people in slum communities?

A relatively small donation can make an incredible difference to lives of the community in Dharavi.

  • 1 Desktop PC for the Youth Program from $200 USD
  • 3 months’ rent for the Youth Program for one centre from $600 USD
  • 700 stationery starter kits for the Youth Programs from $400 USD
  • 6 months’ salary for one teacher on the Youth Program from $1200 USD
  • 1 year of students’ workshops and training for two centres from $1200 USD

There are many more funding priorities for Reality Gives so if you would like to make a donation, or visit them whilst on your holiday to India, please do get in touch with us.

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