I am trying to save ai file as SVG that has a lot of text items but illustrator converts the text to paths, I want to keep it as a text as is.
Well, what's the version of your illustrator?
I am using CC 2015, and by the default when I save the file as svg and it has text in it, it's stay as text.
When I save the file as svg, there's fonts setting, and in "Type" field, select SVG if you want the text to stay as the text.
Here's the screen:
If the artwork contains any SVG effects, select each item to which an SVG effect has been applied, and move the effect to the bottom of the Appearance panel (just above the Opacity entry). If other effects follow an SVG effect, the SVG output will consist of a raster object. In addition, if the artwork contains multiple artboards, select the artboard you want to export.
Choose File > Save As or File > Save A Copy.
Choose SVG (.SVG) or SVG Compressed (.SVGZ) as the file format, and click Save.
In the SVG Options dialog box, set the desired options and click OK:
Outlining the text (Mac: Shift+Cmd+O) (PC: Shift+Ctl+O) for eps and svg files can often makes more sense. Usually more light-weight file (depending on font family and text amount), so might be better for web use. And printers and manufacturer usually much prefer fonts outlined. But not selectable / copyable anymore this way.