Chiranjeevi Poudel and SHNBMC
Manager of Seeing Hands Nepal Blind Massage Clinic (SHNBMC), Kathmandu, Chiranjeevi Poudel acquired professional massage training from Rob and Susan Ainley in 2005 at Pokhara and after working for five years, he started a massage clinic in November 2010 at Thamel. His visual differentiability did not stop him from establishing the venture that would provide employment opportunities to others who are also physically challenged like him.
Seeing Hands Nepal Blind Massage Clinic is a non-profit organization where the fee charged helps to fund trainings and provide employment opportunities to disadvantaged young visually impaired individuals in the country. It currently employs four visually impaired therapists and a sighted support staff. He believes that as internationally acknowledged, massage profession is one of the best job options for the sightless people and in order to develop and sustain the organization independently, it focuses on massage trainings for the vision destitute.
SHNBMC offers three types of massage options that are remedial sports massage, Swedish relaxation and feet reflexology. One of the reasons that massage has gained popularity is that it helps in improving blood circulation and is beneficial for problems related to muscles, bones and nerves. The treatment, according to him, can be gentle or deep depending on preference and the need of the customer. The clean and comfortable massage beds also add up to the positive aspect of the massage clinic. Mostly SHNBMC serves the expats from Europe, America, Canada and Australia as its clients. The cost of massage varies accordingly depending upon the time as well as effort. Usually, the time during the month of October to December and March to May observes SHNBMC providing its services to larger number of clients coming here.
However, lack of professionalism, trained human resources and awareness are the major reasons why they only have ten percent clients as locals. Chiranjeevi Poudel plans to expand his massage clinic and employ other visually impaired people in years to come along with promoting his clinic through websites like Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet and distributing leaflets and visiting cards to restaurants and hotels. He plans to increase awareness about massage and attract more local clients in the near future.