‘They are my spiritual teachers’

Joanita Figueredo

Joanita Figueredo

Founder, Mettaa Reflexology

Mettaa Reflexology is a no-frills spa started in 2008 that employs the visually-challenged as massage therapists, providing them with skills and dignified employment 

“These kids (her team of massage therapists) keep me grounded. They are my spiritual teachers. 

One day at the end of their work-shift, I was checking-in with them on the tips they had received. One of them had had three clients and received 500 rupees (US$7.30) in tips while another had five clients and received 100 rupees (US$1.45) in tips. Out of my own maternal need to offer comfort, I reached out to the second one and said, 'Don’t worry. I know you work hard. Tomorrow will be a better day.'

And much to my surprise, she turned back to me saying, 'You worry so much! I’m going to split this 100 rupees between a talk-time recharge for my cell-phone and a chocolate bar. That takes care of my needs for today. What else do I need?'

Where else can I learn this from? They are very intuitive and their understanding of their surroundings is far more nuanced than ours as abled-bodied individuals. They show me every day how not to get carried away by anyone or anything. 

Today, each one of them takes home a salary every month, not including their earnings through tips, that allows them to contribute towards the expenses of their families and also set some aside as savings. As a team, we go on outings, celebrate birthdays and look out for each other.

Even after all this time, I still get very excited when a celebrity or well-known personality comes in for an appointment at Mettaa. Then one of my therapists will tap me on my shoulder, reminding me that this is just another client. They are a lot more accepting of everyone irrespective of their background or appearance.” 

Read our Weekend of Good guide to Mumbai for more responsible travel tips and ideas! 

Find about more about Mettaa Reflexology.

  •  Elita Almeida 
  •  Mettaa Reflexology 

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