CPAA’s story began in 1969
when Founder Chairman, Mr. Y. K. Sapru happened to encounter little Jaya
Jhabbar, who was battling leukemia. Although her prognosis was good, her
family did not have the funds to support the recommended chemotherapy
treatment. Her plight prompted Mr. Sapru and a few friends to pool their
resources in the first efforts at relief, which took the form of free
medicines and guidance. Jaya was cured and CPAA was born.
The founders' experiences showed them that there was a crying need to assist poor and needy
cancer patients, and this was indeed the single objective at that time.
But it was easier dreamt of, than done.
Resources were limited to just Rs.500 and
a second hand typewriter. People were suspicious and donations were extremely
hard to come by. Such funds as we received came from moneyboxes placed
at various locations in Mumbai. Nasty letters were sent to donors questioning
the use the funds were being put to. Other cancer societies sent CPAA
angry missives demanding that the association dissolve and merge with
them. An article discrediting CPAA activities appeared in Blitz magazine.
Then our luck turned. Patients who had been
helped by CPAA wrote in to share their experiences. One even said, "Had
it not been for Cancer Patients Aid Association, I would have been six
feet under the ground." There was such an outcry that Blitz was forced
to retract the offending article.
Volunteers like 16-year-old Naseem Matani
gave generously of their time. 30 years on, Naseem’s daughter, Rouhi,
carries on the association.
CPAA was granted an audience with the then
Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. Mrs. Gandhi extended her unconditional
support to us (which was a big morale booster); gave us a note commending
the "laudable job" we were doing, along with a personal cheque
for Rs.5000; agreed to come on board as our Chief Patron; and continued
to support us over the years.
The Move to Smt. Panadevi
Dalmia Cancer Management Centre
first office was a room in the Saprus’ house. Later, we rented premises
in the then India House (now renamed to Malhotra House). Initially called
"Aid Disbursement Centre", it remains CPAA’s Administrative
In 1994 CPAA approached the King George V
Memorial Infirmary Trust (established in 1936 to rehabilitate destitutes,
the handicapped and other poor and needy people) to request the use of
their derelict premises. The Municipal Corporation of Mumbai granted permission
and one of the barracks on the sprawling campus was made available. With
funds generously donated by Mr. Madanlal Dalmia, in memory of his wife,
the derelict barracks underwent a dramatic transformation. In 1996 Mr.
P. C. Alexander, Governor of Maharashtra, inaugurated the Smt. Panadevi
Madanlal Dalmia Leukemia Care Centre. Today the Centre houses the Rehabilitation
Centre, the Pathology Laboratory and the offices of employees working
in the Rehabilitation and Patient Care Departments.
Friends and well wishers
from Mrs. Gandhi, CPAA has attracted many well wishers and supporters
over the years. The film industry (movie stars and producers) has been
extremely supportive. The Kapoor family, Sunil Dutt and Yash Chopra have
held gala premieres of their films for our benefit. Heartthrobs like Salman
Khan, Sunil Shetty and Sanjay Dutt are always available when asked to
help entertain children with cancer. Personalities from public life -
Ali Yavar Jung (then Governor of Maharashtra), V.P. Naik (then Chief Minister
of Maharashtra), P. C. Alexander (the current Governor of Maharashtra),
Karan Singh (formerly Union Minister of Health) - gave generously of their
time and encouragement. Singers - Begum Akhtar, Pankaj Udhas, Ghulam Ali,
Jagjit Singh and Anup Jalota – have performed at our fund-raising
Among sports stars, we are grateful to Sunil
Gavaskar, cricketing legend, who launched our revamped website. Bowler, Venkatesh Prasad has given us a great deal of support in the past. Former
test cricketer, Raju Kulkarni, handed over the proceedings of his benefit
match to CPAA, and today his Supremo T-shirts have a standing order with
our Rehabilitation Centre.
number of corporate houses support our activities. These include ACC,
Bharat Petroleum, Cabot India, Citibank, Colgate Palmolive, Crompton Greaves,
Hindustan Lever Limited, Hindustan Petroleum, Indian Oil Corporation,
Jardine Fleming, RPG Industries and Reliance Industries.
Chairman, Mr. Y. K. Sapru encounters little Jaya Jhabbar,
who is battling leukemia. Mr. Sapru and a few friends pool
their resources in the first efforts at relief, which takes
the form of free medicines and guidance. Jaya is cured and
CPAA takes wing. Siloo Jasdanwalla, a colleague of Mr. Sapru,
is persuaded to join the fledgling organization. Rekha Sapru,
journalist and Mr. Sapru’s wife, is roped in to help.
were limited to just Rs. 500 and a second hand typewriter.
People were suspicious and donations were extremely hard to
come by. The only funds that we received initially were from
moneyboxes placed at various locations in Mumbai. Then our
luck turned, when CPAA was granted an audience with the then
Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. Mrs. Gandhi extended her
unconditional support to us which was a big morale booster;
she gave us a note commending the ‘laudable job’ we were
doing, along with a personal cheque for Rs. 5,000; agreed to
come on board as our Chief Patron; and continued to support
us over the years.
Bakre joins CPAA as Medical Director. She is put in charge
of a team of 5 doctors and they start holding Cancer
Screening Clinics (OPDs) at the Sophia College Medical
Centre to screen persons with a perceived high cancer risk.
showman, Raj Kapoor, holds the premier show of his movie,
Bobby, for CPAA’s benefit. Rs. 1 lakh is collected, Bobby
goes on to become a smash hit. For a while, movie premieres
are the primary source of fund raising.
Allana comes on board and fundraising activities change from
largely money-box collections to employee contributions.
||Cancer Screening Clinic
moves to St. Elizabeth Nursing Home.
organizes a Cancer Exhibition. President of India, Giani
Zail Singh inaugurates the exhibition.
Gupta comes to cover CPAA for Doordarshan, and is
persuaded by the Saprus to join CPAA. She is now the
Executive Director CPAA’s
Rehabilitation Center, which has resurrected lives
of over 25,000 patients and family members. Today it has
annual sales of over Rs 1 crore.
Kapadia joins CPAA Administrative Officer in charge of
the Head and Neck Project at JJ Hospital.
acquires its first vehicle, an ambulance. We now have 11
vehicles including ambulances, jeeps and vans, which
allow us to provide free transportation to patients.
starts the Rehabilitation Center at Adams Wylie Hospital
at Agripada to provide patients and their relative’s
gainful employment and teach them specialized skills.
CPAA’s Joan Shenoy designed the Centre, which also
housed the cancer screening clinics. CPAA’s Kumud Singh
took great effort to put together a team to run and
manage the Center.
selected by the Government of India to be a recipient of
funds raised from taxes on races at Mahalakshmi. We
receive these funds till 1995.
At the request of Dr.
Karimbhoy, CPAA sets up a counseling cell at Bai Jerbai
Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai in the Hematology
Department, Ward No 13.
Dr. R.S. Rao, then Director
of Tata Memorial Hospital and Dr. Praful Desai, eminent
cancer surgeon, ask CPAA to help the hospital set up a
Preventive Oncology Department. Today we are involved in
a number of counseling efforts at Tata Memorial Centre (TMC)
and The Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and
Education in Cancer (ACTREC), the state-of-the-art R&D
satellite of TMC.
Kohli starts the CPAA branch in Bangalore.
Cancer Insurance Policy in collaboration with New
India Assurance Company. We currently have over 12,000
Joan Shenoy conceptualized Cancer Rose Day to
commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first attempt at
cancer patient support made by CPAA. It is a day we
reach out to all cancer patients in Mumbai. It has now
gained momentum and is celebrated throughout the
International Union Against Cancer (UICC) conference in
New Delhi, CPAA puts up a stall showcasing its’
activities and also presents a paper.
Brien, Executive Director of Queensland Cancer
Foundation, invites CPAA’s Viji Venkatesh to the 12th
Asia Pacific Cancer Conference at Singapore to talk
about ‘Problems in Organizing Voluntary Cancer
Unit become operational at the Smt. Panadevi Dalmia
Cancer Management Centre. Mr. P. C. Alexander, the then
Governor of Maharashtra, inaugurates it. CPAA’s Joan
Shenoy was responsible in converting the derelict
barracks into our Corporate Office housing the offices
of employees, the Rehabilitation Centre, the Pathology
representatives attend the UICC-sponsored 1st World
Conference for Cancer Organisations at Melbourne. Viji
Venkatesh is asked to chair one of the sessions as UICC
fellow. She talks about her experience as a Scholarship
awardee and on ‘Education at the Workplace’.
Asia Pacific Cancer Conference in Hong Kong, CPAA’s Viji
Venkatesh presents two papers - on the Breast Cancer
situation in Mumbai and the recently started Head and
Neck Cancers Support Group. She is appointed committee
member of COPES (Community Organisations for Prevention,
Education and Support).
is given Room No. 189 in the Golden Jubilee Building at
TMC. Halima Aurangabadkar is permanently stationed in
this room for the counseling and support of cancer
- CPAA’s Viji Venkatesh
and Alka Kapadia attend the UICC conference in Rio
- A state-of-the-art
Pathology lab is inaugurated at Naigaon. Cancer
screening is done free at this centre, and other tests
are done at a highly subsidized rate. All this is made
possible by a generous grant from the Shahani Trust.
individuals are screened in camps on the occasion of
World No Tobacco Day.
Shubha Maudgal joins CPAA as Director, Special Projects.
Pumps sponsors the first Well Woman’s Clinic, an
initiative to screen 800 economically backward women for
breast cancer. The screening includes a free mammogram.
Viji Venkatesh is asked to be a plenary speaker at the
UICC conference in Atlanta. She is asked to chair a
session on Palliative Care at the 15th Asia Pacific
Cancer Conference to be held in Chennai in December.
and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories donates a percentage of the
sales from some of their cancer related drugs, to CPAA.
Gavaskar opens the CPAA website innings at Crossroads on
26th November, 1999. "As in sports have faith in
yourself, determination to meet and beat the challenge
and patience for the results." - Sunil Gavaskar
CPAA’s revamped website is launched.
started on the website.
online Payment Gateway is launched, to enable donations
using credit cards through the website, by David Good,
American Consul General.
- Research on psyco social
effects of cancer is initiated with a study on the role
played by counselors in understanding treatment options
which is presented at the Conference on Emotional,
Social, Psychological, Spiritual and Caring aspects of
Cancer, at National Institute of Mental Health and
- CPAA participates for
the first time in the World Conference on Breast Cancer
held every three years in Canada. We participate again
in 2005, 2008 and are invited to join the organizing
committee for 2011.
invited to partner World Health Organisation and Indian
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to observe 'World No
Tobacco Day'. Anita Peter organizes different programmes
every year to ensure the attention of the appropriate
CPAA is invited to join the
National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund (NBCCF), an
internationally known advocacy group.
World no Tobacco Day
screening touches a new high, covering over 2500 persons
in one week. Neeta More organizes camps in other cities,
towns and states, besides Mumbai.
starts research work with Reliance Life Sciences on the
significance of HPV infections as a precursor to
starts its fundraising art exhibition and sale, ‘Colours
day reaches out to 33 locations in Mumbai and becomes a
nationally observed day. Vinaya Chacko ensures
participation from all levels of society.
conducts research work on psyco social effects of
childhood cancer. Results were presented at the
International Society for Pediatric Oncology (SIOP),
organizes Art Camp involving 14 women artists from 14
cities and four countries.
helps to organize the 1st National Tobacco Control
- CPAA participates in the
Reach to Recovery conference 'Jagruti', Mumbai December
- CPAA is part of the
organizing committee of the SIOP conference, Mumbai,
participates in UICC, Geneva
awarded its first Capacity Building funding grant By
UICC to study tobacco use and awareness amongst
marginalised children. The study is later published in
the Indian Journal of Cancer.
blocks the patenting of a drug, resulting in
availability of the genric equivalent at one tenth the
are invited to Davos on the sidelines of the World
Economic Forum for the Private Eye Award.
hosts interns from premier institutions from the US
(Harvard, Dukes) and UK (Cancer Research, UK, City
Universtity of London)
day training programme 'Psyco Oncology Volunteers'
Training Programme' begins and goes on to become
helps organize “Frontiers in Carcinogenesis and Cancer
Prevention: Scientific Endeavours and Public Health
Initiatives”, 5th-7th February, 2010.
participates in UICC, China, SIOP, Boston, Asia Pacific
Conference on Tobacco or Health, Sydney, Australia
launches it's Tobacco Cessation Programme, 'QUIT TOBACCO FOR
LIFE' - a unique programme to help those who wish to quit
tobacco habits - smoking or smokeless.