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1969 Founder 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 at John Wyeth, is persuaded to join the fledgling organization. Rekha Sapru, journalist and Mr. Sapru’s wife, is roped in to help.


1971 Dr. Shashi Bakre joins CPAA as Medical Director. She is put in charge of a team of 5 doctors and they start holding OPDs at the Sophia College Medical Centre to screen persons with a perceived high cancer risk.

1973 Veteran showman, Raj Kapoor, agrees to hold the premier show of his movie, Bobby, for CPAA’s benefit. Rs 1 lakh is collected, Bobby goes on to become a smash hit, and for a while, movie premieres are the primary source of fund raising.

1977 Zainab Allana comes on board and fundraising activities change from largely money box collections to employee contributions.

1979 Madhu Hukku starts the CPAA branch in New Delhi.

18 year old Gulshan Hodiwalla joins CPAA. Today she is in charge of the daily running of CPAA as Administration Director.

1980 OPDs move to St. Elizabeth Nursing Home. For the next 7 years, they operate from here.

Giani Zail Singh1984 CPAA organizes a Cancer Exhibition. President of India, Giani Zail Singh inaugurates the exhibition. Manju Gupta comes to cover CPAA for Doordarshan, and is persuaded by the Saprus to join CPAA.

1986 Alka Kapadia joins CPAA fresh from college, as Administrative Officer in charge of the Head and Neck Project at JJ Hospital. Today she is in charge of the Pathological Services and Cancer Insurance Policy.

CPAA 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.

1987 CPAA starts the Rehabilitation Center at Adams Wylie Hospital at Agripada to provide patients and their relatives gainful employment and teach them specialized skills.

Viji Venkatesh meets Mr. Sapru, joins CPAA and the Early Detection and Awareness activities commence.


1989 Kalpana Venkataraman joins CPAA in the Patient Care Department.

CPAA is 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.

1992 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 Hospital.

1994 Sarla Kohli starts the CPAA branch in Bangalore.

CPAA introduces the Cancer Insurance Policy in collaboration with New India Assurance Company.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first attempt at cancer patient support made by CPAA, we decide to reach out to all cancer patients in Mumbai with Rose Day. The idea catches on and Rose Day becomes an annual event.

At the UICC conference in New Delhi, CPAA puts up a stall showcasing its’ activities, and also presents a paper at the seminar.

Graeme 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 Organising Voluntary Cancer Societies’.

1995 Iva Das joins CPAA as Medical Social Worker.

Dolly Rizvi starts the CPAA branch in Pune.

CPAA’s Viji Venkatesh travels to Australia under the William Rudder Travel Grant for a three-week training programme with the Queensland Cancer Foundation.

1996 CPAA’s Rehabilitation and Patient Services Unit become operational at the Smt. Panadevi Dalmia Cancer Management Centre.

Seven CPAA 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’.

1997 At the 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).

CPAA is given Room No. 189 in the Golden Jubilee Building at Tata Memorial Hospital. Halima Aurangabadkar is permanently stationed in this room for the counseling and support of cancer patients.

1998 CPAA’s Viji Venkatesh and Alka Kapadia attend the UICC conference in Rio.

Pathology LabA 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.


1999 4016 individuals are screened in camps on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day.

78 children and their families have a whale of a time with Salman Khan at 3 Flights Up. The actor gives CPAA a cheque for almost Rs.11 lakhs, collected from his friends in the film industry.

Dr. Shubha Maudgal joins CPAA as Director, New Projects. Her first assignment - revamping CPAA’s website.

KSB Pumps agree to sponsor the Well Woman’s Clinic, an initiative to screen 800 economically backward women for breast cancer. The screening includes a free mammogram.

CPAA’s 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.

Alka Kapadia visits schools all over Mumbai to talk of the hazards of tobacco.

Glaxo and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories agree to donate a percentage of the sales from some of their cancer related drugs, to CPAA.

CPAA acquires land at Airoli, in Navi Mumbai (New Bombay), for a hospital.

Gavaskar Opens the Cpaa WebsiteSunil Gavaskar opens the CPAA website innings at Crossroads on 26th November, 1999. Many thanks to McDonalds who provided the refreshments.







CPAA’s revamped website is launched.

2000 Chats started on the website.

David Good2001 Launch of Payment Gateway to enable donation online using credit cards by David Good, American Consul General.