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Event Archive 

Year Event
December 2005 - February 2006 Super Time with Super Stars.
Cancer affected children from all over the city were in for a special treat when they got to meet ...
Superstar Mr. Amitabh Bachchan on his birthday on the sets of "Kaun Banega Karodpati -2" Actor Vivek Oberoi at a special screening of his movie "Home Delivery" International Super Star Jackie Chan during his recent visit to Mumbai.
November 2005


Sushma Seth at DIWALI  celebrations with playgroup patients at Rajgarhia Dharmshala
January 2005 -[New Year Party ] This year's New Year party was totally focussed on the patients who were the chief guests on the occasion. We had invited a non professional group who sang songs demanded by the patients. Children got up and danced to "Dhoom Macha De". A young boy with osteosarcoma danced on his single leg using his crutches. It was a sight that brought tears to the eyes of onlookers. CPAA employees joined in the festivities with our Founder Chairman Mr. Y.K. Sapru also shaking a leg. Gifts were distributed, prizes were given to the winners of games such as Musical Chairs. The entire event was ably organised by Mrunal Marathe, Jennifer Quadros, Vinaya Chacko and Iva Athavia was the Master of Ceremony.
January 2003

Wah, Ustad Zakir Husain : Ustad Zakir Husain, Ustad Sultan Khan and Fazal Qureshi preformed magic under a full moon on January 16th 2003 for the benefit of CPAA. In a programme which showcased their individual as well as joint abilities at the tabla and sarangi, the trio performed several compositions together. Ustad Sultan Khan sang a folk song which held the audience saying, "Wah Ustad!" Many thanks to our sponsors who helped make this evening an unforgettable one.


December 2002 -
[X-mas party]

This year, too Christmas was celebrated with great cheer. One of our donors, Kim gave us over 100 gifts to be distributed among children at Tata Memorial Hospital. The gifts included FM radios, cassettes, toys and games. Each was gift wrapped in attractive paper. The gifts were distributed in the wards on the 24th and the children were asked to wait until the next morning before opening their present. Truly a memorable X-mas for these tiny tots. Halima Aurangabadkar plays Santa at Tata Memorial Hospital.



December 2001 -
[X-mas party]

4 Christmas parties were arranged by various organisations in conjunction with CPAA.

  • Crossroads Party  with Ms. Rashmi Nath13th December at Crossroads: Ms. Rashmi Nath of Crossroads arranged this party as a part of the activities of the Crossroads Institute of Personality Development and Community Welfare. 25 children were entertained in the atrium of the mall with a Magic Show. Mrs. Urvi Piramal, wife of late Mr. Ashok Piramal, took time out from her busy schedule to spend time chatting with the children. The children then trooped up to the first floor where they played video games and went go-karting at Crossroads amusement centre, "Jammin". There was good food, gifts and fun galore.

  • 15th December at Villa Theresa School : It is always heartwarming to obseve an effort by today’s so-called privileged teenagers to reach out to those who are less privileged than themselves. To witness a truly thoughtful gesture as was made during the course of the party on 15th December was a moving experience. On the last day of school before the Christmas holidays, the 9th and 10th standard children organised the party for 32 cancer patients. The children danced to the music and sang popular songs together. Each child was given a quilt to protect them against the approaching winter. 

  • 19th December at The Oberoi: 32 children were entertained at the Regal Room. The programme consisted of a Magic Show, dance and song. An orchestra kept the kids occupied and the traditional Christmas fare of cake, chips and drinks flowed. Each child was given a T-shirt.

  • 24th Decemeber at Srimati Panadevi Dalmia Cancer Management Centre: The Rotaract Club of Churchgate along with CPAA organised a party at the centre for 80 children and their family members. The highlight was a game of "Passing the Parcel" where a number of unknown talents were discovered. Sachin Patole had everyone in fits of laughter with his mimicry, some children told jokes and Mukund Kamble sang his favourite songs. Biscuits were distributed by a donor, caps and hankies were given to each child. Laddoos, farsan, cake and drinks were provided.

  • Christmas Party at H2O, Chowpatty

    A Christmas party funday was celebrated on 26th December, 2001 at the newly opened Drishti water sports complex at Chowpatty Beach, Mumbai. Sunil Shetty joined 150 children in a fun filled day with a magic show, water games and gifts, capped with a boat cruise at dusk to view the Queen's Necklace in full glory. The event was organised by CPAA's Shailja Singh and sponsored by Rajiv Somani of Drishti. .


September  2001 - 
Rose Day 

This year for Rose Day CPAA decided to throw a huge party at our centre at Mahalaxmi. This took the shape of a Mela, with games, mehndi, bangles, tattoo painting, gifts and goodies. Celebrities, Pankaj Udhas, Raza Murad, Akhlaaq Khan, Sanjana Kapoor took time off to be with the patients and talk to them. Rajeshwari Sachdev danced and sang her hit song, Hulle Hullare. She got everyone dancing, swaying and tapping their feet and joining her in the song. A full fledged buffet was organised by Mars Restaurant Private Limited, there were ice creams, drinks, gifts and mementoes. In the evening, Javed Jaffry visited the wards at Tata Memorial hospital along with CPAA volunteers.


Helicopter ride with Abhishek Bachchan at Pawan Hans

On 21st September, 40 ecstatic children were invited by Pawan Hans Helicopters to join Abhishek Bachchan in a joy ride over Mumbai. A helicopter ferried the passengers for a birds eye view of our sprawling metropolis which they will never forget. Each child was given a gift, a T-shirt and a mug with Abhishek's picture emblazoned on them as a memento. He took the time to get pictures taken with each child individually.
January 2001-

Ghazal King Jagjit Singh

On January 5th, 2001 ghazal king Jagjit Singh lent his voice for the benefit of Cancer Patients Aid Association. In a scintillating programme held at Nehru Centre he sang his old and new favourite songs to hold the full house audience enthralled.

Diwali Party - 2000

Diwali PartyDiwali, the festival of lights, the celebration of the victory of good over evil, when we invite Laxmi to enter our homes and ask her to bless us with good fortune during the New Year, means very different things to the cancer patient. Burdened with the high costs of treatment and the depression associated with battling the disease, it becomes difficult to celebrate Diwali with even a semblance of good cheer. It is at this time that The Rehabilitation Centre of Cancer Patients Aid Association steps in to make certain that our patients have the reason and the means to rejoice with their families.

As a climax to the Rehab Centre’s Diwali related activities, a party is held every year for the patients working at the centre and families. This year, a party was held for 200 patients and their family members at the Srimati Panadevi Dalmia Cancer Management Centre. The party started with an entertainment programme of songs, dance and a magic show. There were fun and games for all. The Chief Guest was Ms. Juhi Chawla who distributed boxes of sweets to all the delighted patients.

The party was sponsored by Ms. Tina Ambani. CPAA is very grateful to Ms. Ambani for making the party possible and to Ms. Juhi Chawla who took time out from her busy schedule to be with us.


Rose Day, September 22, 2000

As always, preparations for Rose Day start months ahead of time to get necessary permissions, decide on appropriate entertainment programmes and assess the numbers of patients at each centre. The organizers toil until late the night before and again in the early morning, packing gifts, flowers and making arrangements. Rose coupons are sold at various outlets, leaflets are sent along with bills and credit card holders donate through direct deductions to their credit cards. The response is always overwhelming with contributions continuing to pour in even a month later.

Rose Day 2000 was kicked off on 16th September with a launch ceremony at the Taj Crystal Room, ably compered by Ms. Alka Kapadia, Executive Director, CPAA. The evening began with a concert, "Positive Energy Music", conceptualized by Banyan Tree Event Management Company. The performance by Pandit Shivkumar Sharma on the santoor, Shri Anando Chatterjee on the tabla, Shri Selvaganesh on the kanjira and Marie on the tanpura, was unique in that it was the first time that the kanjira, usually heard in South Indian music, was used as an accompaniment for the santoor, a distinctly North Indian instrument. The concert was followed by felicitation of some of CPAA’s long time friends and patrons. Ms. Urmila Jain, Mr. Nana Chudasama, Mr. Madanlal Dalmia, Ms. Maya Shahani, Ms. Neerja Birla, Ms. Shobha De and Mr. Pankaj Udhas were given mementos in appreciation of their extended association with CPAA. Ms. Nita Ambani, wife of industrialist Mukesh Ambani and Chief Guest for the evening’s events gave a moving speech.

M. F. Husain's paintingThe evening ended with the unveiling of M.F. Husain’s painting created especially with the concept of Rose Day in mind. A serigraph version in a limited edition of  100 has also been individually signed and numbered by Mr. M.F. Husain and is available at the CPAA office. Mr. Husain has donated the entire proceeds to CPAA.

Hritik RoshanOn the 20th it was a  dream come true for 17 excited children who were taken to Film City for a meeting with current screen idol and teen heartthrob, Hritik Roshan. The star easily stole the children’s hearts. He chatted with them, presented them exclusive autographed photographs with individual messages, had pictures taken with each child and presented them watches. The children had cards, roses and many good wishes to give to their hero. It was a meeting these brave children, resolutely fighting their disease, are not likely to forget. Many thanks to Mr. Rohit Kumar, producer of the film "Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne lage" for which Hritik was shooting and to Hritik’s secretary, Mr. Ashok Vashodia for organising the get together.

The 21st saw hectic activities at the Smt. Panadevi Dalmia Cancer Management Centre and at the Adams Wylie Centre as gifts were received from generous donors all over Mumbai. Hindustan Lever donated Surf packets and Sunsilk sachets and also sponsored the t-shirts. Biscuits were donated by Britannia, Shangri-la and Windsor; chocolates by Cadburys; soaps by Godrej; GluconC packets by Heinz and Horlicks packs by Smith Kline Beecham. The posters were sponsored by Rhone Poulenc Rorer, the caps by the Aditya Birla Foundation, the banners by UTI, the t-shirts were cosponsored by Canco.

Anil KapoorOn Rose Day, flower arrangements were placed at all the hospitals, treatment centres and boarding houses for cancer patients in Mumbai, including Bhatia, Bombay, Breach Candy, Cama and Albless, Harkishondas, Hinduja, JJ, KEM, Lilavati, Masina, Nair, Prince Aly Khan, Sion, Sushrusha, Tata Memorial and Wadia Hospitals; Byculla Nursing Home; Jaslok and Lady Ratan Tata Radiation Centres; Bharat Seva Sadan, Ernest Borges Home, Mohan Dayal Sanatorium, Morarji Sanatorium, Nana Phalke Smriti and Shanti Avedna Ashram. Gifts and flowers with individual messages were distributed at each of these places.

Shilpa Shetty

Entertainment programmes were conducted simultaneously at many locations.  At Tata Memorial Hospital a moonwalker  was placed in the General  OPD  for the children to bounce around on.  A party was also arranged at Tata by  KAS Productions during which  cartoon characters mingled with the children.

TanyaAt Shanti Avedna Ashram, many groups came to greet the patients including one of spastic children. Joan Cordeiro and her choir group sang some beautiful hymns in English and Hindi with everyone joining in including the patients and CPAA volunteers. This was followed by a skit "Mind Your Language" and a dance item with colourful costumes and lively movements presented by Bombay International School students.
Dr. C. J. Joshi with the help of Rotary Club of Queen’s Necklace had organised a very successful party and magic show at Wadia Hospital.

McDonalds have always been very supportive to CPAA’s activities. This year, too, they arranged for Ronald McDonald to entertain children at Sion Hospital with magic tricks. 45 children sang and danced with Ronald who gave them balloons and encouraged them to participate in the magic tricks.

Students from Sophia College put up a programme for the patients at Ghatge Baba Dharamshala where gifts were also distributed. Films were screened at Nana Phalke Smriti and Mohan Dayal Sanatorium. Shree Radhashyamji gave a "Bhajan Sandhya" programme at Bharat Seva Sadan.

A number of celebrities visited the wards at Tata Memorial Hospital and distributed gifts and flowers. Many thanks to Anil Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty, Tanya and Ruby Bhatia who took time off from their busy schedules to infuse a lot of joy into the lives of the patients.Traditionally the day ends with a programme at the Ernest Borges Home at Bandra. This year too, an orchestra played for the benefit of the patients and their relatives in a programme that was a grand finale to the events of the day.

The entire programme was given enthusiastic media coverage. MidDay placed an advertisement a few days earlier with the message "Indifference Can Kill, Cancer Need Not" and devoted 2 pages to Rose Day on the 22nd in an effort to raise funds for the event. A moving picture of Hritik Roshan with a child in one hand and a rose in the other was published on the front page of Bombay Times. The events organised also got coverage in different daily newspapers and TV channels.

The programme and its successful implementation involve individual contributions by each and every CPAA employee, quite often outside the line of actual duty. At the end of the day, however, everyone agreed that the smiles they were able to put on so many faces made all their trials worthwhile.


 August, 2000 -

Falguni PathakMusical Evening in Sawan with Falguni Pathak

On 14th August, 2000 Falguni Pathak put up her famous musical evening for the benefit of Cancer Patients Aid Association. The event was held at the Kamat Club, Lokhandwala. Falguni sang all of her popular songs and had the audience clapping and tapping until late at night. Her own enthusiasm was enough to ensure that noon sat down all night.

World No-Tobacco Day, May 31st, 2000

As in the previous five years, CPAA undertook an extensive screening exercise, offering free head and neck check up facilities to people all over the city of Mumbai and its suburbs. The only effective means to fight against the increasing incidence of tobacco related cancer are

  • Prevention by raising awareness through lectures
  • Early Detection by screening at clinics and on-site camps.

World No-Tobacco DayCPAA tries to reach out to high risk, asymptomatic individuals with these facilities. On the occasion of World No-Tobacco Day, this programme takes the form of a month-long project, specifically targeting tobacco habitues and offering these checkups free of cost. High risk groups are identified and a panel of doctors and counselors spread the message of Tobacco cessation and Early Detection. (Sanjeev Chowdhury, Vice Consul, Canadian Consulate is seen with Tanaaz Currim, Meghana Reddy, Marc Robinson, Chhaya Momaya and Honorary Secretary, CPAA, Ms. Siloo Jasdanwalla at the inauguration of the World No-Tobacco Day camp at Hutatma Chowk.

Twenty camps were organised this year for diverse groups (see following list) and 4059 individuals were screened for early warning signs of tobacco related cancers.


Campsites were chosen with two primary objectives. Working establishments or community centres where tobacco consumption was high were chosen so that they could benefit from these camps. These sites were also those where future periodic screening programmes could be promoted resulting in long term, sustained and result oriented services being provided to those groups who needed it most.

The credit for reaching out to these hitherto unapproached groups and convincing the management to let us organise these camps goes to Neeta More - General Manager, Diagnostic Service. Her persistence resulted in all the establishments contacted agreeing to allow us to organise these camps.

World No-Tobacco DayCPAA's team of Head & Neck specialists consisting of Dr. Asit Gore, Dr. Sanjay Bhatia, Dr. Manohar Shaan, Dr. R. Alimchandani, Dr. J. Narayan (seen alongside), Dr. Panna, Dr. S. Ghildiyal, Dr. P. Sud, Dr. Jaideep Mankani and Dr. Kamlakar Dandekar rose to the occasion by attending every camp in full strength and by offering much more than their medical expertise. Many a compulsive chewer or smoker was persuaded to surrender his packet then and there at the doctor's table. Kirti Dustkar ably managed the schedule. Mr. Deepak Tirlotkar, Ram Dhadwe, Raju Kamble, Nandu Raut, Tulsi Bhoir, Rakesh Talpade, Abhay Patil and Owen Walter all played a very important part in ensuring that camps ran smoothly.

World No-Tobacco DayMinal Parab and Jennifer Quadros ensured that the findings were immediately tabulated so that the report could be presented immediately and follow up lists drawn up. The entire CPAA staff contributed to the efficiency of each camp by attending all the camps and helping out with filling of the forms. (Seen in the picture alongside are Ms. Anita Peter, Neeta More, Kirti Dustkar and Minal Parab counseling individuals after the screening).

The programmes generated a great deal of interest including coverage on television channels, Doordarshan, Star TV, InMumbai, on BBC Radio, in English language newspapers, Times Of India, Bombay Times, Mid Day, Afternoon Despatch and Courier, Free Press Journal, in Marathi newspapers, Mahanagar and Maharashtra Times and in Samantar Prabhat, a Gujarati newspaper.

A total number of 4059 individuals were screened, 3475 men and 584 women. As many as 1796 or 44% were tobacco habitués and 572 or 14% were in the high-risk category. A shocking fact was that 462 persons were found to have precancerous lesions such as leukoplakia, melanoplakia, erythroplakia and submucousal fibrosis (SMF).

It was observed that chewing tobacco is still the most popular form of tobacco consumed in the middle-income group and in the age group of 40-55 years-695 individuals chewed tobacco.

Cigarettes are popular with the higher income group and younger age group who choose this form of tobacco-613 individuals smoked.

Gutkha and Pan Masala follow with no income or age group consideration at all-410 individuals. Out of the 410 Gutkha habitues, 79 users or 19% were detected with SMF. Some of the individuals presenting with SMF had been eating gutkha for only 7 or 8 months. The youngest individual with severe SMF was only 9 years old.

Pan with tobacco comes next with 342 individuals consuming this very popular mixture.

The lower middle and lower income group were heavily addicted to masheri-279 individuals.

Over the past 5 years that we have been conducting the programme, we have seen a decline in the consumption rates of snuff (10 individuals) and tobacco paste (18 individuals) but the increase in gutka consumption more than makes up for it.

Leukoplakic, melanoplakic and erythroplakic changes were seen in large numbers (318 individuals) corresponding to the habit of chewing tobacco. Buccal mucosa and gingivo buccal sulcus changes and erosion were observed in 175 individuals, even in those who were only chewing tobacco or gutka occasionally. Biopsies were advised for as many as 79 individuals. All these high-risk cases, especially the biopsies, will be followed up till malignancy is completely ruled out.

Some Observations:

  • The only work place that was relatively free of tobacco habitues was the Passport Office at Worli.
  • Almost 50 % of individuals seen in each camp were addicted to tobacco in one form or the other.
  • Cigarettes are very common in the younger age groups, all those employees in Hotel Orchid who were under 22 years were smokers.
  • 90 % of workers seen at the Airport Authority Camp were tobacco habitues.
  • A very high percentage of employees in the BMC, Byculla Jail & Naigaon Police Station were compulsive tobacco users.
  • Younger people are predominantly eating Gutkha.
  • Tobacco chewers are taking to eating gutka besides sookha.
  • All the young street boys who came for the camp at Hutatma Chowk were eating Gutkha.
  • The Hutatma Chowk camp attracted young college students. This is the first time students have voluntarily come for a screening and acknowledged their compulsive addiction to smoking.


March, 2000

Tea at the Taj : Tea at the TajOn 11th March, 2000, 30 children were taken for a tea party at Taj Mahal Hotel's Shamiana restaurant. The event was the brainchild of CPAA's Dhanashree Sapru, Director New Projects and had the enthusiastic support of Mr. S. Bhowmick, Chief Operating Officer, Luxury Hotels of the Taj Group. The evening included scrumptious refreshments, an entertainment programme with a clown and magician and games. Gifts were provided by Camlin and Taj gave each child a chocolate hamper. Pepsi contributed with caps and mineral water."

February, 2000

Superdrome : SuperdromeAround 300 children enjoyed an evening at the Superdrome, Film Centre at Tardeo on 19th February, 2000.

The children bowled, played pool, saw a variety programme and magic show, besides having a delicious meal and popcorn! Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck were on hand along with willing volunteers from Superdrome who showed the children how to play pool and helped them to pick up the balls for bowling. Many thanks to them for their patience and cheerfulness in ensuring that everyone had an evening to remember

February, 2000

"The Insider"Preview of "The Insider :

On February 9th a preview screening of "The Insider", a film that made headlines worldwide, was organised by Sanjeev Chowdhury, Canadian Vice Counsel and a committed partner in all of our activties, Buena Vista International and CPAA.

The film is the true story of Dr. Jeffrey Wigand, who was Head of Research at a major tobacco manufacturing company, and his struggle to reveal the truth about the industry. In direct contradiction to the statement of seven CEOs who swore that nicotine is not harmful, Dr. Wigand revealed that nicotine is known to be highly addictive. Moreover, companies are carrying out research to enhance its addictive properties, treating tobacco with various chemicals, including known carcinogens. The aim is to make cigarettes a "nicotine delivery system".

The screening was followed by a group discussion coordinated by Ruby Bhatia, well-known presenter of TV shows, with participation from members from different walks of life. Dr. Katy A. Dinshaw, Director, Tata Memorial Hospital; Ms. Maya Shahani, Educator; Ms. Shobha De, author; Sanjeev Chowdhury and CPAA’s Mr. Y. K. Sapru shared their own perspectives on the film.

The event was especially relevant given the ongoing debate on enforcement of tobacco related legislature in several states in India Ruby Bhatia brought out the part that personalities from the film and sports world play in influencing the behaviour of young people today. It is a disturbing phenomenon that sportsmen play for the country with logos of cigarette manufacturers on their sleeve. She pledged to reiterate her own feelings against tobacco at every opportunity.

In conclusion, everyone present agreed to do their bit to ensure that tobacco abuse in smoked and smokeless forms is discouraged.

"The Insider" is the winner of the LA Film Critics Award for the Best Picture and Best Reviewed Film of the Year 1999. Also, in an announcement made on 15th February, "The Insider" was nominated for 7 Oscar Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Russell Crowe), Best Director (Michael Mann), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Sound. It is indeed a thought provoking movie and should be recommended to as many people as possible including children.

December 1999 - X-Mas Party Santa Claus and Sonali Bendre at Bowling Co.Santa Claus and Sonali Bendre entertained 50 children and their families during a function held at Bowling Co. on Christmas Day. The event was organised by Sanjeev Chowdhury, Vice-Consul and Assistant Trade Commissioner, Consulate of Canada. Priti Chandriani, owner of Chocossieur, the Belgian chocolate store, provided gifts.
World No-Tobacco Day, May 31st, 1999

The World Health Organisation observes May 31st every year, as World No Tobacco Day. On this day, the hazards of tobacco abuse are highlighted, as are the health gains which tobacco cessation guarantees. In keeping with this objective, CPAA’s regular cancer screening activities focuses exclusively on the tobacco related Head & Neck cancers, on this day. This year’s theme was "LEAVE THE PACK BEHIND", and counseling sessions were held to help people do just that.

4016 individuals were screened in camps this year, out of which 1807 were found to be compulsive tobacco habituees and were therefore identified as high-risk individuals. 413 cases presented with early warning signs like submucous fibrosis and leukoplakia and were advised follow up. Free Head & Neck Camps were conducted throughout the city of Mumbai and its suburbs and at workplaces especially identified as being high-risk because of the high tobacco consumption rates. Camps were held at Mantralaya offices, Railway Mazdoor union, Airport Authority, Navy Nagar, B.E.S.T staff, Fire Brigade, Byculla and Arthur Rd. Jails and Doordarshan and Films Division offices. As is done every year, the Hutatma Chowk car park in the heart of Mumbai city was thrown open to the public and all day the CPAA doctors and counselors were at the service of any one who wished to avail of the screening and counseling programme.

Some distinct Tobacco Consumption Trends were observed in the 1,807 individuals who are compulsive habituees, and these are detailed below, but we would like to emphasize that they should not be construed to be statistically representative of the population.

What they took

Chewing Tobacco












Tobacco Tooth paste



Age 42% - above the age of 45yrs
27% - between the ages of 25yrs and 40 yrs
23% - between the ages of 16yrs and 25 yrs
8% - between the ages of 8yrs and 15yrs
Income Group 61% - middle income group
18% - high income group
21% - low income group

Chewing Tobacco

  • As expected chewing tobacco is the most popular and common form of tobacco abuse especially in the age group of 45yrs+ and in the middle income group
  • Most chew tobacco at least 6 to 8 times a day and have been chewing it for more than 16 to 20 yrs.
  • 334 people out of the 1090 who are chewing tobacco have presented with leukoplakic patches, which need to be strictly monitored. These patches could turn into malignant tumours.


  • The younger and more affluent a person is, the greater the possibility of them being a smoker.
  • There is a marked increase in the number of smokers.
  • Many tobacco chewers and beedi smokers have changed over to cigarettes.
  • Most men seen in these camps, in the age group of 25yrs and above, are smokers.
  • The average smoker smokes one packet a day and consumption goes up to as many as 20 to 25 cigarettes a day in some cases.
  • More than 73% of the smokers seen have started to smoke in their teens.
  • In the high income group maximum number of tobacco habituees are cigarette smokers.
  • There are men in the older age group also who are smokers...
  • Almost all of them want to quit!!!!
  • Gutkha consumption seems to have crossed all socio-economic barriers. There are compulsive addicts from all income groups, including officials in Mantralaya and Films Division, workers in BEST and Byculla Fire Brigade, farmers in Belapur and undertrial prisoners in the Byculla and Arthur Road Jails and little street children in and around Hutatma Chowk.
  • They’re getting younger! The average age of gutkha addicts was found to be 16yrs (it was 20yrs last year). The youngest Gutkha addict is 8 years old!!!
  • 23 little children who work in and around the area of Hutatma Chowk were screened. These included children who work as "chaiwalla seth’s" helpers, urchins who sell newspapers and magazines, little boys who clean your windshield at the traffic lights. Two of them actually presented with early signs of mucosal changes. Oral cancer by the age of 16?
  • These children spent over two hours with our counselors listening wide-eyed and swearing they never knew how harmful it was. They chewed the stuff because it was cheap, easily available and helped to suppress their appetite!
  • Most gutkha chewers are so addicted that they consume 10 to 12 packets a day and 13 of them consumed up to 35 packets a day. Youngsters seem to be getting addicted. And they say it is so easily available.
  • The fancily wrapped and easy to store sachets are replacing traditional forms of tobacco.
  • 79 cases of oral submucous fibrosis were detected in the 349 gutkha chewers we screened...all extensive and pre cancerous.
  • Even a one to one and a half year old habit gives cause for early submucous fibrosis. The maximum number of years a person has been chewing gutkha varies from 14 to 12 years.

Will They Quit?

  • Those who are above the age of 45 do not think they will ever be able to stop their tobacco habit but are willing to come for regular check ups
  • Those who are around 30 to 35 yrs of age are willing to try to quit but want help
  • Those in the age group of 16 to 20yrs are in a state of willing suspension of disbelief. Though they are aware of the hazards of smoking, a strong "it can’t / won’t happen to me" attitude prevails.
  • These youngsters are being encouraged to make uninformed the time they realise what it means to their health they are ADDICTED!!


The consumption of beedies, masheri and tobacco toothpaste appears to have gone down in the last few years as seen in the groups we have been screening and studying in workplaces and factories around Mumbai. Only 84 people in the over 1000 we screened were beedi smokers. There were 23 who still used masheri and 2 individuals who used snuff and tobacco toothpaste.


June 1999

Salman Khan Salman Khan is no stranger to CPAA. He has been supporting our efforts without any fanfare for many years now. The association started when Helen visited cancer patients at Shanti Avedana during a Rose Day function and related her experience to Salman. Salman expressed his desire to help out. Over the years, he has donated blood along with his brother Arbaaz Khan and friend Shakti Kapoor and even got his tissue matched for a possible bone marrow transplant. We have his mobile number and any time our little ones are depressed during chemotherapy, we are free to call him and he will coax them into continuing with the treatment. He even sent his gold earring to a child who was terminally ill.

So, when Sanjay Narang of Three Flights Up offered his pub for an evening of entertainment for the children, CPAA thought it would add to their delight if Salman Khan would come to meet them. Salman was, of course, willing. Braving the heavy rains that evening, he came across Bombay, bringing along his parents, Salim Khan, Salma Khan and Helen. He spent time with the children, posed for photographs, signed autographs and gave out presents. He also gave us a cheque for Rs.11 lakhs, which he had collected from his friends in the film industry.

It was an evening that the cancer patients and their families will never forget. Pool, video games, scrumptious food (courtesy Sanjay Narang), and Salman too! Sanjeev Chowdhury, Vice-Consul and Assistant Trade Commissioner, Consulate of Canada, helped organize this wonderful evening.

May 1999 -
World No Tobacco Day

This year’s theme was "LEAVE THE PACK BEHIND", and counseling sessions were held to help people do just that. We organised a number of events to educate people about the dangers of tobacco. In Mumbai, an art competition relating to the dangers of tobacco abuse was held for children. In Bangalore, a ‘No Tobacco March’ was held, led by a jeep belting out anti-tobacco slogans.

4016 individuals were screened in camps this year, out of which 1807 were found to be compulsive tobacco habituees and were therefore identified as high-risk individuals. 413 cases presented with early warning signs like submucous fibrosis and leukoplakia and were advised follow up. Free Head & Neck Camps were conducted throughout the city of Mumbai and its suburbs and at workplaces especially identified as being high-risk because of the high tobacco consumption rates. Camps were held at Mantralaya offices, Railway Mazdoor union, Airport Authority, Navy Nagar, B.E.S.T staff, Fire Brigade, Byculla and Arthur Rd. Jails and Doordarshan and Films Division offices. As is done every year, the Hutatma Chowk car park in the heart of Mumbai city was thrown open to the public and all day the CPAA doctors and counselors were at the service of any one who wished to avail of the screening and counseling programme.

September 1998 -National Cancer Rose Day

On the occasion of Rose Day, 1998, a variety of events were organized. Prayer services were held at the hospice, Shanti Avedna Ashram, and bhajans at Gadge Maharaj Dharamshala. Films were shown at Tata Memorial Hospital, Cama & Albless Hospital and Sir J.J. Hospital. An orchestra was arranged at Ernest Borges Memorial Home. At Wadia, Sion and Hinduja Hospitals, magic shows were arranged for the children and gifts were distributed.

Roses were distributed at Hospitals - I.N.S. Ashvini, Masina, Bhatia, KEM, Holy Family, St. George, Prince Aly Khan, Harkishandas, Nair, Bhabha, Bombay, Nanavati, G.T., E.N.T., Breach Candy, Tata Memorial, Mulund, Malad Municipal General, and Parsee General, Nursing Homes -St. Elizabeth, Shushrusha, Hospices Bharat Seva Sadan, Badlapur and Radiation centres -Lady Ratan Tata, Tata Memorial, Bombay, Jaslok and Nanavati hospitals. Children from schools all over Mumbai brought cards they had made. A number of well-known personalities, including Kiran Bedi in New Delhi and Ranjita in Pune were on hand to greet patients.

The bookshop, Crossword, dedicated their ‘Meet The Author’ programme to Rose Day, and auctioned flower arrangements to raise funds. The author in question, Shobha De, is a loyal supporter of CPAA, and apart from donating a part of the proceedings from her book, ‘Selective Memory’, to CPAA, she has also adopted a leukemia patient under the Adopt-a-Cancer-Patient scheme.