Our Team :
Mr. Sapru is an experienced pharmaceutical professional who started his career with John Wyeth & Brother in 1963, where he progressed from the post of a Medical Representative to the Marketing Director. Subsequently, he joined Johnson & Johnson in the pharmaceutical division for 10 years and the diagnostic division for 7 years. He retired as their Executive Director in 1999. His association with cancer patients began way back in 1969, when he was visiting a friend at Tata Memorial Hospital. On the bed alongside was a little girl battling leukemia, but with little means. Mr. Sapru, along with a few friends, stepped in and raised the money required for the treatment. Jaya Jhabbar was cured and CPAA was born.
It is his vision and farsightedness that has seen a germ of an idea mature into the well-respected association that CPAA is today. It was Mr. Sapru who coined the phrase 'Total Management of Cancer', the credo that has been the cornerstone of CPAA's philosophy all these years.
Mrs. Jasdanwalla worked with Mr. Sapru at John Wyeth & Brother as the Family Planning Officer. When he started CPAA, he felt that she would be a valuable asset and asked her to join as Honorary Secretary. She organised the first ‘fund raising programme’ at CPAA with a concert by the noted singer Begum Akhtar. This was followed by several film premier shows in aid of CPAA. Early on she realised the importance of engaging celebrities as ambassadors for our cause. With her grit and determination she opened many doors for CPAA when none had hope.
Rekha Sapru was a columnist with Dharamyug and Eve's Weekly magazines. She was also a radio and TV artist and had worked with Doordarshan. She was one of the founder members of CPAA. Her husband, Mr. Sapru, started CPAA in 1969, but due to his busy work schedule, the daily running of the fledgling organisation fell on Mrs. Sapru by default. This was a task that she was well suited for, given her exposure to social work from childhood and her column 'Upchar Samachar' for Dharamyug where she answered readers' queries related to medical problems, experience that stood her in good stead when handling the queries of cancer patients and their families.
A general practitioner by profession, Dr. Bakre was well-known for her social work despite her growing practice. She joined CPAA in 1971 when its activities were expanding from just aid disbursement to including preventive aspects of cancer. She initiated CPAA's first cancer screening camp and has seen it grow from clinics at the Sophia College Medical Centre to St. Elizabeth Nursing Home, Adams Wylie Hospital at Agripada and Naigaon and most recently at Prabhadevi.
Alka Sapru Bisen has been working in cancer care for the last 31 years. After graduating in Microbiology (from St. Xaviers College, Mumbai), she obtained a Post Graduate Degree in Medical Laboratory Techniques from Nair Hospital. She joined CPAA, as Administrative Officer in charge of the Head and Neck Project at JJ Hospital in 1986. During her initial tenure of 18 years with CPAA she initiated and participated in several projects and programs like Cancer Awareness Programs in schools, colleges and work places, channelizing opportunities and projects for fund raising, Cancer Insurance Policy program, Tobacco control and the Anti Gutkha Campaigns and active participation in cancer prevention and screening. Alka is currently working for a not for profit cancer organization in Australia since the last 13 years.
Alka has recently been is appointed as the Chief Strategy Officer and Consultant on a voluntary basis and is a member of the Statutory Governing Body of CPAA.
Manju Gupta was the first newscaster and newsreader with Bombay Doordarshan, presenting programmes in both Hindi and English. In 1974 she moved to US and worked at Cornell University Medical College during the day, attending a course in Television and Film Production at night. When she returned to India in 1982, she joined Doordarshan again, a move that would eventually bring her to CPAA. She joined CPAA in 1984 and as her first assignment created 5 low cost audiovisuals for CPAA. These were greatly appreciated and raised awareness about CPAA activities. She then took charge of the newly sanctioned Adams Wylie center where the Red Cross had given space to CPAA, for rehabilitation and employment of cured cancer patients.
The Rehabilitation Centre started under her tutelage with just one person and a single machine. Manju has used her creativity to develop a range of merchandise in the center and each item is produced with an eye to detail.
Dr. Maudgal, a PhD from IIT Mumbai, has worked as a Resident Research Associate at NASA, USA; Technical Services Executive at Johnson & Johnson, Mumbai; Scientist at Aeronautical Development Establishment, Bangalore and Research Scientist at National Physical Laboratory, London.
When she joined CPAA in 1999 her first task was to help set up CPAA presence on the World Wide Web through an informative and exhaustive website. Having seen, what this relatively new medium could achieve abroad, Shubha felt that this was a project worth pursuing. The website provided a means to make CPAA’s activities known to a wider audience, helped network with similar organisations globally and made it easier to reach potential customers of products produced by the Rehabilitation Centre, thus making us economically self-sufficient. Today she spear-heads the Special Projects team by applying prevailing technology, ideas or issues to take the organisation forward and upward.
Gulshan joined CPAA in 1979 with a degree in Economics from Wilson College, Mumbai, as CPAA’s Administrative Officer and her association with CPAA is now over 30 years old. She worked with CPAA since the days when the operations were out of a small room and activities consisted of aid disbursement to about 10-15 people a month of Rs. 500 per month. She initially co-ordinated donations collected through moneyboxes placed at various locations throughout Mumbai. Today, Gulshan is in charge of Human Resources, Finance, Legal and Administrative matters of the association. Gulshan has been with CPAA through most of its ups and downs, and it is her efforts that keeps the gears turning smoothly.
Dr. Dhananjaya Saranath, Ph.D. from Mumbai University, fellow of the Maharashta Academy of Sciences, Professor Emeritus – School of Science, NMIMS, joined CPAA in May 2012, to direct CPAA research activities to the next level, reviewed by a professional Scientific Committee and Independent Ethics Committee. She has extensive experience in the field of Molecular Oncology, and has been a Research Director, Reliance Life Sciences; Deputy Director - Research, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre; and Head, Cancer Genes Laboratory, Cancer Research Institute.
She is a Member-at-Large, Council of the International Academy of Oral Oncology; Assessor, National Accreditation Board of Laboratory and Calibration testing, and College of American Pathologists, USA; President, Association of Molecular Pathologists, India, and Past President of the Indian Association of Cancer Research. Dr. Saranath is a member of several scientific advisory councils of national institutes. She has done pioneering work towards understanding the molecular basis of oral cancer, and her current focus in translational medicine aims towards ‘Molecular Diagnostics for All’ with cost effective tests for molecular biomarkers in human cancers. She has authored 80 publications in peer reviewed journals and chapters in books. She is instrumental in our Cervical Cancer screening project at the CPAA HPV Laboratory.
Neeta More is an Economics graduate and has qualified with a course in law. She joined CPAA in 1990 in Administration department, followed by a stint in Fund Raising, before she found her forte in the Awareness and Early Diagnosis Department. She now heads the Prevention and Early Diagnosis Department, which tries to tackle the problem of lack of knowledge and highlights the importance of regular cancer screening and follow up.
The team identifies groups, deliver lectures and arrange on-site camps at factories, mills and offices. Neeta has developed a special ability to reach the influential person in charge and arrange camps where most needed, be it a jails, police stations or even red light area. She has consciously formed alliances with social workers in various fields and organisations and paramedical social workers, to reach the underprivileged. She completed UICC's APCASOT Fellowship for a study that she undertook on the topic prevention and Early Detection at the Queensland Cancer Fund (QCF), Australia in 2007.
Anita Peter joined CPAA in 1991. Her multi faceted nature, exemplary, communication skills and commitment, soon saw Anita move to the position of Director, Cancer Insurance Policy, a department which required perfect balance between customer satisfaction, empathy towards patients and deliverance of Insurance claims on time.
She plays a very vital role in Event Management and shares a major responsibility in organising events for the association. Anita's liaising skills benefited the organisation in the form of donations and goodwill. She is the proud recipient of the UICC's APCASOT Fellowship for a study she undertook on the methodology utilised to combat tobacco issues and cancer screening at the Queensland Cancer Fund (QCF), Australia in 2004. Since then, Anita has been responsible for the training of the international APCASOT (UICC) scholars that CPAA hosts for a week every year.
An alumini of La Martiniere Girls college, Shailja Singh holds a Masters degree in Economics. Prior to joining CPAA she conducting women empowerment workshops and a range of welfare and social service activities throughout the country. She joined CPAA in 1997 in the capacity of a fund-raiser, and took CPAA’s fund collection drive to staggering new heights. Understanding the importance of media in garnering support for the cause, she liaised with some of the biggest corporate houses, celebrities and media houses to organise musical concerts, fashion shows, plays. This effort has resulted in drawing attention to the cause through extensive media coverage and in raising funds and support for CPAA. She has been able to plug-in to various CSR projects to facilitate aid for the treatment and rehabilitation of cancer patients.
Vinaya Chacko, heads the most vital Patient Care Department and has been with CPAA since 1990. She joined CPAA after acquiring a Bachelors degree in Arts (Social Sciences) from SNDT College, Mumbai. Her repertoire of activities include registration of patients, hospital visits, planning medical aid, counseling and support for patients and their family members.
Besides, she is associated with planning house visits for palliative patients, organising special events, conducting playgroups for pediatric patients at various hospitals and institutes. She has also started working on a clinical research relating to counseling of breast cancer patients. Vinaya has received special training through programs like Breast Cancer Support Group Volunteers Training course organized by Indian Cancer Society, Sahachari and Mastectomees Association of India and Training Progamme in Social Work for Volunteers organized by Department of Extra Mural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Science. She recently attended The International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) meeting at the CICG, Geneva, Switzerland, where she made a presentation on ‘Art Therapy for Cancer Afflicted Children’.