Robert Koch’s announcement of the tubercle bacillus in 1882 was a landmark, but attention in colonial India moved from the bacillus to the conditions in which it spread. From the turn of the century, tuberculosis was viewed as ‘a malady of civilization,’ caused by overcrowding and stress associated with urban industrialized life. Tuberculosis was euphemistically referred to as cough and or fever. It was not high on the medical agenda of British India, unlike cholera or malaria, as it did not directly affect the economy or administration . Yet, in Bombay city, tuberculosis came to be recognized as a public health challenge, and it was Sir Ratan J. Tata who suggested the project of the Anti -Tuberculosis League (ATL) at a public meeting in 1912 and promised an annual donation of Rs. 15,000, for ten years.