BY | January 19, 2011

Rakesh Kacker writes: An enlightened consumer is an empowered consumer.  An aware consumer not only protects himself from exploitation but induces efficiency, transparency and accountability in the entire manufacturing and services sector.  Realising the importance of consumer empowerment the Government has accorded top priority to Consumer Education, Consumer Protection and Consumer Awareness.  India is a country, which has taken a lead in introducing progressive legislation for consumer protection. The most important milestone in Consumer Movement in the country has been the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The Act has set in motion a revolution in the field of consumer rights that perhaps cannot have a any  parallel anywhere else in the World. The Act applies to all goods and services unless specially exempted by the Central Government, in all sectors whether Private, Public or Co-operative.

Basic Framework For Consumer Protection

Consumer protection initiatives by the Government hinge on 3 basic parameters.  Firstly, ensuring a legal framework that comprises of Consumer Protection Act.  Secondly, evolving standards for different products to enable the consumers to make an informed choice about different products.  Standards which are the essential building block for quality, play a key role in consumer protection.  Standards could be on technical requirement (specifications), improved specific standard terminology (glossary of terms), codes of practice or test methods or management systems standards.  The standards are set generally by Government or inter-Governmental bodies but worldwide it is beingrecognised that voluntary establishment of standards plays an equally important role for protecting consumers.  Thirdly, consumer awareness and education is the main building block for consumer protection.

Consumer Protection Act, 1986

The Act enshrines all consumer rights which are internationally accepted. Under the Act, a separate three-tier quasi judicial consumer dispute redressal machinery popularly known as consumer courts or consumer forums has been set up at the national, state and district level to provide simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal to the consumer grievances against any defective goods, deficiency in services including the restrictive/unfair trade practices.

Networking Of Consumer For a

In order to establish complete interlinking of computer networking of consumer court, namely, National Commission, 35 State Commissions and 607 District Forums for its monitoring and accessing various kinds of data, the Department is moving forward to introduce computerization and networking of all consumer forums.

Initiatives Towards Consumer Awareness And Education

In a country like ours, given the scenario of economic disparity and level of education and ignorance, educating the consumers, remains a gigantic task. This calls for concerted efforts from every one. Government has taken up number of initiatives for creating consumer awareness in the country.   The Consumer Awareness Scheme for the XIthPlan amounting to a total of Rs. 409 crores has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in January, 2008.

The slogan ‘Jago Grahak Jago’ has now become a household name as a result of the publicity campaign undertaken in the last 4 years.  Through the increased thrust on consumer awareness in the XIth  Five Year Plan, the Government has endeavoured to inform the common man of his rights as a consumer.  As part of the consumer awareness scheme, the rural and remote areas have been given top priority.

Multi Media Publicity Campaign

Multi-media publicity campaign are being undertaken through print and electronic media on the issues that are directly relevant to the role of the Department such as ISI, Hallmark, Labelling, MRP, Weights and Measures  etc,. Each advertisement is released through a network of  national  as well as regional newspapers throughout the country.  Simultaneously,  major initiative are being launched  wherein issues that have come into focus on account of new emerging areas such as telecom, real estate, credit cards, financial products, pharmaceuticals, Insurance, travel services, medicines etc. are under taken either through joint campaigns or joint consultations with the concerned Departments.

The Department of Consumer Affairs has video spots of 30 seconds duration on various consumer related issues, which are being telecast through Cable and Satellite channels.  Special programmes have also been telecast onLok Sabha TV and Doordarshan to highlight the issues relating to consumer awareness.  Issues pertaining to rural and remote areas have been given prominence in the various advertisement spots.

Meghdoot Postcards

Consumer awareness messages are also being disseminated through Meghdoot Post cards in consultation with Department of Post to reach far-flung rural areas including North-East States.  Posters carrying messages pertaining to consumer awareness have  been displayed in 1.55 lakh Rural Post Offices and more than 25000 Urban Post Offices  throughout the country.

National Consumer Helpline

The Department has launched a National Help Line. The toll free number 1800-11-4000 facility is available to consumers from 9.30 A.M. to 5.30 P.M. on all the working days.

Core Centre

The Department has launched on March 15, 2005 Consumer on Line Resources and Empowerment (CORE)  Centre on the website www.core.nic.in for consumer advocacy and online redressal of consumer grievances.  Through the various advertisements relating to consumer awareness, adequate publicity is being given to the activities of CORE and its website so that consumers can take the help of online counselling/guidance being provided through it.

Participation in India International Trade-Fair-2010

Exhibitions and Trade Fairs are also used as a tool for showcasing the consumer awareness initiatives of the Department.  The Department participated in the India-International Trade Fair organised in New Delhi from 14th to 27thNovember, 2010.  Thousands of visitors visited the ‘Jago Grahak Jago’ stall during the Trade Fair.  Publicity brochures containing information about Consumer Fora, National Consumer Helpline, Grievance Redressal Mechanism and sector specific information such as on real estate, telecom, financial products etc. was distributed free of cost to the visitors during the Fair.  The video advertisement spot as part of the ‘Jago Grahak Jago’ campaign was also run continuously to spread awareness on consumer issues among the visitors to the stall.  Representatives of National Consumer Helpline were also deputed to provide on-the-spot guidance to the visitors during the Trade Fair.  The Department also participated in an exhibition in Voorhees College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu in October, 2010.

Use of Sports Events

In order to reach maximum number of consumers, the Department telecasted video spots containing consumer related information during the popular sports events  where the audience interest is maximum.

Joint Publicity Campaign

As part of joint publicity campaign, various advertisements have been released on specific consumer issueslike  real estate, credit cards, pharmaceuticals, insurance, food safety etc.  to educate consumers.

Use of Internet to generate Consumer Awareness

Realizing that more than 70% population under the age of 35 years are using the internet in a big way, a major initiative is being taken to spread consumer awareness through the internet.  All the print advertisements as well as the Audio Video spots of the Department have been uploaded on the website of the Ministry i.e.www.fcamin.nic.in.

Special Scheme on Assistance to State Governments/UTs

Considering the fact that active involvement of State Governments in awareness campaign is crucial in taking forward the movement to rural, remote and backward areas, the involvement of the State/ UT administration has been given prominence in spreading the message of consumer awareness.  Grant-in-Aid has been given to the States/UTs for carrying out consumer awareness activities in the local media using the local language and emphasis has been made on involving Panchayati Raj institutions in the consumer awareness campaign.

Advertisements in journals of Publication Division

The Department has entered into a tie-up with Publication Division under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for displaying advertisements in the journals brought out by the Division such as Yojana, Kurukshetra, BalBharti, Aajkal and their regional editions.  Focussed articles on consumer awareness are also being published in these magazines keeping in view their target readership.

Collaboration with Gmbh for Technical Support

The Department has collaborated with Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) for providing technical support regarding production and development of publicity material.   Under the GTZ Project, advertisement spots pertaining to electronic media in the areas of MRP and consumer awareness regarding unhealthy trade practices were produced.   Under the Indo-German technical cooperation the publicity material published by the Department has also been analysed and suggestions for new publicity materials have been identified.    A ‘Consumer Diary’ is also being brought out under this Project.

Concurrent Evaluation of Publicity Campaign

A comprehensive survey was undertaken by Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) covering 12 States and 144 districts in the country.  The survey  revealed that about 62.56 per cent respondents from both rural and urban areas were found to be aware of the publicity campaign run by the Department.   Findings of the IIMC survey have been duly considered and incorporated while finalising the Media Plan for undertaking consumer awareness activities.   Mid-term evaluation of the campaign has also been carried out by an empanelled agency of the Planning Commission and the study report has come out with encouraging reports regarding the Jago Grahak Jago Campaign.

Proactive Legislation For Consumer Protection

In consonance with the special emphasis placed by this Department on the development of legal metrology in the country, a comprehensive Legal Metrology Bill has been enacted to replace the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and the Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985. It intends to further simplify the requirements of weights and measures in inter-state trade, optimum utilisation of existing legal metrology infrastructure in the country and provide for personnel who are better attuned to the ever changing requirements, to handle the subject of legal metrology in the States/UTs.

National Consumer Protection Authority

Another important policy initiative by the Department is a proposal for setting up a National Consumer Protection Authority, which would be a proactive body empowered to take suo moto action for better protection of the interests of the consumers in general. This Department is also in the process of framing a ‘National Consumer Policy’ which would shape the future of consumer movement in the country. Under this policy, it is proposed to attune the consumer movement in the country with the United Nations Guidelines on Consumer Protection.

Upgradation Of Standards

In helping the consumer to exercise their rights, quality and standards have a crucial role to play. Standards provide consumers with reliable benchmarks of quality.  Quality consciousness is not yet a way of life in India as it is in the West, the Department has succeeded in putting in place an economic framework to promote quality.  The BIS has taken new initiatives in introducing a certification scheme for foreign manufacturers and imported goods, food safety certification as per ISO Standards. Certification Scheme for Hallmarking of Gold jewellery and Silver artefacts is an important contribution of BIS in safeguarding consumer interests.

The Future Roadmap

The multi-media publicity to educate consumers and make them aware about their rights will have a long lasting impact not only on the end consumers but also on the entire manufacturing and services sector. It will go a long way in introducing greater accountability and transparency in the services provided by the public as well as private sector since the end user i.e. consumer will be educated and will become aware enough to ask for best possible services in return of his hard earned money.   The day is therefore not far off when the consumers will be  truly empowered.

RELATED

X-37b lands on Earth safely. It is needless to say that the whole world's attention was fixed at it. Secret agencies from around the world must be dying to get some clues about it. The X-37B Space Plane of the US has turned out to be a big mystery that many in countries and...

X-37B pic 2

New Delhi: The Congress Monday removed Shashi Tharoor as a party spokesperson for praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a decision the diplomat-turned-politician said he accepted as a "loyal party worker". The All India Congress Committee (AICC) Monday took the decision...

Flipkart, Amazon war starts in India, Future Group joins Amazon, the rising star on the Indian ecommerce scene One of the biggest brick and mortar retailer in India Future Group has announced that it was signing going to collaborate with one of India’s top ecommerce...

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government Sunday urged the central government to declare cyclone Hudhud a national calamity and provide Rs.2,000 crore as an interim relief package. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with this...

hudhud

The 2014 Nobel science prizes update. Top Stanford scientist shares top world prize in Chemistry Stanford University researchers are back in the limelight. This is not for the first time that they have grabbed headlines. Earlier too they made their university proud. And now...

stanford university
  • http://www.ayjnihhh.nic.in Balaji Shinde

    मेरे पास एक (९७५७३९७ ४८६), मुंबई महानगर टेलिफोन का प्रीपेड नंबर ही जिसमे दिनांक १५/०९/२०११ को रुपय २०६ /- धन था ! लेकीन अचान उसी रात रुपय २०० /- निकाल गये और शेष बचा कुल २.०६ पैसे .

    मैने मुंबई महानगर टेलिफोन,के काल सेंटर मी लगातार ४ दिन काल करकर परेशान राहा लेकीन मुझे कोई समाधान कारक जवाब नाही मिला ..
    मिला क्या तो एक तक्रार क्रमांक .३८५२५१ . जैसे तुम तक्रार करते राहो.
    फिर भी मेरा कुल धन वापस नाही आया है ?

    एसे समय मी मुजे क्या करणा है ,येह बतानेकी जानकारी दे ?

    प्राध्यापक
    बालाजी शिंदे ,नेरूळ नवी मुंबई -७०६
    ९८६९६४५३४९ .

  • http://WWW.SONY.CO.IN ABHISHEK BANSAL

    I BOUGHT A SONY HANDY CAM FROM NOIDA (E-MEHTA STORES PVT LTD) ON 27.10.11 AND PLACED A REQUEST FOR DEMO WITH SONY INDIA CO. SONY INDIA CO HAD NOT GIVEN THE DEMO SERVICE TO ME DESPITE OF SEVERAL REMINDER / REQUEST. I WANT TO IMMIDIATE DEMO OR WANT MONEY BACK.

    PLEASE HELP.

    I AM A MIDDLE CLASS PERSON.

  • imdadullah m shaikh

    Sir,

    My name is Imdadullah M Shaikh.

    On 02/05/2010 I have purchased YAMAHA FZ16 from so called sub dealer Prince Yamaha Shrirampur, Dist Ahmednagar, and since the day first I complain and brought into notice of the subdealer as well as dealer of Sangamner M/S ARIHANT YAMAHA;259;NASIK PUNE ROAD; GHULEWADI; SANGAMNER; TALUKA SANGAMNER; DIST-AHMEDNAGAR; MAHARASHTRA – 422606 that the said bike is not giving Mileage as per your promise i.e., 50 km/liter.

    I say that the said bike is giving mileage of less than 30km/liter and not more at any condition.

    The Prince Yamaha as well as dealer has taking this matter on cold shoulder and not giving me any response.

    I have already filed a complaint against both dealer as well as sub-dealer in Consumer Forum At Ahmednagar for some other issues regarding the same vehicle.

    Please Note that if you not resolve my issue within Seven days of this Notice I may be restrained to file complaint in Consumer forum regarding this issue also and you have to bear cost and consequences thereof.

    Yours Truly,
    Imdadullah M Shaikh.
    Mobile: 9272344114

  • rohan don

    good thing

  • P.K.Garg

    Dear Sir,

    I had prepaid no 9650993350 of air tel. It had the validity , balance money. I had gone abroad and did not use it for 173 days. On my return when when I wanted to inform my children about safe arrival. This no would not work thus caused tension and anxiety.
    Next day when I contacted airtel office, they told me the no has been allotted to somebody else. How can they do it. In fact it was not operative I tried this no. I am a senior citizen and feeling cheated by this co. How can they swallow my money.
    My humble submission is through your esteemed columns, Please inform the prepaid users as to what are the legal provisions so that they can take necessary action in time( like they told me you must recharge within three months) and avoid inconvenience and loss of money.
    With regards
    P.K.Garg

  • VASANT L. KSHIRSAGAR

    sir,
    I am Vasant L.Kshirsagar age 65 years from Pune .My application to you regarding HDFC STD. LIFE . I am holding a policy with HDFC UNIT LINKED PENSION PLAN POLICY NO.100001833 OPTED ON MARCH 2004 BY INVESTING Rs.25000/- AFTER 8 YEARS OF INVESTMENT IT IS DUE ON 4/2/2012. AMOUNT OFFERED Rs.38861.20 ONLY. HENCE RATE OF INT. IS VERY FEEBLE, WHICH WAS PROMISED THAT IT WILL BE MORE THAN LAKHS AT LEAST.
    NOW ABOVE THAT THEY ARE OFFERING RS 12000/- CASH AND REMAINING AMOUNT OF 25000/- WILL CARRY 7.47%INT.WHICH IS PAYABLE YEARLY BASIS.THE AMOUNT MAY REFUND TO MY NOMINEE ONLY AFTER MY DEATH.
    MY COMPLIANT IS INTEREST RATE ON AMOUNT 38861.20 IS VERY LESS IT SHOULD BE 9 -10 % .
    ANNUITY AMOUNT OFFERED IS ONLY 1250,1855,1936 FOR 2/3 AMOUNT
    2203,31.6,3233 FOR 100% AMOUNT
    FOR OPTION OFFERED STEP 1,2,3 RESPECTIVELY.
    I FEEL THIS TOTAL IS AGAINST CUSTOMERS
    PLEASE GUIDE ME ON THIS ISSUE
    THANKS
    V.L.KSHIRSAGAR 9226364766

  • Niraj Mishra

    Dear Sir,

    My Name Niraj Kumar Mishra Mera problem hai ki Mera Account HDFC BANK Me Hai PLOT NO. 28,BLOCK B,COMMUNITY
    CENTRE ,JANAKPURI, NEW DELHI
    JANAKPURI
    NEW DELHI 110058
    NEW DELHI
    011-61606161
    INR
    nirajmishra2009@yahoo.com
    33849571
    A/c No.01291050157292 Problem ye hai ki Mare Account me 20,786/- rupees the maine 31-07-11 Axix Bank ke ATM SE MAINE 20,000/- RUPEES NIKALNE KA KOSHIS KIYE LAKIN SIRF MAINE 10,000/ RECEIVE KIYE OR MARE Account me 786/-rupees balance dikhane lage . jabki maine apne hdfc bank me complain kiye or custmer care baat kiye or usne mujhe complain no. 247294 diye lakin mera 10,000/ rupees return nahi kiye or upar se hadc bank wale mare account ko close karwa diye or ek naya account open karwa diye or bole ki agar aapka paisa aayega to mai aapke account me transfer karwa dunga. sir 8 month ho gaye lakin mera paisa abhi tak reverse nahi hua hai maine complen or mail send karte karte pareshan ho gaya hu please sir mera paisa return karwa dijiye mare liye 10,000/- maine rakhta hai plz plz plz sir.

    Yours Faithfully
    Niraj Mishra
    9891353243

  • gopal jadhav

    hello sir…!
    My name gopal jadhav from ghodegoan tal-newasa dist-ahmadnagar
    and I’m newasa polytechnic college so my exam reset is no come so I’m complete fee pad my my exam r no write so 1 year los sir plz help me sir….!
    Pllllllllz help me sir….!

  • Surya Prakash Gupta

    Dear Sir,
    I had given my house hold goods to
    Saradha Packers and Movers,
    101/1 , Ashoke Garh
    Dunlop , Kolkata – 700 108
    Phone No. : 033-25100988,25100987
    Mobile No. : +91 9831282111
    +91 9831283555
    for relocation from Kolkata to Hyderabad.

    Initially they told me that 10 days of transit time will be required to transfer the goods. It has been almost 2 months and they are just asking for un-reasonable money to be transferred to their account even though I have made the full payment. They keep calling me and saying that if I do not transfer Rs. 5000/- they will throw away my goods and then I will not be able to get my goods even if I approach a consumer court.

    Please help me in getting my goods from these cheats.

  • Digesh Ramani

    Dear Sir,

    my name is digesh ramani
    my prepaid no 9624819440

    so please advice
    i am close sms service & all service
    but not close propley & i complain idea care office.
    but not respond carefully & delete my balance.

    sir firts time colse service but not add my balane. maine customer care me complen karte pareshan ho gaya hu. ab me apane sare cut huaa balence vapas pana chahta hu.

    & also provide your cotect no. please send me my email address.

    sir….!
    Pllllllllz help me sir….!