The importance of Consumer rights awareness

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Every year the World Consumer Rights Day is observed on 15th March. This year the theme of World Consumer Rights Day(WCRD) is “Trusted Smart Products”. The President of Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation(NVCO) Kezhokhoto Savi make a sincere appeal to the schools, colleges, voluntary consumers’ organisation, training institutes, state government, university, public organisation, students’ union, business community, women organisation, youth organisation, churches to acknowledge the importance of consumer rights education and observes the world consumer rights day on 15th March 2019 in a beneficial manner as Consumer Rights are now an integral part of our lives like a consumer way of life.
Consumer awareness is about making the consumer aware of his or her own rights. The moment a person comes into this world, he starts consuming. He needs milk, clothes, oil, soap water and many more things and these needs keep taking in one form or the other all along his life. Thus we are all ‘Consumer’. When we approach the market as a consumer, we expect value for money, i.e right quality, right quantity, right prices and information and knowledge about the mode of uses. And limited information, limited supplies and low literacy are the main factors causing exploitation of consumers. The consumers are to be aware of not only of the sale and purchase of goods, but also the health and security aspects. The Consumer Protection Act 1986 was one of the most important steps taken to protect the interest of consumers and the Act recognizes consumers’ right to seek redresses through the consumer disputes redressal agencies namely; District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum/District Forum, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission/State Commission and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission/National Commission. If any person felt cheated by traders or manufacturer and wish to make a complaint before the redressal agency then one can write the details on a plain paper. Attach the supporting documents that may be guarantee or warrantee card and cash memo with complaint and submit it to the appropriate forum or commission depending on the pecuniary jurisdiction.
Very often time we come across gullible consumers being cheated and exploited by seller due to their ignorance and lack of knowledge. It is essential that the consumers should be made aware of their rights and that information regarding the goods in the market be made readily available to them. Consumer awareness is the need of the hour as in this age of globalization, the main objective of each manufacture is to maximize his profit and in doing so they tend to neglect the interest of the consumers and exploit them by overcharging, under weighing, sales of products after expiry date, sale of spurious drugs(sub-standard drugs), misleading the consumers by giving false advertisement, etc. It is in a consumer’s best interest to have a high awareness of the products they buy. Higher awareness allows us to purchase quality products of the right price. There is a popular commercial which airs on television with the popular slogan “Jago Grahak Jago” which calls upon the consumers to know their rights and fight for it. As a matter of fact in order to help the jewellery buyers, there is the Bureau of Indian standard(BIS) hallmark which is the hallmarking system for marking gold as well as silver jewelleries sold in India certifying of the metal. It conforms to a set of standards laid by the BIS which is the national standard organisation of India and therefore, it is important to be aware about the BIS hallmark and its various components.
The awareness of consumer rights and duties is more important in rural areas and the responsibility of this rest with all of us and more particularly with the government agencies, the state government has to play a vital role for promoting welfare of consumers and protection of their rights. There are instances where state government is failing to check and control the various practices which are the root causes to price-rise and health hazards such as fund-raise by way of selling lottery tickets/raffle draw/cooked meat packed/buffet ticket/selling newspaper by way of asking donation, price-rise during festive seasons, illegal collection of cash at the check-gates by Nagaland Police/public organisation/federation/govt. agencies/union/association, unfair means of practices in the market such as selling sub-standard goods, under-weight especially by the butchers, selling expiry goods including medicine, removal of original price tag, fuel adulteration, food safety and safety devices, quality control especially in infrastructural developmental works, etc. While buying every consumer needs to keep in mind certain duties such as one needs is to check the accurate weights, date of expiry, read and understand the information provided on goods, obtain cash memo/receipt, check quality and quantity, ISI mark, MRP, etc.
Sd/-
Press & Media Cell,
NVCO

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