National Consumer Day – 24th December
National Consumer Rights Day is observed on December 24th annually in India to spread awareness regarding consumer rights and responsibilities. On this day the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 had received the assent of the president. The enactment of this Act is considered a historic milestone in the consumer movement in the country. The National Consumer Rights Day is an annual occasion for celebration and solidarity within the national consumer movement and is an opportunity to promote the basic rights of all consumers.
The Consumer Protection Act aims to provide consumers with effective safeguards against different types of exploitation such as defective goods, deficiency in services, and unfair trade practices. This day provides an opportunity for individuals to highlight the importance of the consumer movement and the need to make every consumer more aware of their rights and responsibilities.
The day is observed with a specific theme every year and the theme for the year 2022 is “Fair Digital Finance”.
Consumer Protection Division is mandated to implement the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, and Consumer Protection, 1987. It is entrusted with the framing of policy related to the protection of the interests of the consumers, particularly those grievances arising in the post-sale of goods and services.
Consumer Rights in India
Right to Safety
This means the right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services, which are hazardous to life and property. The purchased goods and services availed of should not only meet their immediate needs but also fulfill long-term interests.
Before purchasing, consumers should insist on the quality of the products as well as on the guarantee of the products and services. They should preferably purchase quality marked products such as ISI, AGMARK, etc
Right to be Informed
This means the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard, and price of goods so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices.
Consumers should insist on getting all the information about the product or service before making a choice or a decision. This will enable him to act wisely and responsibly and also enable him to desist from falling prey to high-pressure selling techniques.
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Right to Choose
This means the right to be assured, wherever possible of access to a variety of goods and services at a competitive price. In the case of monopolies, it means the right to be assured of satisfactory quality and service at a fair price. It also includes the right to basic goods and services. This is because the unrestricted right of the minority to choose can mean a denial for the majority of its fair share. This right can be better exercised in a competitive market where a variety of goods are available at competitive prices
Right to be Heard
This means that consumers’ interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums. It also includes the right to be represented in various forums formed to consider the consumer’s welfare.
Consumers should form non-political and non-commercial consumer organizations which can be given representation in various committees formed by the Government and other bodies in matters relating to consumers.
Right to Seek redressal
This means the right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers. It also includes the right to fair settlement of the genuine grievances of the consumer.
Consumers must make complaints about their genuine grievances. Many times their complaint may be of small value, but its impact on society as a whole may be tremendous. They can also take the help of consumer organizations in seeking redressal of their grievances.
Right to Consumer Education
This means the right to acquire the knowledge and skill to be an informed consumer throughout life. Ignorance of consumers, particularly of rural consumers, is mainly responsible for their exploitation. They should know their rights and must exercise them. Only then real consumer protection can be achieved with success.
Jago Grahak Jago (Wake Up, Customer!) is a consumer awareness program launched by the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Ministry of Consumer, and Public Distributions by the Government of India. The government has used various media to make Indian consumers aware of their consumer rights like print, media advertisements, audio campaigns, and video campaigns for consumer information and education.
Department of Consumer Affairs ensures timely redressal of consumer grievances and for that, they have set a National Consumer Helpline – Call 1800-11-4000 or 14404. Timing: All Days Except National Holidays (09:30 AM To 05:30 PM).
Visit the website jagograhakjago.gov.in for further inquiry regarding the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Government of India, and the Department facilitate consumers to access various services on a single platform.
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