Introduction THE PROCESS of development along with the expanding globalisation and liberalisation process has increased the

number of consumer related issues. Consumer protection has earned an important place in the political, economic and social agendas of many nations. In India, the Government has taken many steps including legislative, to protect consumers. Education is a life long process of constantly acquiring relevant information, knowledge and skills. Consumer education is an important part of this process and is a basic consumer right that must be introduced at the school level. Consumers by definition include all citizens who are, by and large the biggest group, who are affected by almost all government, public or private decisions. The most important step in consumer education is awareness of consumer rights. However, consumer education is incomplete without the responsibilities and duties of consumers, and this influences individual behaviour to a great extent. Definition Consumer awareness is making the consumer aware of His/Her rights. Consumer awareness it a marketing term. It means that consumers note or are aware of products or services, its characteristics and the other marketing P's (place to buy, price, and promotion). Usually commercials and ads increase consumer awareness, as well as "word of mouth" (a comment from someone you know about a product or service). Need of Consumer Awareness 1) It has been observed that the people for,whom various schemes have been taken up by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), in fact, do not get benefit as expected. This is mainly because they are not fully aware of these schemes and their benefits. Also, only knowledgeable and alert consumers aware of their rights and responsiblities can protect themselves effectively. The need of the hour is, therefore, to educate the common consumers particularly those in rural areas who are more susceptible to exploitation. Once they are educated and made aware of the schemes that have been drawn up for their benefit and also the redressal forum that is available, the benefit of various schemes, in true sense, will reach the common consumers of the country. It is, therefore, our bounden duty to play our part jointly and effectively in disseminating various schemes to the common consumers of the country. In this regard, the role of the voluntary consumer organizations, consumer activists, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions and media cannot be ignored. 2) Making existing and potential customers knowledgeable about products/services, consumer awareness programs create more informed buying decisions. Consumers cannot purchase products and services if they do not know they exist. A lack of consumer

awareness in any industry can harm sales. If specific products and services are better known, those products and services will remain on the front line in sales. Therefore, it is important to implement consumer awareness programs that will introduce and make the target audience aware of the products and services a company offers. Consumer awareness programs can be initiated through the utilization of flyers, brochures, television, radio, guides, fact sheets, information posted to a Web site, school programs, and other sources depending upon the topic and the message delivered. 3) we need it so we will not be misled by producers,it explains if what we buy is worth to our money..and not harmful to us and to environment . Many people are ignorant of their rights to get protected against the exploitation by so many others. So when there is a forum for such redress of grievances there seems to be no such exploitation by many; and becomes a rare one. So in order to get a clear picture of the level of exploitation of consumers, the awareness is required. Various Forms Of Consumer Exploitation 1) Adulteration of foods (use of unpermitted colours) 2) Sales of medicines after expiry date. 3) Spurious drugs (Sub-standard drugs) 4) Supply of blood from a blood bank infected with AIDS or other diseases. 5)Advertisement with false claims 6) Shortage of weight and quality Excessive price. 7) Death of a person due to medical negligence of a doctor. 8) Consumer redressal. 9) Always insist on cash bill. 10) Send a complaint petition to the manufacturer. If they do not respond within a reasonable time, file your petition before the court. 11) Get help from consumer organisations working in your area. Role of Producers in Protecting Consumer Rights 1) The role of producers is very significant with far reaching consequences. The producers are under obligation to produce goods conforming to the prescribed standards, such as ISI, wherever such standards are prescribed. Secondly, they must provide written literature giving details to reasonable extent about the products, their ingredients, their do and don'ts, warranty or guarantee, MRP, date of manufacture and expiry, operational instructions.............etc. as the case may be, with each unit of product. Provision of the address of the manufacturer with other contact details is significant as

the customer may ultimately have to fall back in case of need. Packing of products to reach them safe at the end user point, quick response and remedial measures in case of any wrong happening...etc could be very helpful to save consumers from big hassles and losses. Not going into very much details here, if the producer take all reasonable care, for which he has the facilities and abilities, a high volume of troubles gets eliminated by facilitating the consumer rights this way providing right quality products, each unit tested and certified. 2) Role of producers proper labeling, full information, health warnings, handling information, expiration date, etc. keep to requirements, norms, standards labelproducts according requirements, providing true facts They have to produce and deliver the goods/services of rght quality at right price at right time at right place at right quantity with right face If they are providing a service they should carry it out with due skill and care. They must also make sure that any materials they provide as part of this service are fit for the purpose. It is also illegal for a supplier to cut off, or threaten to cut off, supply to a reseller (wholesale or retail) because they have been discounting goods or advertising discounts below prices set by the supplier. The 8 Consumer Rights Right to Safety Right to Information Right to Choice Right to be Heard The Right to Redress The right to consumer education The Right to Basic Needs and The right to a healthy and sustained environment. Right to Basic Needs

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful