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org/in

International Journal of Advanced Scientific
Research & Development e-ISSN: 2395-6089
p-ISSN: 2394-8906
Vol. 04, Spl. Iss. 02, Ver. I, Feb’ 2017, pp. 21 – 26

AN INVESTIGATION OF AWARENESS OF WOMEN ON
CONSUMER RIGHTS IN THE RURAL CONTEXT
Dr. C. Natarajan1 and Dr. P. Marishkumar2
1 Assistant Professor of Commerce, Directorate of Distance Education, Annamalai University,
Annamalai Nagar - 608 002.
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Management Studies, V.M.K.V Engineering College,
Vinayaka Missions University, Periyaseeragapapdi, Salem - 641 046.

ARTICLE INFO ABSTRACT
Article History: Consumers are the largest economic group of any society and
Received: 20 Jan 2017; they are the central point of all the activities performed by the
Accepted: 22 Jan 2017; companies. In India more than 68 per cent of the people are
Published online: 10 Feb 2017. living in villages. The development of India depends on
development of villages and that is possible only through the
Key words: growth of agriculture and its allied activities. Most percentage
Consumer Rights, of rural population did not find the time to know about their
Consumer Protection, rights. The women need to aware of the consumer rights. Safe
Consumer Forum, and fair financial services is important for consumers
Rural Consumers, especially in women consumers, in some situations they may
Consumer Awareness. be offered substandard products, overpriced, unsafe or
worthless by the product manufacturers. The researchers have
adopted multi-stage sampling. In the first stage, 4 blocks out
of the 13 blocks i.e. 40 per cent of the blocks were selected on
simple random basis. The blocks selected were
Kattumannarkoil, Keerapalayam, Komaratchi, Nallur and
Mangalur. In the second stage, 5 villages were selected from
each selected blocks. In the third stage, five rural women were
selected from each village selected on purposive basis.
Therefore, the sample size consists of 100 rural women. As an
essential part of the study, the primary data were collected
from the rural women with the help of interview schedule. The
results reveal that there is a significant relationship among
the awareness level of the rural women belonging to different
age groups, educational status, income groups, occupations
and blocks towards consumer rights in Cuddalore district. So
as to popularize consumer rights among rural women, the
study suggests various measures.
Copyright © 2017 IJASRD. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Common Attribution
License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original
work is properly cited.

How to cite this article: Natarajan, C., & Marishkumar, P., (2017). “An Investigation of Awareness of Women on
Consumer Rights in the Rural Context”. International Journal of Advanced Scientific Research & Development (IJASRD),
04 (02/I), [Special Issue – Feb’ 2017], pp. 21 – 26.
An Investigation of Awareness of Women on Consumer Rights in the Rural Context

INTRODUCTION
Consumers are the largest economic group of any society and they are the central
point of all the activities performed by the companies. They play a central role in
functioning of the economy. Indian market have been witnessing several changes on
account of globalization, liberalization and privatization and a large scale entry of
multinational company is a major outcomes of new economic order. Market resources
and influences are growing gradually and so is the awareness of consumer rights. These
rights are well defined and agencies like the government, consumer courts and
voluntary organizations that work towards safeguarding them. Hence, consumer rights
and responsibilities are knotted together and without sharing consumer responsibility,
consumers will find it very difficult to enjoy their rights on a long-term basis. Awareness
of consumer rights is most vital to society and a way to eliminate malpractices of the
producers and marketers. The awareness is much needed today as consumers pay for
the products from their hard earned money and they should get its worth. A consumer,
on his part, must make every effort to inform himself of the product or service. Although
there are number of laws introduced and still the traders find it easy to dodge and
ultimately consumers are the sufferers. Hence, the need of the consumer rights
awareness and legal remedies through consumer courts to help the society’s welfare.

1.1 Consumer Rights
Consumer rights guaranteed under the Consumer Protection Act 1986 under the
constitution of India are: right to safety; right to be protected against the marketing of
goods or services which are hazardous to life and property; right to information; right to
be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or
services as the case may be, so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices;
right to choose; right to be assured, wherever possible, access to a variety of goods and
services at competitive prices; right to be heard and to be assured that rural consumers'
interest will receive due consideration at appropriate manner; right to redressal; right to
seek redressal against unfair trade practices or restrictive trade practices or
unscrupulous exploitation of rural consumers; right to consumer education; right to
acquire knowledge and skills needed for taking action to influence factors which affect
consumer decision; right to healthy environment; right to physical environment that
enhance the quality of life, it includes protection against environmental dangers over
which the individual has no control; and right to basic needs.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
In India more than 68 per cent of the people are living in villages. The
development of India depends on development of villages and that is possible only
through the growth of agriculture and its allied activities. Most percentage of rural
population did not find the time to know about their rights. The rural consumers are not
well prepared and they have very weak bargaining power. As consumers, women live
under a good deal of pressure. Many women must find ways to feed their families on a
limited budget. They search for a balance between affordability, nutrition and
availability countered with the personal preferences of their families. In these markets

Volume 04, Special Issue 02, Version I | 10th February’ 2017 22
National Conference on Consumer Protection (NCCP – 17) | Jointly Organized by Citizen
Consumer Club, Dept., of Commerce with PA & IT and PG & Research Dept., of Commerce,
Kaamadhenu Arts and Science College, Sathyamangalam – 611 002, Tamil Nadu, India.

poor and backward consumers are exploited by traders in different ways such as the
sale of substandard quality, expiry date product, etc. Consumers are not given correct
information and after sale service provided is not adequate. The women need to aware of
the consumer rights. Safe and fair financial services is important for consumers
especially in women consumers, in some situations they may be offered substandard
products, overpriced, unsafe or worthless by the product manufacturers. Lack of
awareness has its root in many things in general and in particular it lies in illiteracy in
India. Lack of consumer education is the root of the problem of unawareness among the
people of India about available rights and remedies in cases anything goes against the
interest of consumer in Therefore, there is need for spreading consumer rights
awareness among various section of society, particularly the illiterate and more so the
helpless and unorganized section among them. In this context, the researchers have
made an attempt to study the awareness level of the rural women towards consumer
rights in Cuddalore district.

1.3 Objectives of Study
1. To appraise the rights of the consumers under Consumer Protection Act,1986
2. To examine the awareness level of the rural women towards consumer rights in
Cuddalore district.
3. To suggest appropriate measure to popularize consumer rights among rural
women in Cuddalore district.

1.4 Hypothesis
The study is based on the formulation of the following hypothesis: H 0: There is no
significant relationship among the awareness level of the rural women belonging to
diverse socio-economic profile towards consumer rights in Cuddalore district.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
The present study is confined only to rural women in Cuddalore district. The
researchers have adopted multi-stage sampling. In the first stage, 4 blocks out of the 13
blocks i.e. 40 per cent of the blocks were selected on simple random basis. The blocks
selected were Kattumannarkoil, Keerapalayam, Komaratchi, Nallur and Mangalur. In
the second stage, 5 villages were selected from each selected blocks. In the third stage,
five rural women were selected from each village selected on purposive basis. Therefore,
the sample size consists of 100 rural women. As an essential part of the study, the
primary data were collected from the rural women with the help of interview schedule.
The secondary data have been collected mainly from journals, magazines, government
reports, books and unpublished dissertations. To arrive at meaningful conclusion,
analysis of one-way variance, student t-test, analysis of co-efficient of variation, multiple
regression analysis and percentage analysis have been employed.

23 Volume 04, Special Issue 02, Version I | 10th February’ 2017
An Investigation of Awareness of Women on Consumer Rights in the Rural Context

FINDINGS
1. There is a significant relationship among the awareness level of the rural women
belonging to different age groups, educational status, income groups, occupations
and blocks towards consumer rights in Cuddalore district.
2. The respondents of the age group 31-40 years, respondents having degree
qualification, respondents who have annual household income above Rs.75000,
women engaged in agricultural activities, and respondents belonging to
Keerapalayam block have high level of awareness towards consumer rights in
Cuddalore district.
3. The variation in the awareness level was high among the respondents of age
group upto 30 years, and among the respondents who have annual household
income Rs.50001-75000 towards consumer rights in Cuddalore district. A
consistency is found in the awareness level of illiterate respondents, among the
respondents of artisans, and among the respondents of Komaratchi block towards
consumer rights.
4. There has been a low degree of correlation between the awareness levels of the
rural women towards consumer rights and selected personal variables. The R
square indicates that 2% of variation in the awareness level is explained by all
personal variables taken together. The F value indicates that the multiple
correlation coefficients are not significant. Gender, age, education, occupation,
and block they belong to have no significant effect on their awareness level.
5. Lack of avenues to discuss consumer rights, family constraints, lack of capacity
building exercises, lack of access to information, poor network with various sets
of people and inadequate education and training are the reasons of the rural
women for poor level of awareness on consumer rights in Cuddalore district.

SUGGESTIONS
1. Government through its legislative and other measures should promote welfare
of consumers by encouraging faire trade practices. So as to reach a large number
of rural consumers, a vigorous campaign with the involvement of the panchayats
needs to be taken up. The Gram Panchayats could play considerable role in
creating awareness at the grassroots level. The Gram Panchayats also can
consider using media such as documentary films, street plays, competitions, etc.
to spread consumer awareness.
2. Published periodicals and booklets, pamphlets cassettes, CDs, slides,
documentary films for promoting consumer awareness in regional languages. The
topic of consumer awareness should be included in the curriculum of high
schools, colleges for students of all streams. More seminars and workshops
should be conducted in educational institutions.
3. Awareness should be created among consumers through newspapers, televisions,
pamphlets and hoarding at different places in the rural areas. Television should
show programmes on the experiences of various consumers who have got justice
through various talk shows. So that public believes in the genuineness of the
Consumer Protection Act.
Volume 04, Special Issue 02, Version I | 10th February’ 2017 24
National Conference on Consumer Protection (NCCP – 17) | Jointly Organized by Citizen
Consumer Club, Dept., of Commerce with PA & IT and PG & Research Dept., of Commerce,
Kaamadhenu Arts and Science College, Sathyamangalam – 611 002, Tamil Nadu, India.

4. The government, voluntary organizations and educational institutes should come
forward to educate the rural women consumers towards important of their rights
and responsibilities. This can be done through the frequently conducting of
awareness compagain in rural areas. The services of primary school teachers
could be utilized in conducting consumer awareness programmes.
5. Department of Consumer Affairs in consultation with the Ministry of Panchayat
Raj should take desired initiatives to have mandatory meetings of the Gram
Sabha on 24th December i.e. National Consumer Day where the villagers could
properly be educated about their rights as consumers.

CONCLUSION
Awareness of consumer rights is one of the indicators of progressiveness of the
society. So as to promote a responsible and responsive consumer movement in the
country, the Department of Consumer Affairs has initiated various programs including
multi-media campaigns and consumer involvement through efforts of government and
non-governmental actions. Along with the campaigning, the Government of India and
the Department of Consumer Affairs are creating awareness and established the
District, State, and National Consumer Redressal Forums under Consumer Protection
Act 1986. A multi-media campaign Jago Grahak Jago and other publicity campaigns are
being aired on television, radio, newspaper and outdoor advertising. The present
research focused to know the awareness level of rural women towards consumer rights
in Cuddalore district. It has been surveyed among the 100 rural women. So as to
popularize consumer rights among rural women, the study suggests various measures.

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An Investigation of Awareness of Women on Consumer Rights in the Rural Context

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