Views & Reviews
The Significance of World Consumer Rights Day
Every year the 15th March is observed as the ‘World Consumer Rights Day’(WCRD) and the significance of this day is that on this day in 1962 John F. Kennedy, the then President of the United States of America declared four consumer rights in his Special Message to the American Congress. Later on the International Organisations of Consumers Union(IOCU) now called International Consumers(IC) added four more rights to the list. These rights are: 1. Right to safety 2. Right to be informed 3. Right to choose 4. Right to be heard 5. Right to redress 6. Right to consumer education 7. Right to a healthy environment 8. Right to basic needs. The Government of India has included these rights in its 20 point programme. These have also been incorporated in the United Nations Charter of Human Right. Elsewhere in the world, people have been observing this day since 1983. The World Consumer Rights Day was first celebrated as the state function in Nagaland at State Academy Hall Kohima in the year 1997 under the Convenership of Shri. Kezhokhoto Savi with the then Chief Minister of Nagaland Dr. S.C. Jamir as the Chief Guest with a host of his cabinet ministers. Since then the state of Nagaland has been regularly observing the World Consumer Rights Day as per the instructions of the Govt. of India, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution System, New Delhi and this is an occasion for celebration and solidarity within the International Consumer movement and this day is also celebrated to mark the adoption of the United Nations guidelines for Consumer Protection since 1985. More importantly, it is a time for promoting the basic rights of all consumers, for demanding that those rights are respected and protected and for protesting the market abuses and social injustices which undermine them. World Consumer Rights Day was first observed on 15th March, 1983. Two years later, on 9th April 1985, the United Nations’ General Assembly adopted the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection.
The State of Nagaland is observing the World Consumer Rights Day with the rest of the world with the global theme – ‘Tackling Plastic Pollution”. Every year the department of Legal Metrology & Consumer Protection(LMCP) organise a program in every district under the initiative the district office of the department and banners are put up to reminds every person as a consumer and knowing one’s own consumer right is necessary to protect oneself. This year the Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation(NVCO) has been observing a two week long-celebration of world consumer rights day which is to be culminate on 15th March 2021.
NVCO President Kezhokhoto Savi who is also a recipient of First Prize National Award said that we take this celebration as an opportunity to highlight the importance of the consumer movement and the need to make the consumer more aware of their rights and responsibilities. The awareness of consumer rights and duties is more important in rural areas and the responsibility of this rests 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. As far as redressal of the consumers’ grievances is concerned one has to first call up Nagaland State Consumer Helpline Toll Free No. 1800 – 345 – 3701 which is an alternate remedy mechanism before approaching either the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum or State Commission or National Commission. The right to safety means the right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property and the right to information means the consumer has the right to get information about the quality, quantity, purity and standard and prices of goods and services.
Press & Media Cell, NVCO