The Significance of World Consumer Rights Day
World Consumer Rights day is an opportunity to promote the basic rights of all consumers, demanding that those rights are respected and protected, and a chance to protest against the market abuses and social injustices which undermine these rights. The significance of the Day is that it has its origin in former US President John K. Kennedy’s declaration of four basic Consumer Rights in his 15th March 1962 Special Message to the US congress and therefore, March 15th is a historical date for consumer organizations worldwide as it was the date that President John F. Kennedy outlined his vision about consumer rights. John F. Kennedy was the first world leader to do so, and the consumer movement now marks that date every year as a means of raising global awareness about consumer rights. World Consumer Rights day originated in 1983 to mobilize citizen action. Citizen action groups have been contributing a large part of bringing change into the market place. They have lobbied for safer products and protections from harmful practices and products.
The importance of observing World Consumer Rights Day in the country especially Nagaland is beneficial to the citizens as it creates better awareness which is still lacking in our society especially in rural areas and the Day reminds the citizens to remember their rights and responsibilities as a consumer and the slogan – ‘An alert consumer is an asset to the nation’ speaks volumes on this occasion. World Consumer Rights Day is observing in Kohima Law College and State college of Teacher Education, Kohima on falls on 15th March 2017, the State of Nagaland is also giving importance as the day is going to observe in various ways in all the district and the function conducting in the state capital is celebrating in an enlightenment manner involving the participation of teachers, law students, Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation(NVCO) and department of Legal Metrology & Consumer Protection(LMCP). 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 one form or the other all along his life. Thus we all are consumers. When we approach the market as a consumer, we aspect value for money, i.e. right quality, right quantity, right prices, information about the mode of use, etc. But there may be instance where a consumer is harassed or cheated. He may be supplied with goods which do not perform as per their description or have one or more defects. Likewise, in case of services, there may be deficiency.
In India, the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is an important Act in the history of the consumer movement in the country. The Act was made to provide for the better protection and promotion of consumer rights through the establishment of Consumer Councils and quasi-judicial machinery. 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 protecting the market abuses and social injustices which undermine them. A vigilant consumer can contribute in reducing the problem of sub-standard, defective goods, deficiency services, adulteration, unfair trade practices, etc to a large extent. The responsibility for the promotion and protection of consumer rights rests with all of us and more particularly with governmental agencies.
Kezhokhoto Savi, national award recipient
President NVCO & Asst. Professor,
Kohima Law College