Jago Grahak Jago: Empowering Consumers

Jago Grahak Jago: Empowering Consumers

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"The customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption on our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider on our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so."


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Consumer is the real deciding factor for all economic activities. It is now universally accepted that the extent of consumer protection is a true indicator of the level of progress in a nation. The growing size and complexity of production and distribution systems, the high level of sophistication in marketing and selling practices and forms of promotion like advertising, etc. have contributed to the increased need for consumer protection.

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (External website that opens in a new window) is the most important legislation enacted to provide for effective safeguards to consumers against various types of exploitations and unfair dealings. This Act was amended in 2002 in the form of Consumer Protection (Amendment) Act, 2002 (External website that opens in a new window) with some important inclusions.

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  Consumer Rights
Consumer Rights  
  1. Safety
  2. Informed
  3. Choose
  4. Heard
  5. Seek Redressal
  6. Education

Right to Safety

Means 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

Means 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. Consumer 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.

Right to Choose

Means right to be assured, wherever possible of access to variety of goods and services at competitive price. In case of monopolies, it means right to be assured of satisfactory quality and service at a fair price. It also includes right to basic goods and services. This is because 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

Means that consumer's interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums. It also includes right to be represented in various forums formed to consider the consumer's welfare. The 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

Means right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers. It also includes right to fair settlement of the genuine grievances of the consumer. Consumers must make complaint for their genuine grievances.Many a times their complaint may be of small value but its impact on the society as a whole may be very large. They can also take the help of consumer organisations in seeking redressal of their grievances.

Right to Consumer Education

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.

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Help Did you know

World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated on the 15th of March every year and the National Consumer Rights Day on the 24th of December.

It is mandatory to declare the name and address of the importer of foreign goods on the packets and also the expiry date. If goods are made in one country and repacked in smaller quantities in another, it is required to state the names of both countries.

In case of a problem with regard to the weights and measures on packaged commodities, you can prefer a complaint with the Directorate/Department of Legal Metrology of your state.

The red vertical line on the left side of the medicine strip indicates that the medicine will be available only on prescription.

Consumer Complaints Redressal

To provide simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal of consumer disputes, the Consumer Protection Act envisages a three tier quasi-judicial machinery at the National, State and District levels. It is an alternative to the ordinary process of instituting actions before a civil court. These fora are mandated to provide simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal of the consumers' grievances. The three redressal agencies are the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) (External website that opens in a new window), State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (External website that opens in a new window) and District Forums (External website that opens in a new window).

 Who can file a Complaint?

  • A complainant in relation to any goods or services may be filled by a consumer or
  • Any voluntary consumer association registered under the Companies Act, 1956 (1of 1956)or under any other law for the time being in force or
  • The Central Government or any State Government; or
  • One or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers having the same interest or
    In case of death of a consumer, his legal heir or representative
  • A power of attorney holder cannot file a complaint under the Act.

 How to File a Complaint?

 Where to File a Complaint?

After the Computerization and Computer Networking of Consumer Forums in Country (ConfoNet) (External website that opens in a new window), users can track their case online. It is an internet based Case Monitoring System developed for automating the work flow of the consumer forums, starting from case registration until announcement of judgment. Users can search Cause lists (External website that opens in a new window), Judgements (External website that opens in a new window) and check Case Status (External website that opens in a new window).

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  Alternative Dispute Redressal
Alternative Dispute Redressal  

In order to provide prompt Consumer Resource and Grievance Redressal service, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (External website that opens in a new window) is a facilitating number of other systems like online consumer complaint, phone and SMS based complaint etc.

Consumer Online Resource & Empowerment Centre (CORE) (External website that opens in a new window)

Consumer Online Resources and Empowerment (CORE) Centre helps in consumer advocacy and online redressal of consumer grievances. Users can file a complaint online (External website that opens in a new window) by clicking the link (External website that opens in a new window). You can also call at the toll free number 1800-180-4566.

National Consumer Helpline (NCH) (External website that opens in a new window)

National Consumer Helpline (NCH) recognises the need of consumers for a Telephone Helpline to deal with a multitude of problems arising in their day-to-day dealings with business and service providers.

NCH provides a National Toll Free No-1800-11-4000 (for BSNL/MTNL Users), Other users can dial- 011-27006500 (normal call charges applicable). SMS to 8800939717 can also be sent mentioning the name and city. Users can also file the online complaint (External website that opens in a new window) by using its website.

You can also check the State Consumer helpline numbers (External website that opens in a new window).

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Consumer Awareness

An enlightened consumer is an empowered consumer. An aware consumer not only protects himself from exploitation but induces efficiency, transparency and accountability in the entire manufacturing and services sector. Realising the importance of consumer empowerment the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (External website that opens in a new window) has accorded top priority to Consumer Education, Consumer Protection and Consumer Awareness.

Jago Grahak Jago

The slogan 'Jago Grahak Jago' has now become a household name as a result of the publicity campaign undertaken in the last 5 years. Through the increased thrust on consumer awareness in the XIth Five Year Plan, the Government has endeavoured to inform the common man of his rights as a consumer. As part of the consumer awareness scheme, the rural and remote areas have been given the top priority. The Government has used multiple channels to create awareness it includes: Print media advertisements (External website that opens in a new window), Audio Campaigns (External website that opens in a new window), Video Campaigns (External website that opens in a new window), etc.

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  Upgradation of Standards
Upgradation of standards  

In helping consumers to exercise their rights, quality and standards have a crucial role to play. Standards provide consumers with reliable benchmarks of quality. The Department has succeeded in putting in place an economic framework to promote quality. The Bureau of Indian Standards (External website that opens in a new window) has taken new initiatives in introducing a certification scheme for foreign manufacturers (External website that opens in a new window) and imported goods (External website that opens in a new window), food safety certification (External website that opens in a new window) as per ISO Standards. Certification Scheme for Hallmarking (External website that opens in a new window) of Gold jewellery and Silver artefacts is an important contribution of the BIS in safeguarding consumer interests.

Apart from these initiatives the standard marks like the Product Certification Schemes for ISI mark (External website that opens in a new window), Agmark, Fruit Products Order (FPO) (External website that opens in a new window), Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Mark, Handloom Mark (208 KB) (PDF file that opens in a new window) , Silk Mark (External website that opens in a new window), Wool Mark, etc. are also playing a vital role in the product standardization.

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