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Rights of all consumers are celebrated and promoted across India annually on National Consumer Rights Day, December 24. Consumers hold the most power in buying and selling of goods and, where the west has properly established consumer rights, India is still striving to highlight its national consumer movement and stand in solidarity with it. With e-commerce gaining more and more popularity, it is important for consumers to be aware of and exercise their rights, as well as their responsibilities.
History of National Consumer Rights Day
In India, the rights of consumers were taken seriously when the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 was enacted. The aim of this bill was to safeguard the consumer against exploitation like the selling of defective goods, unfair trade, fraudulence, and deficiency in services.
Over the years, India’s economy has undergone a transformation, significantly altering how many Indians shop and travel. This was a result of the rising market competition, innovations, and increasing presence of e-commerce services, which expanded the options available to consumers. So the tried-and-trusted habits of the consumer have been disrupted, which created a need for the Consumer Protection Act to be revised and revamped. Taking this dynamic and advanced marketplace into perspective, India’s parliament passed the updated Consumer Protection Bill on August 6, 2019.
The bill, commonly known as CPA 2019, received approval from the President of India on August 9, 2019. Thereafter, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution declared July 20, 2020, for the CPA 2019 to come into effect.
The Consumer Protection Acts of both 1986 and 2019 are complemented by the Right to Information Act, which made the governance processes of India transparent to the citizens and included vast implications for consumer rights. These include the right to safety, the right to information, the right to choose, and the right to consumer education.
Themes are also observed every year on this holiday. The latest theme was ‘alternate consumer grievance/dispute redressal’.
The idea of a Consumer Rights Day is also observed on a global level. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy, general guidelines were set out by the United Nations for consumer protection. In 1983, March 15 was marked as the annual celebration of World Consumer Rights Day.
National Consumer Rights Day timeline
Food hoarding and shortage, and black marketeering of food births the consumer movement in India.
Poor technology infrastructure and inflation leads to restlessness among consumers.
The Government of India takes a major step with the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act.
Keeping up with the times, the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 is revised.
National Consumer Rights Day FAQs
What was the theme for World Consumer Rights Day 2020?
The theme for World Consumer Rights Day 2020 was ‘The Sustainable Consumer’. The campaign discussed the concept of sustainable consumption worldwide, and how this can be accelerated by consumer rights and protection.
What are the important terms of the Consumer Protection Act?
The Consumer Protection Act encourages consumers to voice flaws in their purchases. If any illegal practice is carried out by traders and manufacturers, this act safeguards their right as a consumer to denounce this.
When was the Consumer Protection Act passed in India?
The Consumer Protection Act of India came into effect on April 15, 1987, applying to the whole country except the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir.
How To Celebrate National Consumer Rights Day
Campaign for a change
Look for local events in your community that are geared towards raising awareness on consumer rights and campaigning on areas of public policy that require a change.
Call out violators
It happens far too often that we get duped by a business or service and decide to let it slide. You can post about these incidents so that other consumers are aware of this and know which practices and businesses to avoid.
Check out international consumer rights
While India’s Consumer Protection Act is designed to keep its economy in mind, you can check out Consumers International’s website to see how other countries are establishing consumer rights.
5 Interesting Facts To Know About Consumer Rights
Protection from hazardous goods
It is the consumer’s right to be protected from false marketing of any goods or services that can be hazardous to human life or property, such as artificial coloring used in food.
Knowing all the product information
The consumer has the right to know every bit of information about the product they are buying. From the start to end process, it should all be transparent.
You can bargain and negotiate the price
What most consumers do not know is that they can set their own offer on the maximum retail price (MRP) as this has no interference from the government.
There are consumer education programs
Several awareness programs on consumer rights and protection have been organized by the government of India — a prime example of this is ‘Jago Grahak Jago’.
A healthy environment is a consumer right
Consumers have the right to seek protection against pollution for a better quality of life.
Why We Love National Consumer Rights Day
More power to the people
Consumer rights reinforce the concept that the average person holds all the power against those in authority and can seek the rights they duly deserve.
A breakthrough for India
With many previous loopholes in the general legal system of the country, the Consumer Rights Act was truly a breakthrough for India’s economy. It reduces illegal trade and practices, and ensures that the consumer’s hard-earned money is not wasted.
Strength in solidarity
Simply passing an Act is not enough. There are still people out there who are unaware of their rights as consumers and a day dedicated to this aims to change that.
National Consumer Rights Day dates