Consumer awareness programme
Consumer Awareness Campaign
DJSS has established net-workers and consumer groups in a total of 23 blocks of 10 districts in ODISHA, who have actively been involved in consumer awareness programme at the grassroots level. However, due to lack of adequate skills and resources, net-workers are unable to perform as per the expectations. In order for them to be able to work for the successful consumer awareness campaign, they need relevant skills and resources in their respective areas. In pursuit of this, Centre for Consumer Action, & Training) with the support of State Consumer Welfare Fund under the Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of ODISHA undertook Consumer Awareness Programme to raise awareness among the consumers towards their rights and responsibilities.
To raise the human consciousness level to such a stage at which they will be able to know more thoroughly and authentically, we have undertaken Awareness Campaign on different issue of the Society. This is possible by dissemination of information in all branches of human learning but through door to door moving, village meeting rallies, padyatras, individual contacts, poster designing and displaying community education and arranging seminars and conferences.
Now it is the stage when the conscious villagers of our project area feel that the he is the integral part of their village. This is the simplest truth that we have heard during the last years of our involvement.
The overall objectives of the project were to:
- Raise consumer awareness at the grassroots by strengthening the capacity of net-workers in 20 selected blocks in odisha; and • Build a strong consumer movement at the grassroots level in odisha.
- Skill training programmes
- Consumer friends training
- Awareness campaigns on issues related to consumer protection
- Awareness rallies
The skills training programme for selected representatives of two blocks of puri district . The district co-coordinators of all the 10 selected districts, representatives of consumer clubs including their nodal officers, representatives of the consumer groups of all the 14 blocks and representatives of DSO, khordh, media and local volunteers participated in the meeting. For the skill training, there were around 60 participants from the two blocks, of Bhubaneswar and balipatna block.
CONSUMER AWARENESS & SUGGESTED MEASURES TO INCREASE
The need for empowerment of consumers as a class cannot be over emphasized and is already well recognized all over the world. The advancement of technology and advent of sophisticated gadgets in the market and aggressive marketing strategies in the era of globalization have not only thrown open a wide choice, for the consumer but all the same also rendered the consumer vulnerable to a plethora of problems concomitant to such rapid changes. There is an urgent and increasing necessity to educate and motivate the consumer to be wary of the quality of the products, and also the possible deficiencies in the services of the growing sector of public utilities. In short, the consumer should be empowered with respect to his rights as a consumer. He should be equipped to be vigilant with a discerning eye so as to be able to protect himself from any wrongful act on the part of the trader. In order to be able to position the consumer in such a state, there is every need not only to evolve legal remedies but also provide reliable and exhaustive information, which he can access without much effort and expense. Recognizing the importance of the problem, the Government of India and State Government have initiated steps to introduce dispute redresses mechanism by way of Consumer Protection Ac, but a lot more has to be done in the area of creating awareness on the part of the consumer to facilitate his seeking suitable remedy wherever there is a need. This becomes more important in the rural areas, where there is wide spread illiteracy.
He should undertake steps to create a facilitative mechanism with the following objectives:
- Promote General Awareness of the rights of the consumer by encouraging consumer education and supplying information.
- Publish periodical and product specific booklets, pamphlets, cassettes, CDs, slides, documentary films and other devices of mass communication for promoting consumer awareness in English and regional languages, highlighting the problem in specified areas like real estate, public utilities, non-banking financial agencies etc.
- Enlighten the business community on its ethical and legal obligations to maintain quality of the products or services and to be transparent in dealing with consumers.
- Encourage consumer activities to strengthen the existing institutional set up of consumer dispute redresses by acting as a facilitator between consumer and the institution.5.Study the available legal remedies, analyze and suggest new measures for the effective and better consumer protection.
- Bring together the consumer, traders and policy makers to exchange information of mutual interest for better coordination. Bring together the NGO’s/Consumer activities operating in different areas and equip them with suitable and required information and knowledge to enable them to act as nodal agents of change in rural areas.
- Organize and conduct seminars, workshops and group discussions and thus provide a platform for threadbare discussion of the issues and evolve suitable remedial action. Conduct motivational campaigns for groups of potential customers both in urban and rural areas.
- Coordinate programmes organized by Central and State Governments, State Legal Aid Authorities, Academic Institutes, National and International Consumer Organizations.
- Periodic interaction with electronic & print media on success stories of consumers.