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Consumer Awareness in India

Consumer leader shree Bindu Madhav Joshi from Poona made an association of consumers and fight against Mal practices of traders. The association leads to movement of consumers which leads to birth of consumer Protection act in the year 1986 and it leads to opening up of the economy in 1991.

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 For the time need consumer courts are come in to existence for each district in India. These consumer courts have registered millions of complaints against the defective goods, deficiency in services, unfair trade practices and also restrictive trade practices. Consumer movements have not been restricted to court matters but the consumers have been using ‘dharanas’ like road and railway blockages, protest demonstrations for their dissatisfaction of with poor services. 

Now a day the consumers are started to use boycott as a weapon, which as not used in early days. The consumer associations are now a days using the modern electronic media for communication such as e-mails and SM S’s to centralize such type of boycotts. Five year back, consumers in Bangalore protested petrol pumps for a day for the reason of hike of frequent petrol prices, for this they get help of the SM S’s to publish world. So also in he year 2003 and 2006 there were consumer protests against the soft drinks, when the reports were declared by center for science and Environment on pesticide residues in the drinks.

Before the consumer law came in to existence, consumers are not come against the big corporations or multinationals, because of the awareness by the consumer law it happens only and they are now protesting against any big or small company if it  defective goods, deficiency in services, unfair trade practices and also restrictive trade practices. It seems from that a consumer field case against BSNL for its deficiency in service or Nokia for its defective good. Public sectors under takings are not exceptions to consumer law they are also come within the purview of the deficiency in services. A consumer filed against the Indian Railways for its employees harassment in consumer court and got relief like exemplary damages to the tone of Rs 25000/- Farmers are also take the help of law and filled case against the seed company that purchased were poor germination.

Consumers are also filled cases against Doctors, who were come under only this act before this acts there is no any codified act against Doctors. It was not easy to remedy against the damages caused by doctors. Because they with held the medical records of the patients. Hence consumers were unable to go to the court. But in recent days court orders have made sure that hospital and doctors recognize and respect the rights of the patients. If a patient can turned away without providing emergency treatment for want of a bed is also come in purview of negligence. Consumers are challenged strikes by employees of public sector, service providers and demanded consequential damages. The National consumer forum has also upheld that when such strikes were illegal then consumers could get compensation for the inconvenience and harassment caused to them.

Hence the consumer protection act in India drastically changed the state’s monopoly in sectors like civil aviation, telecommunication, banking and financial institutions, insurance companies etc.         

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