World Consumer Day – March 15

World Consumer Day – March 15

A consumer is a person who purchases goods to live life.

To promote basic rights of all consumers
Demanding all rights of consumers are respected and protected
Protesting about the market abuses and social injustices which undermine them.

India is celebrating National Consumer’s Day since 15 March 1989 .On this day in 1962, Bill for Consumer Rights was moved in the US Congress. President John F. Kennedy gave a speech:-

“If a consumer is offered inferior products, if prices are exorbitant, if drugs are unsafe or worthless, if the consumer is unable to choose on an informed basis, then his dollar is wasted, his health and safety may be threatened, and national interest suffers.”

John F. Kennedy gave four basic rights to American people:-
1.The Right to Safety – To be protected against the marketing of goods which are hazardous to health or life.
2.The Right to Choose – To be assured, wherever possible, access to a variety of products and services at competitive prices: and in those industries where competition is not workable and Government regulation is substituted, an assurance of satisfactory quality and service at fair prices.
3.The Right to Information – To be protected against fraudulent, deceitful or grossly misleading information, advertising, labeling, or other practices and to be given the facts s/he needs to make an informed choice.
4.The Right to be Heard – To be assured that consumer interests will receive full and sympathetic consideration in the formulation of Government policy, and fair and expeditious treatment in its administrative tribunals.
Considering the importance of Kennedy’s speech to the US Congress on this day, and the resultant law, the Consumer International (CI) took a decision in 1982 to observe 15 March as the World Consumer Rights Day from 1983. It may sound very awkward but it’s true, 15 March is not observed as a special day in the world’s largest and most pulsating consumer society – the US. But at home in India the Government, adopted 15 March as the National Consumer’s Day.

The Consumers International (CI), former International Organization of Consumer Unions (IOCU), the umbrella body, for 240 organizations in over 100 countries, expanded the charter of consumers rights contained in the US Bill to eight

These are eight basic consumer rights which include:-
1.A healthy environment -To live and work in an environment that is non-threatening to the well being of present and future generations.
2.Be heard -To have consumer interests represented in the making and execution of government policy, and in the development of products and services.
3.Choice -To be able to select from a range of products and services, offered at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality
4.Consumer education -To acquire knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices about goods and services, while being aware of basic consumer rights and responsibilities and how to act on them.
5.Information -To be given the facts needed to make an informed choice, and to be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising and labeling.
6.Redress -To receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services.
7.Safety -To be protected against products, production processes and services which are hazardous to health or life.
8.Satisfaction of basic needs -To have access to basic, essential goods and services: adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water and sanitation.
United Nations, in April 1985, adopted these 8 Rights for Consumer Protection.

Our money, our rights: campaigning for real choice in financial services

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