NCERT Textbook - Consumer Rights Class 10 Notes | EduRev

Social Studies (SST) Class 10

UPSC : NCERT Textbook - Consumer Rights Class 10 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


NOTES FOR THE TEACHER
This chapter proposes to discuss the issue of
consumer rights within the context of the ways
markets operate in our country. There are many
aspects of unequal situations in a market and
poor enforcement of rules and regulations. Hence,
there is a need to sensitise learners and encourage
them to participate in the consumer movement.
This chapter provides case histories – how some
consumers were exploited  in a real life situation
and how legal institutions helped consumers  in
getting compensated and in upholding their rights
as consumers. The case histories would enable
the students to link these narratives to their life
experiences. We have to enable students to
understand that the awareness of being a well-
informed consumer arose out of consumer
movement and active participation of people
through their struggles over a long period. This
chapter also provides details of a few
organisations helping consumers in different
ways. Finally it ends with some critical issues of
the consumer movement in India.
Aspects of Teaching / Sources of Information
This chapter has questions, case studies and
activities. It would be preferred that students
discuss these in groups orally. Some of these
could be answered in writing individually.
While carrying out each activity you could
start with a brainstorming session about the
activity. Similarly there are many opportunities
for role-play in this chapter and this could be a
useful way to share their experiences and
understand the issues at a deeper level. Making
posters collectively is another way to think about
these issues. This lesson contains activities,
which require visits – visit to consumer
protection councils, consumer organisations,
consumer court, retail shops, market places, etc.
Organise the visits to maximise learners’
experience.  Have a discussion with them about
the purpose of the visit, things they need to do
beforehand and things that need to be collected
and the task (report/ project / article, etc.) they
would carry out after the visit. As part of this
chapter, the learners may do letter-writing and
speaking activities. We may have to be sensitive
to the language aspect of exercises.
This chapter contains materials collected
from authenticated websites, books, newspapers
and magazines. For example, http://
www.mca.gov.in is a website of Central
Government Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
Another website www.cuts-international.org is the
website of a consumer organisation working in
India for more than 20 years. It publishes a
variety of materials to create consumer
awareness in India. They need to be shared
among learners so that they can also collect
materials as part of their activities. For example,
case histories were taken from newspaper
clippings and consumers who fought in
consumer courts. Let learners collect and read
such materials from different sources: consumer
protection councils, consumer courts and
internet.
CHAPTER 5 : CONSUMER RIGHTS
74 74 74 74 74 U U U U UNDERST NDERST NDERST NDERST NDERSTANDING ANDING ANDING ANDING ANDING E E E E ECONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC D D D D DEVEL EVEL EVEL EVEL EVELOPMENT OPMENT OPMENT OPMENT OPMENT
2015-2016
Page 2


NOTES FOR THE TEACHER
This chapter proposes to discuss the issue of
consumer rights within the context of the ways
markets operate in our country. There are many
aspects of unequal situations in a market and
poor enforcement of rules and regulations. Hence,
there is a need to sensitise learners and encourage
them to participate in the consumer movement.
This chapter provides case histories – how some
consumers were exploited  in a real life situation
and how legal institutions helped consumers  in
getting compensated and in upholding their rights
as consumers. The case histories would enable
the students to link these narratives to their life
experiences. We have to enable students to
understand that the awareness of being a well-
informed consumer arose out of consumer
movement and active participation of people
through their struggles over a long period. This
chapter also provides details of a few
organisations helping consumers in different
ways. Finally it ends with some critical issues of
the consumer movement in India.
Aspects of Teaching / Sources of Information
This chapter has questions, case studies and
activities. It would be preferred that students
discuss these in groups orally. Some of these
could be answered in writing individually.
While carrying out each activity you could
start with a brainstorming session about the
activity. Similarly there are many opportunities
for role-play in this chapter and this could be a
useful way to share their experiences and
understand the issues at a deeper level. Making
posters collectively is another way to think about
these issues. This lesson contains activities,
which require visits – visit to consumer
protection councils, consumer organisations,
consumer court, retail shops, market places, etc.
Organise the visits to maximise learners’
experience.  Have a discussion with them about
the purpose of the visit, things they need to do
beforehand and things that need to be collected
and the task (report/ project / article, etc.) they
would carry out after the visit. As part of this
chapter, the learners may do letter-writing and
speaking activities. We may have to be sensitive
to the language aspect of exercises.
This chapter contains materials collected
from authenticated websites, books, newspapers
and magazines. For example, http://
www.mca.gov.in is a website of Central
Government Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
Another website www.cuts-international.org is the
website of a consumer organisation working in
India for more than 20 years. It publishes a
variety of materials to create consumer
awareness in India. They need to be shared
among learners so that they can also collect
materials as part of their activities. For example,
case histories were taken from newspaper
clippings and consumers who fought in
consumer courts. Let learners collect and read
such materials from different sources: consumer
protection councils, consumer courts and
internet.
CHAPTER 5 : CONSUMER RIGHTS
74 74 74 74 74 U U U U UNDERST NDERST NDERST NDERST NDERSTANDING ANDING ANDING ANDING ANDING E E E E ECONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC D D D D DEVEL EVEL EVEL EVEL EVELOPMENT OPMENT OPMENT OPMENT OPMENT
2015-2016
CONSUMER RIGHTS CONSUMER RIGHTS
CONSUMER RIGHTS CONSUMER RIGHTS CONSUMER RIGHTS
CHAPTER 5
The collage you see below contains
some news clippings of consumer
court verdicts. Why did the people go
to the consumer court in these cases?
These verdicts came about because
some people persisted and struggled
to get justice. In what ways were they
denied justice? More importantly,
what are the ways in which they can
exercise their rights as consumers to
get a fair deal from the sellers when
they felt they had been denied a just
treatment?
2015-2016
Page 3


NOTES FOR THE TEACHER
This chapter proposes to discuss the issue of
consumer rights within the context of the ways
markets operate in our country. There are many
aspects of unequal situations in a market and
poor enforcement of rules and regulations. Hence,
there is a need to sensitise learners and encourage
them to participate in the consumer movement.
This chapter provides case histories – how some
consumers were exploited  in a real life situation
and how legal institutions helped consumers  in
getting compensated and in upholding their rights
as consumers. The case histories would enable
the students to link these narratives to their life
experiences. We have to enable students to
understand that the awareness of being a well-
informed consumer arose out of consumer
movement and active participation of people
through their struggles over a long period. This
chapter also provides details of a few
organisations helping consumers in different
ways. Finally it ends with some critical issues of
the consumer movement in India.
Aspects of Teaching / Sources of Information
This chapter has questions, case studies and
activities. It would be preferred that students
discuss these in groups orally. Some of these
could be answered in writing individually.
While carrying out each activity you could
start with a brainstorming session about the
activity. Similarly there are many opportunities
for role-play in this chapter and this could be a
useful way to share their experiences and
understand the issues at a deeper level. Making
posters collectively is another way to think about
these issues. This lesson contains activities,
which require visits – visit to consumer
protection councils, consumer organisations,
consumer court, retail shops, market places, etc.
Organise the visits to maximise learners’
experience.  Have a discussion with them about
the purpose of the visit, things they need to do
beforehand and things that need to be collected
and the task (report/ project / article, etc.) they
would carry out after the visit. As part of this
chapter, the learners may do letter-writing and
speaking activities. We may have to be sensitive
to the language aspect of exercises.
This chapter contains materials collected
from authenticated websites, books, newspapers
and magazines. For example, http://
www.mca.gov.in is a website of Central
Government Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
Another website www.cuts-international.org is the
website of a consumer organisation working in
India for more than 20 years. It publishes a
variety of materials to create consumer
awareness in India. They need to be shared
among learners so that they can also collect
materials as part of their activities. For example,
case histories were taken from newspaper
clippings and consumers who fought in
consumer courts. Let learners collect and read
such materials from different sources: consumer
protection councils, consumer courts and
internet.
CHAPTER 5 : CONSUMER RIGHTS
74 74 74 74 74 U U U U UNDERST NDERST NDERST NDERST NDERSTANDING ANDING ANDING ANDING ANDING E E E E ECONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC D D D D DEVEL EVEL EVEL EVEL EVELOPMENT OPMENT OPMENT OPMENT OPMENT
2015-2016
CONSUMER RIGHTS CONSUMER RIGHTS
CONSUMER RIGHTS CONSUMER RIGHTS CONSUMER RIGHTS
CHAPTER 5
The collage you see below contains
some news clippings of consumer
court verdicts. Why did the people go
to the consumer court in these cases?
These verdicts came about because
some people persisted and struggled
to get justice. In what ways were they
denied justice? More importantly,
what are the ways in which they can
exercise their rights as consumers to
get a fair deal from the sellers when
they felt they had been denied a just
treatment?
2015-2016
We participate in the market both as
producers and consumers. As
producers of goods and services we
could be working in any of the sectors
discussed earlier such as agriculture,
industry, or services. Consumers
participate in the market when they
purchase goods and services that they
need. These are the final goods that
people as consumers use.
In the preceding chapters we
discussed the need for rules and
regulations or steps that would
promote development. These could be
for the protection of workers in the
unorganised sector or to protect
people from high interest rates
charged by moneylenders  in the
informal sector. Similarly, rules and
regulations are also required for
protecting the environment.
For example, moneylenders in the
informal sector that you read about
in Chapter 3 adopt various tricks to
bind the borrower: they could make
the producer sell the produce to them
at a low rate in return for a timely loan;
they could force a small farmer like
Swapna to sell her land to pay back
the loan. Similarly, many people who
work in the unorganised sector have
to work at a low wage and accept
conditions that are not fair and are
also often harmful to their health. To
prevent such exploitation, we
have talked of rules and regulations
for their protection. There are
organisations that have struggled
for long to ensure that these rules are
followed.
THE CONSUMER IN THE MARKETPLACE
Likewise, rules and regulations are
required for the protection of the
consumers in the marketplace.
Individual consumers often find
themselves in a weak position.
Whenever there is a complaint
regarding a good or service that had
been bought, the seller tries to shift
all the responsibility on to the buyer.
Their position usually is – “If you
didn’t like what you bought, please
go elsewhere”. As if the seller has no
responsibility once a sale is
completed! The consumer movement,
as we shall discuss later, is an effort
to change this situation.
Exploitation in the marketplace
happens in various ways. For
example, sometimes traders indulge
in unfair trade practices such as when
shopkeepers weigh less than what
they should or when traders add
charges that were not mentioned
before, or when adulterated/defective
goods are sold.
Markets do not work in a fair
manner when producers are few and
powerful whereas consumers
purchase in small amounts and are
scattered. This happens especially
when large companies are producing
these goods. These companies with
huge wealth, power and reach can
manipulate the market in various
ways. At times false information is
passed on through the media, and
other sources to attract consumers.
For example, a company for years
sold powder milk for babies all over
THEY PURPOSELY MADE IT
SO IT WOULD FALL AP ART
AFTER A FEW MONTHS SO
THAT I WILL BUY A NEW ONE!
2015-2016
Page 4


NOTES FOR THE TEACHER
This chapter proposes to discuss the issue of
consumer rights within the context of the ways
markets operate in our country. There are many
aspects of unequal situations in a market and
poor enforcement of rules and regulations. Hence,
there is a need to sensitise learners and encourage
them to participate in the consumer movement.
This chapter provides case histories – how some
consumers were exploited  in a real life situation
and how legal institutions helped consumers  in
getting compensated and in upholding their rights
as consumers. The case histories would enable
the students to link these narratives to their life
experiences. We have to enable students to
understand that the awareness of being a well-
informed consumer arose out of consumer
movement and active participation of people
through their struggles over a long period. This
chapter also provides details of a few
organisations helping consumers in different
ways. Finally it ends with some critical issues of
the consumer movement in India.
Aspects of Teaching / Sources of Information
This chapter has questions, case studies and
activities. It would be preferred that students
discuss these in groups orally. Some of these
could be answered in writing individually.
While carrying out each activity you could
start with a brainstorming session about the
activity. Similarly there are many opportunities
for role-play in this chapter and this could be a
useful way to share their experiences and
understand the issues at a deeper level. Making
posters collectively is another way to think about
these issues. This lesson contains activities,
which require visits – visit to consumer
protection councils, consumer organisations,
consumer court, retail shops, market places, etc.
Organise the visits to maximise learners’
experience.  Have a discussion with them about
the purpose of the visit, things they need to do
beforehand and things that need to be collected
and the task (report/ project / article, etc.) they
would carry out after the visit. As part of this
chapter, the learners may do letter-writing and
speaking activities. We may have to be sensitive
to the language aspect of exercises.
This chapter contains materials collected
from authenticated websites, books, newspapers
and magazines. For example, http://
www.mca.gov.in is a website of Central
Government Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
Another website www.cuts-international.org is the
website of a consumer organisation working in
India for more than 20 years. It publishes a
variety of materials to create consumer
awareness in India. They need to be shared
among learners so that they can also collect
materials as part of their activities. For example,
case histories were taken from newspaper
clippings and consumers who fought in
consumer courts. Let learners collect and read
such materials from different sources: consumer
protection councils, consumer courts and
internet.
CHAPTER 5 : CONSUMER RIGHTS
74 74 74 74 74 U U U U UNDERST NDERST NDERST NDERST NDERSTANDING ANDING ANDING ANDING ANDING E E E E ECONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC D D D D DEVEL EVEL EVEL EVEL EVELOPMENT OPMENT OPMENT OPMENT OPMENT
2015-2016
CONSUMER RIGHTS CONSUMER RIGHTS
CONSUMER RIGHTS CONSUMER RIGHTS CONSUMER RIGHTS
CHAPTER 5
The collage you see below contains
some news clippings of consumer
court verdicts. Why did the people go
to the consumer court in these cases?
These verdicts came about because
some people persisted and struggled
to get justice. In what ways were they
denied justice? More importantly,
what are the ways in which they can
exercise their rights as consumers to
get a fair deal from the sellers when
they felt they had been denied a just
treatment?
2015-2016
We participate in the market both as
producers and consumers. As
producers of goods and services we
could be working in any of the sectors
discussed earlier such as agriculture,
industry, or services. Consumers
participate in the market when they
purchase goods and services that they
need. These are the final goods that
people as consumers use.
In the preceding chapters we
discussed the need for rules and
regulations or steps that would
promote development. These could be
for the protection of workers in the
unorganised sector or to protect
people from high interest rates
charged by moneylenders  in the
informal sector. Similarly, rules and
regulations are also required for
protecting the environment.
For example, moneylenders in the
informal sector that you read about
in Chapter 3 adopt various tricks to
bind the borrower: they could make
the producer sell the produce to them
at a low rate in return for a timely loan;
they could force a small farmer like
Swapna to sell her land to pay back
the loan. Similarly, many people who
work in the unorganised sector have
to work at a low wage and accept
conditions that are not fair and are
also often harmful to their health. To
prevent such exploitation, we
have talked of rules and regulations
for their protection. There are
organisations that have struggled
for long to ensure that these rules are
followed.
THE CONSUMER IN THE MARKETPLACE
Likewise, rules and regulations are
required for the protection of the
consumers in the marketplace.
Individual consumers often find
themselves in a weak position.
Whenever there is a complaint
regarding a good or service that had
been bought, the seller tries to shift
all the responsibility on to the buyer.
Their position usually is – “If you
didn’t like what you bought, please
go elsewhere”. As if the seller has no
responsibility once a sale is
completed! The consumer movement,
as we shall discuss later, is an effort
to change this situation.
Exploitation in the marketplace
happens in various ways. For
example, sometimes traders indulge
in unfair trade practices such as when
shopkeepers weigh less than what
they should or when traders add
charges that were not mentioned
before, or when adulterated/defective
goods are sold.
Markets do not work in a fair
manner when producers are few and
powerful whereas consumers
purchase in small amounts and are
scattered. This happens especially
when large companies are producing
these goods. These companies with
huge wealth, power and reach can
manipulate the market in various
ways. At times false information is
passed on through the media, and
other sources to attract consumers.
For example, a company for years
sold powder milk for babies all over
THEY PURPOSELY MADE IT
SO IT WOULD FALL AP ART
AFTER A FEW MONTHS SO
THAT I WILL BUY A NEW ONE!
2015-2016
77 77 77 77 77 C C C C CONSUMER ONSUMER ONSUMER ONSUMER ONSUMER R R R R RIGHTS IGHTS IGHTS IGHTS IGHTS
1. What are the various ways by which people may be exploited in the market?
2. Think of one example from your experience where you thought that there was some
‘cheating’ in the market. Discuss in the classroom.
3. What do you think should be the role of government to protect consumers?
LET’S WORK THESE OUT
the world as the most scientific
product claiming this to be better
than mother’s milk. It took years of
struggle before the company was
forced to accept that it had been
making false claims. Similarly, a
long battle had to be fought with
court cases to make cigarette-
manufacturing companies accept that
their product could cause cancer.
Hence, there is a need for rules and
regulations to ensure protection for
consumers.
CONSUMER MOVEMENT
quality of goods and services on the
sellers.
In India, the consumer movement
as a ‘social force’ originated with the
necessity of protecting and promoting
the interests of consumers against
unethical and unfair trade practices.
Rampant food shortages, hoarding,
black marketing, adulteration of food
and edible oil gave birth to the
consumer movement in an organised
form in the 1960s. Till the 1970s,
consumer organisations were largely
engaged in writing articles and
holding exhibitions. They formed
consumer groups to look into the
malpractices in ration shops and
overcrowding in the road passenger
transport. More recently, India
witnessed an upsurge in the number
of consumer groups.
The consumer movement arose out
of dissatisfaction of the consumers
as many unfair practices were being
indulged in by the sellers. There was
no legal system available to
consumers to protect them from
exploitation in the marketplace. For
a long time, when a consumer was
not happy with a particular brand
product or shop, he or she generally
avoided buying that brand product,
or would stop purchasing from that
shop. It was presumed that it was
the responsibility of consumers to be
careful while buying a commodity
or service. It took many years for
organisations in India, and around
the world, to create awareness
amongst people. This has also
shifted the responsibility of ensuring
EVERYONE KNOWS
TOBACCO KILLS PEOPLE,
BUT WHO CAN SAY THAT
T OBACCO COMPANIES
SHOULD NOT BE FREE
TO SELL TOBACCO?
2015-2016
Page 5


NOTES FOR THE TEACHER
This chapter proposes to discuss the issue of
consumer rights within the context of the ways
markets operate in our country. There are many
aspects of unequal situations in a market and
poor enforcement of rules and regulations. Hence,
there is a need to sensitise learners and encourage
them to participate in the consumer movement.
This chapter provides case histories – how some
consumers were exploited  in a real life situation
and how legal institutions helped consumers  in
getting compensated and in upholding their rights
as consumers. The case histories would enable
the students to link these narratives to their life
experiences. We have to enable students to
understand that the awareness of being a well-
informed consumer arose out of consumer
movement and active participation of people
through their struggles over a long period. This
chapter also provides details of a few
organisations helping consumers in different
ways. Finally it ends with some critical issues of
the consumer movement in India.
Aspects of Teaching / Sources of Information
This chapter has questions, case studies and
activities. It would be preferred that students
discuss these in groups orally. Some of these
could be answered in writing individually.
While carrying out each activity you could
start with a brainstorming session about the
activity. Similarly there are many opportunities
for role-play in this chapter and this could be a
useful way to share their experiences and
understand the issues at a deeper level. Making
posters collectively is another way to think about
these issues. This lesson contains activities,
which require visits – visit to consumer
protection councils, consumer organisations,
consumer court, retail shops, market places, etc.
Organise the visits to maximise learners’
experience.  Have a discussion with them about
the purpose of the visit, things they need to do
beforehand and things that need to be collected
and the task (report/ project / article, etc.) they
would carry out after the visit. As part of this
chapter, the learners may do letter-writing and
speaking activities. We may have to be sensitive
to the language aspect of exercises.
This chapter contains materials collected
from authenticated websites, books, newspapers
and magazines. For example, http://
www.mca.gov.in is a website of Central
Government Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
Another website www.cuts-international.org is the
website of a consumer organisation working in
India for more than 20 years. It publishes a
variety of materials to create consumer
awareness in India. They need to be shared
among learners so that they can also collect
materials as part of their activities. For example,
case histories were taken from newspaper
clippings and consumers who fought in
consumer courts. Let learners collect and read
such materials from different sources: consumer
protection councils, consumer courts and
internet.
CHAPTER 5 : CONSUMER RIGHTS
74 74 74 74 74 U U U U UNDERST NDERST NDERST NDERST NDERSTANDING ANDING ANDING ANDING ANDING E E E E ECONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC CONOMIC D D D D DEVEL EVEL EVEL EVEL EVELOPMENT OPMENT OPMENT OPMENT OPMENT
2015-2016
CONSUMER RIGHTS CONSUMER RIGHTS
CONSUMER RIGHTS CONSUMER RIGHTS CONSUMER RIGHTS
CHAPTER 5
The collage you see below contains
some news clippings of consumer
court verdicts. Why did the people go
to the consumer court in these cases?
These verdicts came about because
some people persisted and struggled
to get justice. In what ways were they
denied justice? More importantly,
what are the ways in which they can
exercise their rights as consumers to
get a fair deal from the sellers when
they felt they had been denied a just
treatment?
2015-2016
We participate in the market both as
producers and consumers. As
producers of goods and services we
could be working in any of the sectors
discussed earlier such as agriculture,
industry, or services. Consumers
participate in the market when they
purchase goods and services that they
need. These are the final goods that
people as consumers use.
In the preceding chapters we
discussed the need for rules and
regulations or steps that would
promote development. These could be
for the protection of workers in the
unorganised sector or to protect
people from high interest rates
charged by moneylenders  in the
informal sector. Similarly, rules and
regulations are also required for
protecting the environment.
For example, moneylenders in the
informal sector that you read about
in Chapter 3 adopt various tricks to
bind the borrower: they could make
the producer sell the produce to them
at a low rate in return for a timely loan;
they could force a small farmer like
Swapna to sell her land to pay back
the loan. Similarly, many people who
work in the unorganised sector have
to work at a low wage and accept
conditions that are not fair and are
also often harmful to their health. To
prevent such exploitation, we
have talked of rules and regulations
for their protection. There are
organisations that have struggled
for long to ensure that these rules are
followed.
THE CONSUMER IN THE MARKETPLACE
Likewise, rules and regulations are
required for the protection of the
consumers in the marketplace.
Individual consumers often find
themselves in a weak position.
Whenever there is a complaint
regarding a good or service that had
been bought, the seller tries to shift
all the responsibility on to the buyer.
Their position usually is – “If you
didn’t like what you bought, please
go elsewhere”. As if the seller has no
responsibility once a sale is
completed! The consumer movement,
as we shall discuss later, is an effort
to change this situation.
Exploitation in the marketplace
happens in various ways. For
example, sometimes traders indulge
in unfair trade practices such as when
shopkeepers weigh less than what
they should or when traders add
charges that were not mentioned
before, or when adulterated/defective
goods are sold.
Markets do not work in a fair
manner when producers are few and
powerful whereas consumers
purchase in small amounts and are
scattered. This happens especially
when large companies are producing
these goods. These companies with
huge wealth, power and reach can
manipulate the market in various
ways. At times false information is
passed on through the media, and
other sources to attract consumers.
For example, a company for years
sold powder milk for babies all over
THEY PURPOSELY MADE IT
SO IT WOULD FALL AP ART
AFTER A FEW MONTHS SO
THAT I WILL BUY A NEW ONE!
2015-2016
77 77 77 77 77 C C C C CONSUMER ONSUMER ONSUMER ONSUMER ONSUMER R R R R RIGHTS IGHTS IGHTS IGHTS IGHTS
1. What are the various ways by which people may be exploited in the market?
2. Think of one example from your experience where you thought that there was some
‘cheating’ in the market. Discuss in the classroom.
3. What do you think should be the role of government to protect consumers?
LET’S WORK THESE OUT
the world as the most scientific
product claiming this to be better
than mother’s milk. It took years of
struggle before the company was
forced to accept that it had been
making false claims. Similarly, a
long battle had to be fought with
court cases to make cigarette-
manufacturing companies accept that
their product could cause cancer.
Hence, there is a need for rules and
regulations to ensure protection for
consumers.
CONSUMER MOVEMENT
quality of goods and services on the
sellers.
In India, the consumer movement
as a ‘social force’ originated with the
necessity of protecting and promoting
the interests of consumers against
unethical and unfair trade practices.
Rampant food shortages, hoarding,
black marketing, adulteration of food
and edible oil gave birth to the
consumer movement in an organised
form in the 1960s. Till the 1970s,
consumer organisations were largely
engaged in writing articles and
holding exhibitions. They formed
consumer groups to look into the
malpractices in ration shops and
overcrowding in the road passenger
transport. More recently, India
witnessed an upsurge in the number
of consumer groups.
The consumer movement arose out
of dissatisfaction of the consumers
as many unfair practices were being
indulged in by the sellers. There was
no legal system available to
consumers to protect them from
exploitation in the marketplace. For
a long time, when a consumer was
not happy with a particular brand
product or shop, he or she generally
avoided buying that brand product,
or would stop purchasing from that
shop. It was presumed that it was
the responsibility of consumers to be
careful while buying a commodity
or service. It took many years for
organisations in India, and around
the world, to create awareness
amongst people. This has also
shifted the responsibility of ensuring
EVERYONE KNOWS
TOBACCO KILLS PEOPLE,
BUT WHO CAN SAY THAT
T OBACCO COMPANIES
SHOULD NOT BE FREE
TO SELL TOBACCO?
2015-2016
1. What could have been the steps taken by consumer groups?
2. There may be rules and regulations but they are often not followed. Why? Discuss.
LET’S WORK THESE OUT
Consumers International
In 1985 United Nations adopted
the UN Guidelines for Consumer
Protection. This was a tool for
nations to adopt measures to
protect consumers and for
consumer advocacy groups to
press their governments to do
so. At the international level, this
has become the foundation for
consumer movement. Today,
Consumers International has
become an umbrella body to
over 220 member organisations
from over 115 countries.
Because of all these efforts, the movement succeeded in
bringing pressure on business firms as well as government
to correct business conduct which may be unfair and against
the interests of consumers at large. A major step taken in
1986 by the Indian government was the enactment of the
Consumer Protection Act 1986, popularly known as COPRA.
You will learn more about COPRA later.
2015-2016
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