Consumer Awareness

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THE PROCESS of development along with the expanding globalisation and liberalisation process has increased the number of consumer related issues. Consumer protection has earned an important place in the political, economic and social agendas of many nations. In India, the Government has taken many steps including legislative, to protect consumers. Education is a life long process of constantly acquiring relevant information, knowledge and skills. Consumer education is an important part of this process and is a basic consumer right that must be introduced at the school level. Consumers by definition include all citizens who are, by and large the biggest group, who are affected by almost all government, public or private decisions. The most important step in consumer education is awareness of consumer rights. However, consumer education is incomplete without the responsibilities and duties of consumers, and this influences individual behaviour to a great extent.

Definition
Consumer awareness is making the consumer aware of His/Her rights. Consumer awareness it a marketing term. It means that consumers note or are aware of products or services, its characteristics and the other marketing P's (place to buy, price, and promotion).

Need :
we need it so we will not be misled by producers,it explains if what we buy is worth to our money..and not harmful to us and to environment . Many people are ignorant of their rights to get protected against the exploitation by so many others. So when there is a forum for such redress of grievances there seems to be no such exploitation by many; and becomes a rare one. So in order to get a clear picture of the level of exploitation of consumers, the awareness is required.

Role of producers
proper labeling, full information, health warnings, handling information, expiration date, etc. keep to requirements, norms, standards labelproducts according requirements, providing true facts
If they are providing a service they should carry it out with due skill and care. They must also make sure that any materials they provide as part of this service are fit for the purpose. It is also illegal for a supplier to cut off, or threaten to cut off, supply to a reseller (wholesale or retail) because they have been discounting goods or advertising discounts below prices set by the supplier. Consumer awareness is about making the consumer aware of his/her rights.It is a marketing term which means that consumers are aware of products or services, its characteristics and the other marketing P’s (place to buy, price, and promotion).Though the first consumer movement began in England after the Second World War, a modern declaration about consumer’s rights was first made in the United States of America in 1962, where four basic consumer rights (choice, information, safety and to be heard ) were recognized. Ralph Nadar, a consumer activist, is considered as the father of ‘consumer movement’. March 15 is now celebrated as the World Consumer Rights Day. The United Nations in 1985 adopted, , certain guidelines to achieve the objectives of maintaining protection for consumers and to establish high level ethical conduct for those engaged in production and distribution of goods and services. High prices, duplicate articles, underweight and under – measurements, rough behavior, undue conditions, artificial scarcity are some of the ways by which consumers are exploited by manufacturers and traders. Limited information, limited supplies and low literacy are factors causing exploitation of consumers. In India, the concept of consumer protection is not new. References to the protection of consumer’s interest against exploitation by trade and industry, underweight and measurement, adulteration and punishment for these offences, were made in Kautilya’s ‘Arthashastra’. However, an organized and systematic movement to safeguard the interest of consumers, is a recent phenomenon. The consumers have to be aware not only...
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