Dimapur, March 15 (EMN): Marking the World Consumer Rights Day, which is celebrated across the globe every year on March 15, the Kohima Law College observed the occasion on Friday. It is observed to raise awareness about consumer rights and needs.
President of Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation (NVCO) Kezhokhoto Savi said in his keynote address that it is “important to create better awareness amongst the consumers and the traders and to pressurise the authority to take timely action in correcting the prices of goods and services in the state,” informed a statement from the Kohima Law College.
While stating that the World Consumer Rights Day is an annual occasion for solidarity within the international consumer movement, Savi said “more importantly, it is a time for promoting the basic rights of all consumers, for demanding that those rights are respected and protected and for protecting the market abuses and social injustices which undermine them.” He reminded the gathering that this year’s theme for the event is “Trusted Smart Products.”
“From smart phones to wearable fitness trackers, to voice-activated assistants and smart TVs, many of the products we use are increasingly connected by default. This world consumer rights day, we want to highlight what consumers want and need from a connected world and how important it is to put them at the heart of the development of these digital products and services,” said Savi. He also informed that smart products are connected to the internet, and receive, collect and send data.
He went on to say that there are currently 23.1 billion smart products in the world, outnumbering people three to one. As more people come online across the world and our connection to the internet becomes better and faster, smart products will become more of a day-to-day reality for consumers everywhere, marking a major change in the way many consumers interact with products and services, he added.
While stating that the emergence of smart technology has brought many opportunities, including access to new services, more responsive products, greater convenience and choice for the consumers, Savi said that there are some significant causes for concern like “lack of security, privacy and meaningful choice over how we use them, as well as a lack of clarity about who is responsible when things go wrong.”
He said that the subject of consumer protection is of vital concern and importance for every citizen of the country as everyone is a consumer in one form or the other and that the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is an important Act in the history of the consumer movement in the country. he added that the Act was made for better protection and promotion of consumer rights through the establishment of consumer councils and quasi-judicial machinery.
Asst. professor Moasenla, who spoke on ‘The exploitation of consumer rights in the state,’ said that the consumers are exploited and cheated daily in many ways via manipulated weighing scale, adulteration, exorbitant prices, sub-standard goods, deficiency services, expiry goods etc.
“In today’s scenario of globalisation, consumers have no control over where the products or commodities they use come from. Safety of natural food products is also a problem of growing concern since due to increased chemical inputs in farm, our food supply is being contaminated with pesticides and chemicals. This poses a grave danger to consumer health. For non-vegetarians, the problem is even more serious since food animals are being fed anti-biotics to fight diseases among animals and boost their growth. This can have serious repercussions on consumer health,” added Moasenla.
Asst. Professor Soni Tep, who spoke on ‘The role of women in promoting consumer rights,’ said that women consumers not only constitute 50% of the total consumers’ population but also make 80% of all purchase decisions. Stating that women have the dual role of family-makers and work professionals to play, the professor said “they have less time, increased pressures and are slowly being de-linked from their traditional knowledge bank.”
The market takes advantage of this situation by offering to women instant services and products, like fast-food, ‘two-minute’ snacks, and refrigerators and washing machines with supposedly better technologies, added Tep.
Students also presented on topics like consumer rights, duties, awareness, alertness during the programme.
World Consumer Rights Day celebrated in Phek and Phesama
The department of legal metrology and consumer protection, Phek observed World Consumer Rights Day at Phek Town Council Hall. The programme was chaired by president of Phek Town Youth Society, Neizote Venuh, according to an update received here on Friday.
Assistant controller, legal metrology and consumer protection, Phek, Shiekhozo presented the keynote address while president of Phek Chamber of Commerce and Industries Kevethisa delivered short speech during the programme.
The programme was attended by Phek Town Youth Society, Phek Town Chakhesang Students’ Union and Phek Chambers of Commerce and Industries.
The Organisation for Consumer Rights Awareness (OCRA) also organised World Consumer Rights Day under the theme “Trusted smart products” at Phesama village council hall, Phesama under Kohima district on March 15. A press release sent by the organisation informed that advocate and legal advisor of OCRA Vekehieto Chuse was the speaker of the event and OCRA action committee convenor Vimezo Zashümo shared consumers’ grievances.