|Be Vocal for Local
When I consider
the call from our Prime Minister Modi, to be “Vocal for Local”, it dawns
upon me that this call and persuasion really makes economic sense and financial
well-being of not only those engaged in making those articles locally
or the country, but to the crores of Indian population, though it may appear
to be a nationalistic appeal. After all, every sensible individual
should be looking for more value for his hard earned money.
There are reasons for which an individual could be opting
for a foreign made good. One genuine reason could be that such items
are not manufactured locally and are essential for one’s daily routine,
whether at home or in professional work. It could be a medical equipment
or a high end digital camera.
But purchasing an item just for its esteem value is
something one needs to consider umpteen times before going in for such foreign
made goods. My personal experience in this regard had been quite revealing.
Though I never had a fascination for foreign made items, attracted by the
glitter of the shop in an Airport and to while away some time before boarding
the flight, I ventured into the shop and ended up purchasing a Casio
wrist watch. It worked well for 2-3 years. All the nightmare
started thereafter, in locating an authorised service centre and getting
it attended. Not only had that proved to be cumbersome, but also costly.
Still worse was the experience with a Citizen Eco wrist watch,
which someone presented me. No doubt, that was attractive, but that
does not work forever. In case of a problem with that piece, you do
not get an authorised service centre in your vicinity. And, finally
when you are able to locate one, they demand a hefty charge and quite often
than not, they do not have the required spares to service your item.
Yet another article used by me, a FitBit wrist band, for monitoring
the pulse, BP, etc., a pioneer in that category, failed just after one year,
and had to be thrown away. I can keep adding many more items, but
there is no need at present to illustrate the point that I am trying to
In contrast, you consider the locally made Titan
watches. Watches are available within a fraction of the cost of the
so called foreign mal and you can get them serviced in peanuts.
Invariably they give a good life, comparable with the best in the world.
Further, for any service, right from replacement of battery, Titan has nearly
two dozen showrooms cum service centres, spread across my city, Chennai,
in comparison to a handful of them authorised to service international brands,
across the entire country.
As an engineer/technocrat/entrepreneur, will anyone
go out of the way to spend more resources for setting up or establishing his
factory/enterprise? No one will. I am yet to come across any
management guru advising for such a profligate approach. When that
is the sensible way of doing, why any other way? Invariably,
the local products are made having the Indian conditions in mind and are
tuned to the local population. Even today, we the average Indian always
try to take out the maximum out of a product and do appreciate and utilise
the after sales service.
Whereas, most of the technical gadgets, which could
be arriving from China, must have been designed and made for the USA.
Since labour is costly in the US, one will hardly find any reconditioning
or repair shops over there. Hence, it is no surprise, the Chinese
goods, which had become the manufacturing hub of the world, hardly has any
repairing or service facility across the country for plethora of their products,
made for different international brands.
I only remember the popular Hindi proverb “ghar
ka murgi, dal barabar”, which means that even a chicken cooked at home
appear to be equal to an item made out of pulses. So, we tend to under-value
the resources which are available at home and could be guilty of even overlooking
them. Otherwise, how anyone can justify the almost minimal support
for the khadi cotton goods, which are by far the best suited for our tropical
climate and are also economical to use.
To conclude, being “Vocal for Local” is the obvious
choice. Instead of learning it the hard way and wasting one’s hard earned
money, it makes sense and will give peace of mind to go for the local items,
which at times may not have the brand equity, due to several reasons.
*Mr. B.Vaidyanathan, is the Chief
Mentor, Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela.
be better protected - Narendra Modi
Employees are entitled to benefit of two years weightage
under the EPS
- Justice is not Supreme
Supreme Court fails
to uphold the law
Some suggestions to Chief Justice of India - Is it
that the Laws & Rules
need to remain only on paper?
Amendments to Consumer Protection
A big question
mark about the relevance
of the judiciary in safeguarding the consumer
Curative Petition dismissed)
In India, consumers have been at the receiving end
since long. One thought
that things will change for the better
after the Consumer Protection Act was enacted in
1986 and a structured approach was adopted to promote
and safeguard the interests of the consumers.
But after 2004, things have gone from bad to worse.
Commencing from the castration of the Central Consumer
Protection Council, the relevance of the consumer Act
itself has been brought into question. If the
government is found wanting and none too serious to strengthen
this voluntary initiative of the individuals to do their
bit for a healthy society, which in any case is bound to
benefit the industry, its competitiveness and the country
as a whole, myopic approach only appear to rule the roost, as
Important amendments which
were brought in 2003 to the Consumer Protection
Act, with a clear objective of penalising Unfair
Trade Practices and to compensate the consumer/litigant
adequately have been frustrated by the indifferent
approach of the National Commission as well as the Supreme
Court. That is why, giving the benefit of doubt
to the bench which did not do justice to the issues placed
before it by Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela, and
to take the issues pursued by it to the logical end, Curative
Petition was filed. The GROUNDS
the denial of “Natural Justice” to the
Petitioner Council and the failure of the Court
in addressing the issues raised in the “Appeal”.
Rupa Ashok Hurra
case specifically has laid “Violation of Principles
of Natural justice” as the valid ground for considering
a Curative Petition. Question is whether a narrow
view of non-issue of notice alone should be taken as
the requisite ground for allowing the Appeal or blatant
denial to consider the Grounds of Appeal by the concerned
bench should be treated alike, in the larger interests of
justice? If this anomaly is not addressed,
Curative Petitions will only be found useful
when the media start highlighting an issue, like the LGBT
case – leading to the strength of the population deciding
the outcome of the Curative Petition. This
does not augur well for a civilized democratic country.
Learned ex-Justice of Gujarat
& Rajasthan High Courts, Sri M.R.Calla,
and designated Sr. Advocate of the Supreme
Court had unequivocally advocated for allowing
the Curative Petition of the Council, pointing
out the gross miscarriage
of justice and denial of natural justice.
But that has not appealed to the Supreme
Court bench headed by the CJI, who have
the Curative Petition,
as per the Order made available on the internet
Something needs to be done
to address and to save the people from this
hyper-technical approach of the Supreme Court and
to promote the consumer movement, which is after
all in the best interests of the nation.
Will Shri Narendra Modi and his government do something
to stem this rot?
How can the
Supreme Court pass an irrelevant order?
is your right'
consumer and go scot-free
Finish the consumer
A consumer organisation
with a difference.
Instead of rendering advisory services
alone, the Council since its inception, in 1985,
has been taking up issues affecting them through
the consumer courts and other means and feels proud
to have provided relief to crores of people.
not be an exaggeration to add that its activities
have added to the confidence of the Rourkela
population, against unethical business practices.
- Remedial action against
short filling of LPG in cooking
gas refills; of the 184 LPG Bottling Plants, of the
three Oil Marketing Companies (IOC, BP & HP),
only 4 remain to be automated. Even these will
be modernised within the next financial year 2013-14).
The quantified loss of nearly Rs. 750 crores per
year to the consumers across the country has been taken
care by this upgradation. Thanks to the Council's
Original Petition initiatied in 2001, before the National
Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
- Won an important case against
the Rourkela Development Authority and
secured financial relief for a group of individuals,
against violation of Plan & Specifications
in the construction of the houses and delay in
handing over the possession.
- Obtained a separate District
Forum for Rourkela, though it is
not the district headquarters, which otherwise
necessitated the entire Rourkela population
to approach the Forum, situated at Sundergarh, a
place 100 km away;
- Re-routing of Dhanbad-Alleppey
Express train through Chennai Central;
- Campaigned against non
transferring of excise duty concessions (to the
consumers) extended by the union government to the
- Better upkeep of the railway
coaches of Utkal Kalinga Express
and other trains;
- Reintroduction AC Chair
Car in Ispat Express;
- Refunding of booking advance
by M/s APSL and M/s LML; and many
The fifth Voluntary Consumer
Organisation in the country to have set
up a Consumer Information Centre,
with the support of Ministry of Consumer
Affairs and Public Distribution, Govt. of India.
Has earned a niche for creating consumer
awareness and handling of individual
as well as group/class grievances.
It is bringing out an English monthly Advantage
Consumer, to educate the consumers. It
is represented in various Advisory bodies.
An Aware Consumer is
an Asset to the Nation
Through this site effort
will be made to disseminate all relevant
information and answers to many of the queries
which are frequently asked. Knowledge is power
and ignorance is the root cause of all exploitation.
As a consumer, we hope you will find the site quite
useful. Since ours is a voluntary organisation with
meagre resources we have designed the site on our own
and are sure there will be lot of scope to improve. As such
we invite the public and the visitors to this site to communicate
their valuable feedback, so that we may improve the contents
of this site.
Lots & Lots of information in store
for you to tap, in the
Information Section. Why wait to
click on Information.
If you are keen to support the Council, you may send in
your donations through
crossed Cheques/Demand Drafts, drawn in
favour of "Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela".
All donations to the Council are exempted
under sec. 80G of the Income Tax Act. The Council is also
registered under the FCRA (Foreign Contribution