Consumer rights education for college kids in Chennai: A lost war?

Children nowadays are energetic buyers, each online and offline, but are we doing enough to make our kids aware of their rights as customers? It does not seem so. The difficulty of purchaser rights is given scant regard. Any dependent training on this challenge is normally constrained to trade students at the better secondary school and university degrees. A lesson on customer safety for Class 10 has now been deleted following a revision of the syllabus in Tamil Nadu.

“The lesson on the rights and responsibilities of customers in civics changed into an essential manual for students. Sensitized accordingly, loads of students made it a dependancy to test expiry dates and MRP of the goods purchased. Unfortunately, the revised syllabus this yr did no longer include the concern,” stated T Vanarosa, who is working as a Senior Principal in a non-public school. Students said that it had imparted full-size mastering. “Impacted by the lesson, I began looking at motion pictures approximately online frauds. On many occasions, I stopped my parents and household from falling into the entice of consumer scams,” said Amudha N, a scholar of Class eleven. The deleted lesson on customer rights protected important topics, including kingdom purchaser fees, prison formalities for submitting a criticism, and legislation concerning purchaser rights.

Consumer Clubs: A ray of wish?

While the Tamil Nadu schooling branch does now, do not forget training on purchaser rights crucial for faculty college students; Chennai has a robust chain of client golf equipment in the schools, affiliated to the Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection branch. Launched in 2002, this vital authorities scheme aims to spread information about purchaser rights and market most of the scholar population. The center additionally problems a furnish of Rs 10,000 in keeping with the client club.


Members of such clubs behavior focus sessions, rallies, and road play to sensitize the majority about client rights. “We conduct at least monthly programs, the most recent being a sensitization session on meal protection for government school students in Pattabiram. It is the want of the hour because most students do no longer understand even the basics, along with the need to check the expiry date of a product,” said C Balaji, coordinator of Citizen Consumer Club at DRBCCC Hindu College, Avadi. The 12-yr-vintage club has 50 students as contributors.

Dr. K Valli, assistant professor at CTTE Women’s University who’s additionally part of the organization’s purchaser club, explains their targets:

As it is practically not feasible to screen all sellers, growing awareness amongst consumers will become critical
Students are sensitized about reproduction manufacturers and adulteration in purchasing golf equipment. They are taken on trips to customer courts to provide them with a glimpse of the felony lawsuits. They are also asked to accumulate information regarding households and buddies, which are taken up for open-ended discussions. Clubs collaborate with client organizations for behavior lectures, competitions, and many other activities. Important days along with National Consumer Rights Day (December 24) and World Consumer Rights Day (March 15) are found. Tamil Nadu is the simplest nation in using a that has saved alive the sports of purchasing golf equipment, stated a senior reliable with the Civil Supplies branch.

Things going downhill

However, the clubs in faculties were a failure. “Most schools are marks-driven. Students from Classes 10 to twelve should be advocated to be part of these golf equipment, however for the reason that the focus is on their board checks; those clubs are inactive in a whole lot of schools,” said T Sadagopan, President, Tamil Nadu Progressive Consumer Centre. Over the beyond five years, the capability of the clubs has similarly deteriorated due to non-receipt of the budget from the valuable government, say purchaser experts and officers from the Civil Supplies branch. “Each club was given a sum of Rs 5000 each year to help meet the fees of the projects and seminars. All of its far records now. I don’t forget the ultimate time we acquired the finances,” stated a Principal of a non-public (self-financed) college in search of anonymity.

The Principal’s announcement is echoed using patron professionals. “A lot of colleges are meeting the charges of the golf equipment by gathering a meager amount from the students. Many colleges are accomplishing nominal focus periods simplest so that the golf equipment continues to be active and are not closed,” stated M Somasundaram, liaison officer of the Consumer Association of India.

But why did the state of affairs exchange? The legitimate from the Civil Supplies branch throws a few lights. “Consumer Clubs are a useless idea inside the country, besides in Tamil Nadu. It is likewise the cause of why the imperative government is not involved and has stopped disbursing the finances. We have used finances from the country government to support the appearing patron clubs,” said the professional. On the one hand, the deletion of purchaser rights as a topic from the faculty curriculum and the budget deficiency to run patron golf equipment in the faculties on the alternative does not augur properly for the attention of purchaser rights in the various town’s young people.

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