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changing of password
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Non-Governmental Consumer Organizations in India
(The following is NOT legal advice and is purely for informational purposes only. userscomplaints.com is not competent to give any legal advice. For legal advice please contact a competent lawyer. Any reliance that you place on this information is at your own risk. userscomplaints.com does not guarantee the accuracy of this information and is not responsible for any consequences, actions, lack of actions, results or lack of results that you may or may not face from following information in this article.)
Non-Governmental Consumer Organizations are non-profit, non-political (in most cases), non-regulatory, independent advocacy groups promoting consumerism in India. Although they lack statutory powers, they form a critical support network for you when you are a victim of corporate malpractice and/or deceit. Imagining you alone against a corporate powerhouse with 50,000 employees, 50 lawyers, and Rupees 500 Crores at their disposal isn't exactly a comforting thought. With consumer organizations to assist, you don't have to worry; you are not alone in your fight for justice... you have the support of powerful and determined social organizations that can organize protest rallies against corporate entities (no matter how powerful they are), or lobby the government or other statutory agencies to take notice of your grievance.
Consumer organizations improve your awareness of your consumer rights and advice you on the legal recourse you can take when your consumer rights are violated. This article provides you information about the salient consumer protection and advocacy groups in India today. If you notice that any of their addresses are outdated, please inform us by writing to [email protected]
Established in 1993 under the Societies Registration Act 1860, Consumer Coordination Council (CCC) has been a stalwart proponent of good governance. In 1996, CCC launched a national campaign on citizens' charter to implement transparency, accountability, standards of service and a public grievance redressal system at the government level. CCC has made notable achievements in influencing the making of laws, governmental policy decisions, and providing administrative infrastructure for protecting consumer interest. It also serves as an umbrella organization for all other consumer NGOs in India.
Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI) was founded in 1966 to eliminate all possible forms of consumer exploitation. It is one of the oldest consumer organizations in the country and has been instrumental in lobbying the government to pass a consumer protection act. It has been a member of Consumers International for several years and 70% of the consumer complaints received by it have been resolved. CGSI has been instrumental in promoting consumerism by publishing its flagship monthly periodical "Keemat", performing product testing, providing consumer education at the grass root level such as schools, and giving legal guidance to consumers with grievances. It won the national award for consumer protection in 1991 for its long, dedicated and effective services to consumers.
Established on October 7, 1985, Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group (CAG) has grown out to be one of the country's leading consumer advocacy groups. Instrumental in running campaigns for greater access to information, improved functioning of public utilities, greater transparency and accountability in governmental and private sector functioning, and protection of our open spaces and natural environment, CAG plays a vital role in the growth of consumerism in our country. CAG specializes in attending issues that affect the common man's life such as lack of hygiene, pollution of our natural resources, inaccessible healthcare facilities, corruption and lack of accountability for the government revenue from tax sources. CAG has been a member of Consumers International since 1990.
Association for Consumers Action on Safety and Health (ACASH) is a consumer organization that focuses on health-related consumer issues. It has programs aimed at the general public promoting consumer rights and overall dispersion of information regarding consumer safety. Founded by a group of doctors, lawyers and other eminent personalities, ACASH today helps consumers in India through education & awareness, training, developing IEC (Information, Education and Communication) material, networking, advocacy and lobbying and follow-up action. A member of Consumers International since 1990, ACASH is also a member of Globalink, International Network of Women Against Tobacco (INWAT), International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), Health Action International (HAI), Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI), All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI).
Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC) protects consumer interest in India through consumer research, campaigns through media, creation / monitoring / enforcement of effective consumer laws, consumer advocacy and information dissemination. An apolitical outfit, CERC has research facilities recognized by the Indian government, and the United Nations has approved CERC as an NGO. CERC's mission includes environmental protection, creating transparency and accountability in the public and private enterprises and agencies in our country, resolving individual consumer complaints, ensuring consumer safety through product research, consumer education, awareness campaigns and product test results dissemination.
Not to be confused with the governmental bodies established as per the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) is a consumer organization that is non-affiliated to any statutory agency. Instituted in Ahmedabad, the CPC has been instrumental in undertaking consumer issues such as consumer safety, traffic safety and pedestrian safety. It has effectively and successfully pursued legal battles against governmental agencies when they neglect or fail to carry out their duties to the tax payers. CPC has been a member of Consumers International since 1986.
Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) originated from a rural background in Rajasthan. It operates five program centers in India, an advocacy center in New Delhi, and resource centers in several international locations. CUTS's consumer work is focused on consumer protection and consumer safety. With about 20,000 square feet office space, 140 employees, and affiliation to / recognition from major national and international consumer agencies, CUTS is truly equipped to be the champion of consumer causes in our country. It publishes a monthly 'Gram Gadar' which has been effective in ensuring justice for oppressed social masses. CUTS has been a member of Consumers International since 1990.
Consumers Association of India (CAI) was established on the world consumer rights day to be a powerful lobby for the consumer. It has successfully and determinately taken up the mission to spread awareness among consumers, educate them about their responsibilities and rights and to ensure that the consumers' voices can be heard. In the past six years, CAI has successfully settled over 98% of the 7500 complaints it has received through arbitration. For the remaining 2% CAI has supported the consumer in pursuing the complaint through the Indian legal system. CAI has been a member of Consumers International since 2003.
Consumers' Forum is one the consumer organizations that existed in India long before the Consumer Protection Act 1986 was passed. The mission of the organization, at its start, was to promote consumerism by making aware, training and educating the consumers on their rights. This was particularly necessary when there were no stalwart laws in our country to protect the consumers. The forum provides free advice to consumers, conducts brain storming sessions on matters related to consumer protection and ensures the representation of consumers in national, state and district level consumer courts and legally mandated consumer protection councils. Consumer Forum has been a member of Consumers International since 1996.
Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP), or Bombay Consumer Forum, started as an agitation against the increase of consumer prices near festival season for fair and free distribution of consumer goods. The distribution system that flourished was registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act 1960 and Indian Public Trust Act 1950 in the name of MGP. MGP promotes consumerism by bringing the consumer to the forefront of the logistics and supply chain of consumer goods as decision makers, executors and monitors. MGP's primary objectives include organizing the consumers for common causes, educating them and protecting consumer interest through legal and other means.
Voluntary Organization in Interest of Consumer Education (VOICE) strives to be the voice of and for the consumer that the governments and other statutory / regulatory bodies of the country seldom hear. The primary focus of this NGO is to establish informed consumers in India. Information dispersed to consumers through VOICE includes corporate negligence / misconduct on issues such as consumer safety or customer satisfaction, your rights as a consumer to get value for your money, and the recourse that can be taken if your consumer rights are defied. Founded by students and teachers of the University of Delhi in 1983, it was registered as charitable public trust in 1986, the same year the consumer protection act came into being.
Grahak Shakti works towards creating consumer awareness by organizing various programs, street plays and on shows such as 'Hello Geleyere'. The organization has undertaken a number of surveys like the one on spurious drugs in coordination with the Drugs Control Department - Government of India. Its campaign on credit cards and effective liaison with the regulator was an effective way to warn the erring bankers to conduct business ethically. It also participated in joint raids in coordination with the Department of Legal Metrology and some oil companies to check malpractices related to weights and measurement, adulteration and pilferage.
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