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threat of bad publicity to keep companies' focus on the consumers' point of view.

Consumer organizations may attempt to serve consumer interests by relatively direct actions such as creating and/or disseminating market information, and prohibiting specific acts or practices, or by promoting competitive forces in the markets which directly or indirectly affect consumers (such as transport, electricity, communications, etc.). MAJOR CONSUMER ORGANISATIONS IN INDIA ARE: 1. Voluntary Organization in the Interests of Consumer Education (VOICE), 2. Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI) 3. Consumer Education & Research Centre (CERC) 4. Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) 5. Consumer Coordination Council (CCC) 6. Citizen Consumer & Civic Action Group (CAG), 7. Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP),

Consumer organizations are advocacy groups that seek to protect people from corporate abuse like unsafe products, predatory lending, false advertising, astroturfing and pollution. Consumer organizations may operate via protests, campaigning or lobbying. They may engage in single-issue advocacy (e.g., the British Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), which campaigned against keg beer and for cask ale) or they may set themselves up as more general consumer watchdogs, such as the Consumers' Association in the UK. One common means of providing consumers useful information is the independent comparative survey or test of products or services, involving different manufacturers or companies (e.g., Which?, Consumer Reports, etcetera). Another arena where consumer organizations have operated is food safety. The needs for campaigning in this area are less easy to reconcile with their traditional methods, since the scientific, dietary or medical evidence is normally more complex than in other arenas, such as the electric safety of white goods. The current standards on mandatory labeling, in developed countries, have in part been shaped by past lobbying by consumer groups. The aim of consumer organizations may be to establish and to attempt to enforce consumer rights. Effective work has also been done, however, simply by using the

Other NGO s are: 1. PRAYAS 2. Public Affairs Centre (PAC), E-mail: 3. Centre for Budget & Policy Studies,

Consumer Organizations in India

E mail:

Voluntary Organization in the Interests of Consumer Education (VOICE),

VOICE- Voluntary Organization In Interest of Consumer Education-is a voluntary action group, whose objective is to protect and further the interests of the consumer. The Group aims at not only making the consumer conscious of the malpractices perpetuated in the marketplace, but also at creating an awareness that organized efforts can overcome the helplessness of the individual consumer. It works towards informing the consumer of his/her rights, and motivating him/her to demand value for money. The organization was founded by teachers and students at the University of Delhi in the beginning of the academic year 1983-84. Till mid 1986. VOICE functioned as an unregistered voluntary consumer association. On 28 June 1986, it was registered as a Public Charitable Trust with noted jurist, Justice [retd.] V.M. Tarkunde and Prof. P.K. Ghosh of the Delhi School of Economics as founder donors and Dr. Sri Ram Khanna and Mr Rain Karanjawala as Trustees. To apprise the consumer of his rights and motivate him/her regular columns authored by VOICE Team are published in newspapers and magazines like News time [Hyderabad] Dainik Bhaskar, Amar Ujala, Punjab Kesari, Indian Express, Hindu, Sunday mail, Chauthi Duniya, The Sentinal, Adworld, and University Today. This ensures exposure on a national plane. While serving on several official committees, VOICE has articulated consumer interest and continues to do so, as member of the Central Committee on Food Standards, Consumer Protection council [Delhi]. Electronics Test Lab advisory Committee, Committee on Urban Waste management, and the Committee on the Issue of Fluoride in Toothpaste and MSG in Foods. Representatives of VOICE have also participated in TV presentations and AIR Programmes on Consumer protection and misleading advertising, thus reaching wide cross-section of people. VOICE has been pursuing a large number of cases at MRTP Commission, before law courts and Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum. Its case against TV manufacturers before the MRTP commission has resulted in the prosecution of 44 leading TV companies for overcharging the consumers. VOICE has fought court cases inviting corporate giants like Bata and ITC to protest against competitions [Bubblegummers contest/Made for each other ads] designed to lure children and adults respectively. Throught court cases, VOICE has compelled soft-drink companies to state in every ad that their drinks are `artificially flavoured` and `contain no

Consumer Organizations in India

fruit juice or fruit pulp`. It won its case in the Supreme Court against out-of turn allotment of cars to VIPs by Maruti Udyog Ltd. VOICE also renders free legal advice and guidance to its Consumer Associates to enable them fights their own cases in courts. VOICE members have been participating in seminars, symposia and conferences organised by Government Departments and FICCI as well as sister consumergroups/associations like consumer Education and Research Council [CERC], Ahmedabad. Besides, VOICE on its own and in collaboration with other consumer bodies has organised a number of seminars/and workshops to educate the consumer and involve him/her directly in the consumer movement.

Consumer Organizations in India

Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI)

BEGININGS SINCE INDEPENDENCE, India has been striving to develop and strengthen its industrial base. In this pursuit of "selfsufficiency", however, the consumer has been made to endure sub-standard products and services: adulterated foods, short weights and measure, spurious and hazardous drugs, exorbitant prices, endemic shortages leading to black marketing and profiteering, unfulfilled manufacture guarantees,and a host fo other ills. In one infamous case, forty persons were struck with dropsy and glaucoma after consuming groundnut oil adulterated with toxic argimon oil. The culprits were never brought to justice. This outrage energised nine ladies to organize a movement to fight for consumer rights. They formed the Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI) to resist consumer exploitation of all forms. HIGHLIGHTS Following are some of the landmarks achieved by CGSI: 1. CGSI is the earliest consumer organisation in India, founded in 1966. 2. CGSI was the first to demand a Consumer Protection Act with Consumer Course to implement it. This becomes a reality in 1986. 3. To date, 70% of the thousands of complaints referred to CGSI have been redressed. 4. CGSI established formal Product Testing in India. 5. CGSI was the first to publish a monthly magazine "Keemat" carrying information of importance to consumer. 6. CGSI promotes consumer education; initiates training projects in rural areas; Promotes publicity drives; represents consumer interests with Government and other bodies. 7. CGSI received the National Award for consumer Protection in 1991. 8. CGSI is the only Indian consumer organisation to be a council member of Consumer International for 25-years. 9. CGSI is a member of the Maharashtra State Consumer Protection Counsil. 10. CGSI participates in a large no. of technical committees and government decision-making bodies. LEGAL FRAMEWORK CGSI was the first consumer organisation to demand special Consumer Court for redressal of consumers' complaints. In 1975, CGSI led a delegation of five consumer organizations from different parts of India to the then Minister for food and Civil Supplies, Mr.T.A. Pai, to press for

Consumer Organizations in India

a comprehensive Consumer Protection Act, Special Consumer Court and a Directorate for implementation of the Act. The first two have now become a reality. COMPLAINT REDRESSAL CGSI handles consumer complaints and offers legal guidance to those wishing to file suits in the Consumer Court. In case where there are a number of complaint against a particular party, both sides are brought together to resolve the issue. The CGSI'S Complaints Committee meets twice a week. Many thousands of grievances have been handled over the years, with 70% success in favour of the complaints cover medical/surgical malpractice and negligence; insurance non-payment; sub-standard drugs and medicines; home remedies; defective household appliances; poor quality foods and drinks; misleading advertising claims; and grievances concerning investments, real estate, insurance, telephones, electricity supply, etc. PRODUCT TESTING As early as 1977, CGSI established the facility of product testing. It first assessed the safety and performance of domestic pressure stoves and found that two-third of the samples tested failed in safety Parameters. CGSI sent the results to the government and Indian Standards Institution (ISI) with a demand for mandatory certification. In 1986, the Pressure Stoves Quality Control Order was passed. later, ISI Certification for pressure stoves became mandatory. Subsequently tests were carried out on electrical appliances and fittings - irons, immersion heaters, This culminated in the enactment of the Household Electrical

Appliances (Quality Control) Order. A food adulteration testing kit has been developed for use by the lay consumer. Many other products were tested and reports published in the Society's monthly Journal, "Keemat": edible oils, powdered spices, 'surma', geysers, clinical thermometers, plastic water bottles, rubber teats, milk, mineral water, bread, soft drinks, bath soaps and toothpaste. CONSUMER EDUCATION FOR SCHOOLS/COLLEGES CGSI's Education Committee members had been working with other likeminded educationists to formally introduce Consumer Education in the school curriculum. After nearly two years of meetings and discussions, our efforts were fruitful. In 1994, the Maharashtra Education Board introduced Consumer Education at the 9th Standard Level, progressively covering students from the 4th Standard upwards. The subject taught are the Consumer Moment, Rights & Responsibilities of Consumers, the Consumer in the Market Place, Food Adulteration, Weights and Measures, the Environment, etc. This topics included under existing subjects like Civics, Economics and Home science, are projectbased and more practical in nature then theoretical or examination-oriented. CONSUMER EDUCATION FOR RURAL CONSUMERS CGSI started a rural project in the villages of Thane and Raigad districts (Maharashtra) in 1997, with a staff of six and funding from Actionaid. Consumer training was given to people in 112 villages by 1999. Over 32,300 people have received Consumer Education through

Consumer Organizations in India

750 talks and demonstrations in the 2 years of the project, 107 training programmes were organized and 5,767 potential activists have been given special training in Consumer Activision. Three local Consumer groups have been setup in different areas by the Consumers themselves, and these are now actively organizing exhibitions, holding talks and redressing complaints. More are expected to come up soon. PUBLICATIONS "Keemat" is now in its 32th year of publications, the first Consumer magazine in India to be published regularly every month. CGSI has also produced Consumer Guides on subject like Electrical Appliances, Edible Oils, Pesticides, Food, Adulteration, Safety At Home, Safe Blood, etc. NATIONAL AWARD In 1991, CGSI received the National Award for Consumer Protection in its 25th year for service to Consumers. CGSI hopes to reach out to more and more consumers in the new millennium and to developed newer and more effective methods of serving consumers interest. CGSI FOUNDERS The Founder members of CGSI were: Mrs. Seeta Gupta Mrs. Indira Mazumdar Mrs. Seeta Nadkarni Dr. Leela Thorat : Social Worker : Social Worker : Social Worker : Doctor

Mrs. Leela Jog : Journalist Mrs. Kamala Mankekar Dr. Shanta S. Rao Mrs. Nalini Tulpule Mrs. Shakuntala Kadam : Journalist : Scientist : Social Worker : Social Worker

Their cause has been joined down the years by several public minded citizens. Many illustrious names figure in the list of CGSI Presidents. CGSI PRESIDENTS 1969 - 1972 1972 - 1974 Justice B.N.Gokhale (Retd.) Shri G.L. Mehta (exAmbassador) Justice J.C. Shah (Retd.) Justice J.L. Nain (Retd.) Dr.(Smt.) Kamala Sohonie Smt. Leela Jog Justice B.J.Rele Justice Y.J Chandrachud (Ch.Jus.Supreme Court Retd.) Justice B. Lentin (Retd.) Shri J.B.D'Souza, I.A.S. (Retd.) Shri Julio Ribeiro, I.P.S. (Retd.) Smt. Krishna Basrur

1974 - 1977 1977 - 1981 1982 - 1983 1984 - 1986 1986 - 1988 1988 - 1990

1990 - 1991 1992 - 1995

1995 - 1997

1997 - 2001

Consumer Organizations in India

2001 -

Smt.Shalini Sirur

Pedestrian Wing To secure basic rights of pedestrians to walk in safety, constituting as they do the single largest segment of the traffic stream in our country, CGSI launched The Pedestrian Wing on 3rd June 1999 at a public meeting held at the Society's premises. The decision came as a logical follow-up of the Hon'ble Mumbai High Court order delivered in 1998 on CGSI's writ petition filed earlier. To the best of our knowledge, CGSI is the first NGO in this country to start a Forum for the pedestrians. The objectives of Pedestrian Wing are as follows: 1. To create public awareness about the rights and responsibilities of Pedestrians and fight for their due rights. 2. To spread awareness about the importance of walking as a mode of transport and facilitate its use for short distance transportation. 3. To facilitate and promote availability of user-friendly Public Transport and encourage it's use by the public. 4. To do all that is necessary to secure the availability of use at least 90% of the time proper smooth, level and properly constructed pavements, free of encroachments, wherever needed. 5.To propagate and secure road infrastructure related to pavements such as i) hand railings along the pavements, ii) properly marked and painted pedestrian crossings fitted with electronic signals, iii) traffic islands, iv) road dividers and v) proper parking spaces. 6. To fight for proper, orderly and safe

Traffic Management and conduct/handling of all related matters conducive to minimum vehicular pollution. 7. To network and co-operate with all Government, Municipal and likeminded NGOs, Citizen groups working or engaged in transportation fields towards achieving the above objectives. The Pedestrian Wing seeks to promote walking as an ideal mode of short distance transportation considering it's many beneficial effects. As a corollary to this, Pedestrian Wing actively encourages and supports citizens in their bid to secure for themselves all the facilities necessary for their safety to enjoy this fundamental right. Pedestrian Wing has already many active members spread out all over Mumbai including suburbs. Pedestrian Wing activities include regular and continuous interaction with MCGM, Traffic Police, Transport Commissioner and RTOs at all levels i.e. from HQ to Ward level for redressal of grievances of pedestrians and improvement in facilities. CGSI - Pedestrian Wing is a special invitee to MCGM Inter-Utility Apex Committee meeting/ Zonal level meetings, Traffic Advisory Committee of Traffic Police of Mumbai and co-ordination committee of RTA. Pedestrian Wing also works closely with like-minded NGOs in the field such as WORSPA, AGNI, Citispace, NeTrA, WIAA, PATRA, LPA etc. besides keeping in close touch with the Pedestrian Association of U.K. Pedestrian Wing holds a ' Open House ' on 1st Friday of every month at 5 PM at CGSI office when anyone, whether member or not, desirous of seeking redressal of his pedestrian/ traffic grievance or making a

Consumer Organizations in India

suggestion for improvement in pedestrian facilities is welcome to attend.

Consumer Education & Research Centre

Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), a non-profit NGO was established during the year 1978, is a Public Charitable Trust registered under the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1948 CERC and its affiliate body CERS and TORCH, together have a staff strength of about 100 qualified professionals. The organization is located on campus of 10,000 sq.mts. This houses the main administrative buildings and the laboratory. Scope of Activities and Mandate of the Organization (CERC) It is a recognized consumer organization by the Government of India and Government of Gujarat. It is dedicated to the cause of consumer protection, environment protection, investor protection and public health and safety issues. It works towards these objectives through education, media, and research, effective uses of law, advocacy, lobbying and in house comparative consumer product testing. The CERC mandate also permits the expansion of its activities to make it topical, and to deal with emergent issues of consumer and public health and safety and protection. CERC and CERS have filed public interest litigation/class action cases on major public health issues before the Supreme Court of India and Gujarat High Court such as :Safety of drinking water, safety and adequate labeling of drugs (i.e. Medicines) and asbestos. In the Asbestos litigation (CERC vs. Government of India) reported in 1995 (3) SCC p.42, various issues relating to safety of asbestos and adequate compensation to the victims of asbestosis were raised in the petition before the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court allowed the public interest petition of CERC. In addition to the monetary compensation granted to the families of deceased workers, the Supreme Court directed that the tests laid down in the Vienna Convention for testing the asbestos fiber, and the code of conduct and the rules for asbestos manufacturers laid down by the ILO shall be made mandatory for the Indian asbestos industry. CERC had prayed that all international standards for ensuring safety of workers and safe use and disposal of asbestos should be adopted by the asbestos industry in India, which the Supreme Court was pleased to direct. CERC's interest in FCTC Process Since public health and safety and consumer safety in particular are important mandates of CERC, it has been working in the area of tobacco use and related safety issues, since 1982. A specific instance is of successfully fighting the use of tobacco in dental tooth pastes, without adequate label information and packing to the consumers. In Gujarat, manufacturers routinely mixed tobacco with tooth pastes

Consumer Organizations in India

which were sold under various brand names such as IPCO and DENTOBAC etc. Consumers were never informed that the use of these tooth pastes was addictive because of the tobacco and nicotine content in these tooth pastes. We dealt with a case where a husband was on the verge of a nervous breakdown because his wife was using up to two tubes of tobacco based dental tooth paste per day. Any attempt to stop her from using them led to severe withdrawal symptoms and further leading to physical and psychological symptoms. We ultimately succeeded in getting the Government (Dept. of Health) to insist upon adequate label information on such tobacco based tooth pastes, and also including a warning that such tooth pastes could be addictive, so that consumers could make an informed choice. Recent Developments and contribution of CERC in tobacco control movement Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS) has filed a public interest litigation (read class action litigation) in the High Court of Gujarat at Ahmadabad (Spl. C.A. No.7930 of 1999) seeking the following major reliefs :To declare tobacco and tobacco products as a "drug within the meaning of Sec.3 (b)(ii) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. 1. To prohibit advertisements of tobacco in any form and through any Medias including electronic media. 2. To prohibit smoking in public places.

3. Compulsory education of children and youths on the hazards of tobacco and tobacco products to be funded by Contributions from tobacco and tobacco product manufacturers. 4. To prohibit sale of tobacco and tobacco products in all public places such as railway stations, theatres, public parks etc. 5. To prohibit surrogate advertising of tobacco and tobacco products including promotion and sponsorship of public events and sports etc. 6. To direct that detailed and varied statutory warnings be printed on all cigarette packs 7. All tobacco products carry the `skull and bones' logo The case has been admitted and notices have been issued to the Government of India, Government of Gujarat, Tobacco and tobacco product manufacturers. CERS has written to the Minister for Health & Family Affairs and Food and Civil Supplies, Govt. of Gujarat in March 2000, asking him to enforce a bill for banning all chewing tobacco (popularly called Gutkha) and for severely regulating and restricting tobacco and other tobacco products and their advertisements. CERS has also seriously taken up the case of misleading advertisements which promote the use of tobacco and tobacco products and has asked the Government to initiate action against the same :

Consumer Organizations in India

-One brand of Gutkha (chewing tobacco) had advertised the product as having an ISO 9002 Certificate and thus Claiming it to be "safe" for consumption. Letters have been written to different Government authorities to issue notice to the manufacturer to refrain from publishing such advertisements. The manufacturer for a time being has stopped issuing such advertisements. A representation has been sent to Government of India (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting) requesting urgent and immediate action for gross violation of rules and regulations by cable TV network operators as regards advertisements on tobacco products particularly gutkha. The FCTC Process and its relevance to CERC's Work as pointed out earlier CERC has been working in the field of tobacco regulation and control since1982. CERC has also used international documents, covenants for providing a solid factual matrix to its submissions both in the class action cases filed in the various Courts for making representations to the Government of India, Government of Gujarat and other public and statutory authorities. CERC also strongly believes in the use of legal framework and judicial processes to bring about a permanent and lasting change for the purpose of protecting public health and safety. CERC has successfully used the various provisions of the Constitution of India and the Supreme Court judgments wherein provisions of International covenants, treaties, protocol and conventions have been held to be enforceable particularly where

they relate to the Fundamental Rights of the citizens and consumers of India, more particularly when they relate to the Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution.oTo this end FCTC Convention and Process of Public hearings will go a long way in supporting the various actions spelt out hereinabove and towards which CERC has expended considerable time, effort and money to ultimately bring about effective, meaningful control and regulation of tobacco and tobacco products ; more particularly in ensuring the accountability of tobacco and tobacco product manufacturers. Source of Funding of CERC CERC is mainly funded through individual donations and institutional and Government grants.

Consumer Organizations in India


Consumer Unity & Trust Society

Revolution). This monthly is published regularly and has been instrumental in providing a forum for the oppressed classes to get justice. On seeing Gram Gadar, Rubens Ricupero, SecretaryGeneral of UNCTAD (1995-2004) observed: It confirmed my view that often the simple lack of awareness lies at the root of so much misery Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) was established in India as a consumer protection organization. Currently, the organization operates across India, Africa, Vietnam and the United Kingdom in five areas: consumer protection, trade and development, compe-tition, investment and economic regulation, human

CUTS International (Consumer Unity & Trust Society) began its journey in 1983 in Rajasthan, from a rural development communication initiative, a wall newspaper Gram Gadar (Village

Consumer Organizations in India


development, and consumer safety. CUTS partners with organizations such as Consumers International, the Intern-

ational Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, South Asia Watch on Trade Economics Environment and the Consumer Coordination Council of India.

Consumer Organizations in India


Consumer Organizations in India


PROGRAMME CENTRES CUTS CITEE CUTS Centre for International Trade, Economics & Environment (CUTS CITEE), established in 1996 at Jaipur, India aims to be a high-level global standard institution for research and advocacy on multilateral trade and sustainable development issues. Email: CUTS CART CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research & Training (CUTS CART) established in 1996 at Jaipur, India works towards enabling people, especially women and other disadvantaged groups of society to assert their rights so that they can achieve the right to basic needs and sustainable development through a strong consumer movement. Email: CUTS CHD CUTS Centre for Human Development (CUTS CHD), established in 1990 at village Senti, district Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, India seeks to empower rural people, especially women and disadvantaged groups of society through innovative strategies of social action. Email: CUTS CCIER CUTS Centre for Competition, Investment & Economic Regulation (CUTS CCIER) was established in 2003, Jaipur, India to be a centre of excellence on regulatory issues, with focus on competition, investment and economic regulation. Email: CUTS CRC CUTS Calcutta Resource Centre established in 1987 has a unique feature of working simultaneously on Consumer Safety and Grassroots Economic Development. Email:

CUTS Institute for Regulation & Competition

In view of severe shortage of institutional capacity to both implement reforms and facilitate the spread of knowledge on regulatory matters in developing countries and lack of adequate emphasis on learning from cross-sectoral and cross-country experiences, there has been urgent need for an institution to fill this gap. CUTS Institute for Regulation & Competition (CIRC) was established in September 2005 at Jaipur, India, with an aim to enhance knowledge on regulatory issues. CIRC seeks to offer a wide range of programmes aimed at the existing scenario and cater to the unmet demand of trained personnel in the following areas: Infrastructure and Economic Regulation Competition Policy & Law

Consumer Organizations in India


Commercial & Economic Diplomacy


Consumer Organizations in India


Consumer Coordination Council

Consumer Coordination Council (CCC) was established in March 1993 as a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860. Before taking the present shape, a group of consumer activists representing various Consumer Organizations gathered (in April 1992) to work as one body, to raise one voice on issues related to consumer interests and various Government policies and programmes affecting the interest of the Consumers. CCC has been actively involved in various consumer-related projects and programmes funded by UNICEF, UNDP, Ford Foundation, Consumer Welfare Fund and other funding agencies as also grants from various Ministries of Govt. of India such as MNES, MOH&FW, MOFPI, Department of AR & PG etc for specific projects. Earlier CCC had a long-term partnership with a German Foundation called Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung (FNST), which helped in establishing the organization and provided full support for its programmes including infrastructural expenditure till 31st March 2002. From 1st April 2002 onward CCC is being managed entirely by such projectrelated funds. By now CCC has completed a decade of service to the consumers of the country in general and its Member Consumer Organisations in particular. CCC presently has a membership reach of over 72 leading Consumer Organizations, spread over different parts of the country, which are, or have been members of the Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC), set up under the Consumer Protection Act. It may also be added that many more Consumer Organisations including some new Members of CCPC have applied for Membership of CCC. These are under process. Its Governing Council of 12 Members consists of well-known consumer activists belonging to established Consumer Organisations of long standing. Our Vision Consumer Sovereignty. Our Mission To be an effective national coalition of consumer protection groups so as to provide thrust to common issues affecting consumers. Aims & Objectives

Influencing policies, legislation and administrative framework towards promoting consumer interests. Empowering consumer protection groups to work towards strengthening the civil society in the democratic system of the country.

One of the major concerns of CCC has been Good Governance. CCC had accordingly launched a National

Consumer Organizations in India


Campaign on Citizens Charter in July 1996 for implementing the principles of Transparency, Accountability, Standards of Service, Availability of Information and an Effective Grievance Redressal System in Public Service and has been continuing its pioneering work in this direction. In the process, CCC has been involved both in the drawing up of appropriate Citizens Charters for various organizations, as also in the evaluation of their implementation in the Health, Telecom, Railways, Insurance & Banking Sectors.

Membership fee for Full Members: Rs 1500 per annum Membership fee for Affiliate Members: Rs 500 per annum

The Rules & Regulations of CCC provide for Membership as follows: Membership Membership of the Society shall be open to registered organizations, which are or have been members of the Central Consumer Protection Council established under the Consumer Protection Act at the Centre and any other organization specially invited by the Governing Council for taking such membership. Provided that the society may admit other registered organizations as affiliate members with no voting rights. Affiliate members will not participate in the management of the society, they will not be eligible to stand for elections or participate in the decision making in the general body or any committees where only members can take decisions and vote in terms of these rules and regulations. Membership Fee

Consumer Organizations in India


open spaces environment.




CAG came into existence on 7 October 1985 as a non-profit, non-political, nonreligious, voluntary and professional citizens group based in Chennai, India. S. Govind Swaminadhan, legal practitioner and former Advocate General of the State of Tamil Nadu, was the founding trustee of CAG. The initial trustees included S. Guhan (former Finance Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu), S.L.Rao (former Chairman, Central Electricity Regulatory Commissioner), Shyamala Nataraj (development journalist with the South India Aids Action Program) and Sriram Panchu (Senior Advocate). The Group was originally christened Consumer Action Group. After nearly a decade of our existence, we decided to change it to CAG (Citizen, consumer and civic Action Group), keeping in mind the larger role that groups such as ours have to play. Specifically, issues affecting the common citizen such as extreme pollution, lack of access to information, poor quality health care and civic amenities have emerged as priorities in the work undertaken by CAG. Objectives Over the last five years, our main activities have ranged from campaigning for greater access to information, monitoring the functioning of public utilities and advocating for greater transparency and accountability in governmental and private sector functioning to decentralised and localised urban planning, and the protection of A Board of Trustees consisting of persons from different walks of life, but with a common objective of improving the quality of life for citizens oversee the Groups activities. CAG s activities are carried out by a team of young professionals with different academic and work backgrounds. In the implementation of our programmes we draw upon the resources of a wide range of experts skilled professionals, government officials academia, journalists and fellow civil society and NGO activists. This informal consultation with the Friends of CAG results in an inclusive, comprehensive and informed kaleidoscope of ideas that we analyse and apply appropriately. Every activity of ours is characterized by the identification of the one critical intervention, which will directly impact the citizen-consumer in a significant way. We arrive at this core conclusion by the following steps: Collect Data Through a variety of sources like original research, government and other publications, expert reports etc. we build our case. Diagnose the problem Very often what are observed from data collection are just symptoms of a deeper problem, we identify the core issue from the data collected. Subsequently we carry out any or all of the following steps

Consumer Organizations in India


depending on the need of the intervention. Halt the problem Through a variety of tools including advocacy, signature campaigns, formal complaints, public interest litigation and igniting public participation. Evolve a Solution In order to bring about an equitable solution, which would address the core issue, we collaborate with academia/ academicians, civil society activists and government agencies. Help present the solution Through our network of contacts we help present the solution in the appropriate for a .Disseminate Information: We carry out capacity-building exercises for the citizenry through outreach programmes, publications and other communication tools, which would make them aware of the issue and its solution. Implement /Monitor the Solution: We provide the expertise and resources to ensure solutions are appropriately implemented and monitored.

CAG s contributions towards consumer protection has been recognized by the Government of India who awarded us the National Award for Consumer Consumer Organizations in India Protection in 1989 (Second Prize) and 1991 (First Prize).


Mumbai Grahak Panchayat

On the auspicious day of Gudhi Padwa (Hindu New Year), the12th April, 1975. MGP is a voluntary organization registered in 1981 under Public Charitable Trust Act. 120 plus one time entrance fee of Rs.2. The membership has to be renewed every year in April. The membership fees collected by MGP for financial independence and to obtain financial backing for different types of movements in the interest of consumers.

The objectives of MGP

To organize consumers. To make them aware about their rights and responsibilities. To make the traders, middlemen, producers / manufacturers and the government realize the power of organized consumer power. Any individual who has attended the age of majority, i.e., completed 18 years of age can become a member of MGP The types of membership and what are the fees? (a) Ordinary member who wants to participate in the distribution system. (b) Associate member who does not want to participate in the distribution system, but still wants to get associated with MGP. Both types of members have to pay annual fees (April to March) of Rs.

Consumer Protection wings of MGP

a) Complaint Guidance Cells: MGP believes in protecting the consumer and also provides them with all the necessary guidance and help in fighting for their rights and for justice. MGP has a number of Complaint Guidance Centers all over Mumbai which give free guidance to consumer s hav-ing complaints.

MGP has 9 Complaint Guidance Cells operating at following locations in & outside Mumbai:
1) Grahak Bhavan (Juhu Vileparle) 2) Dadar (West) 3) Girgaum 4) Vile Parle (East) 5) Borivali (West) 6) Chembur

Consumer Organizations in India


7) Thane 8) Vasai 9) Nagaon Consumers approaching the above Centers are given free guidance with regard to their consumer complaints. In calendar year 2009, the 9 Centres together handled 427 complaints against, Builders, Tours & Travel Companies, Doctors, companies, etc. Insurance Banks, Companies, Card

adverse impact of Supreme Court judgments curtailing the scope of Consumer

Protection Act. 5) Advocacy with State & Central Government to contain the prices of essential commodities by invoking

Essential Commodities Act. 6) Commodities packages. 7) Campaign against Hindustan in non-standard


Unilever s LUX Gold Coin offer being the patent Unfair Trade Practice. Filed Petition before National Commission. Hindustan Unilever withdraws the ad campaign.


companies at the



Guidance Centers work purely on voluntary regular basis. training MGP organizes to c)


update their skills. b) Issues & Campaigns: MGP has

Consumer Interest Litigation: Landmark case filed against a LML national Commission which


been undertaking several issues and campaigns in the wider consumer interest. Some of the latest issues & campaigns are as under: 1) Let Us Save Electricity and Water: 2) Say TATA to Reliance: 3) Protest against Government s decision. 4) Advocacy with Central


resulted in refund of Deposits with interest amounting to Rs 40 Crores to more than 4 Lakhs of consumers all over India. 2) PIL filed in Bombay High Court in

1994 resulted in re-starting of 27 District Consumer Fora and the State

Commission of Maharashtra which had come to standstill for want of

Government to overcome the

Consumer Organizations in India


appointments members.




It conducts Good Ad, Bad Ad contests for school children

3) Victory against Paranjape Construction Co: MGP has secured refund for more than 800 flat purchasers who had booked flats with Paranjape Construction Company at Virar. 4) Western Railways and United y It has laid special emphasis on Impact of Food Advertisements on Children and keeps a close eye on advertisements which vie for children s attention. Ad-Watch Club is also gearing up to launch a massive campaign to demand a comprehensive

Breweries were not only forced to withdraw the surrogate Liquor y

advertisements from Western Railway trains but were also forced to




legislation to control and regulate advertising in India A case was taken up by MGP where United Beverages

advertisements to neutralize the effect of surrogate liquor ads. First case of its kind in India. d) AD-Watch Club: MGP has set up y

advertised its alcoholic beverage as Soda on the local trains in Mumbai. MGP complained to the State Government for the removal of these advertisements and the UB Group was asked to put up advertisements made by MGP promoting natural drinks like fresh fruit juices, coconut water, etc. at its own costs on the local trains of Mumbai for one week. It conducts seminars on the adverse effects of Junk Food like

an Ad-Watch Club to monitor ads in print / electronic media and prevent offending /objectionable advertisements particularly those propagating the use of tobacco, Gutka and alcoholic drinks.

Number of objectionable advertisements have been withdrawn / modified after Ad watch Club raised objections. Ad Watch Club also aims at creating awareness about the influence of ads on consumers. Some of its initiatives are: y

Consumer Organizations in India


pizzas, burgers, chips, etc and soft drinks.

for people with HIV, child care, prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), research, advocacy and networking

PRAYAS (Initiatives in Health, Energy, Learning and Parenthood) is a non-governmental, nonprofit organization based in Pune, India. Members of Prayas are professionals working to protect and promote public interest in general and the interests of disadvantaged sections of society in particular. The four groups of Prayas work on the following substantive themes: ENERGY GROUP: Comprehensive, analysis-based approachoto further public interest in the energy sector with the goal of democratising energy governance through research and intervention in policy and regulatory areas; and offering training and support to civil society groups.

RESOURCES & LIVELIHOODS GROUP: Focus on issues related to livelihood security for the poor and vulnerable by promoting the perspective of peoplecentered governance in policy making and public administration and increasing transparency, accountability and public participation in governance processes. LEARNING AND PARENTHOOD GROUP: Alternative Ideas in Education & Parenting

HEALTH GROUP: Awareness regarding HIV/AIDS, training, creation of educational material, information dissemination, counseling, care and support facility
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Overview of the Centre Public Affairs Centre (PAC) is a not for profit organization, established in 1994 with a mandate to improve the quality of governance in India. The creation of PAC was perhaps the first civil society-led institutional initiative to mobilize a demand for good governance in India. The focus of PAC is primarily in areas where citizens and civil society organizations can play a proactive role in improving governance. In this regard, PAC undertakes and supports research, disseminates research findings, facilitates collective citizen action through awareness raising and capacity building activities, and provides advisory services to state and non-state agencies. The Centre is globally known for its pioneering Citizen Report Cards, benchmarking studies used to improve public services, as well as their work on electoral transparency, public works quality monitoring tools and approaches and the recently launched audits of the Right to Information Act and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India. The Beginning The genesis of PAC can be traced to a modest but pioneering initiative by Dr. Samuel Paul in the early nineties. In

1992, Dr. Paul, an eminent economist, teacher and management professional, with several friends initiated a unique experiment to produce a Report Card on public services in Bangalore. Anchoring on the twin concepts of measurement and comparison, report cards generated objective and credible citizen feedback on issues related to the delivery of public services like quality, reliability, corruption and satisfaction. The approach received much national and international attention. The public debates the findings triggered and the media interest that issues like corruption generated provided a much needed stimulus to several public agencies in Bangalore to review their performances. These initial responses led to the formal creation of the Centre in 1994 with financial support from the National Foundation for India and the Ford Foundation. Our Approach PAC s uniqueness lies in synthesizing research and action in its activities and approaches. Its research aims to provide a stimulus for action. And, its action in turn is powered by knowledge derived from research. PAC s work is primarily organized around the premise that an informed and active citizenry is the key to improved governance. While

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conventional policy research concentrates on policy issues and administrative processes, PAC s work has focused on governance as experienced from an average citizen s perspective. Our Vision In pursuit of realizing its vision to improve the quality of public governance in India by creating vibrant, informed and proactive citizen engagements with the state and its institutions, Public Affairs Centre's mission encompasses a multi pronged approach synthesizing a range of strategies and interventions. Our Mission The pivotal points of PAC's mission, around which the activities of the Centre are organized are: public policy research and advocacy; participatory research on governance and social accountability including monitoring and evaluation of public services and programmes; citizen action support; civic education of children and youth; promoting citizen centred environmental governance and capacity enhancement of both the state and civil society.

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Centre for Budget and Policy Studies

The Centre for Budget and Policy Studies was formed in February 1998 as an off-shoot from a research programme in the Development Research Foundation (DRF), a part of Technology Informatics Design Endeavour (TIDE), also a non-profit society in Bangalore. CBPS is an independent, non partisan, not for profits society based in Bangalore. Analysing the state's budget and the budgetary processes at the local level for various sectors such as Health, Education & other services forms an important area of work at CBPS. Significant research in subject matters such as Reproductive & Child Health, Maternal Health, District Income Estimation, and Democracy & Decentralisation at the local level, urban governance and Right to Information forms the strength of the organisation, and CBPS believes in the spirit of a knowledge society. Sharing and dispersing its research to its stakeholders through various mediums such as workshops, documentary films and publications give CBPS the exposure it needs. The Centre for Budget and Policy studies in Bangalore was set up in 1998, as an off shoot of a Development Research Foundation project of Technology Informatics Design Endeavour. Having worked at the local level, CBPS has taken its research results back to the communities in which it has worked. After analysis, it has held workshops to share the results and to explore the future with the people concerned. It was part of the PROOF campaign in Bangalore, which was a partnership of 4 NGOs in the city. It has been part of networks like the International Budget Project, and the Transparency and Accountability Programme. It has taken an active part in workshops and seminars organised by other groups. CBPS was one of the partners involved in the setting up of the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability in Delhi. VISION Creation and Sharing of knowledge for an empowered, equitable, just and democratic society MISSION  Research and Evaluation in the areas of policy, budget, governance and public service delivery  Capacity enhancement of diverse stakeholders/ at various levels  Evidence based Advocacy and dissemination through variety of approaches

The principles of equity, empowerment, justice, democracy and accountability provide the guiding frame for all our work.

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Social sectors such as education, health and water are our special focus areas. We specialize in public policy and finance issues especially in the context of a federal framework. Governing Board: The Governing Body of CBPS lays down the policies, principles, norms, standards and guidelines for fulfilling the objectives of the society. It manages the funds, coordinates the appointment of staff and initiates and defends all legal proceedings on behalf of the society. The Centre for Budget and Policy Studies (CBPS) is an independent, non partisan, not for profits society based in Bangalore. The mission of the Society is to contribute through research to understanding and implementing a process of sustainable and equitable development in India, with a focus on the local level. To this end, analysing the state s budget and the budgetary processes at the local level for various sectors such as Health, Education & other services forms an important area of work at CBPS. The Centre has been instrumental in carrying out research in subject matters such as Reproductive & Child Health, Maternal Health, District Income Estimation, Democracy & decentralisation at the local level, Urban governance and Right to Information to name a few. CBPS believes in the spirit of a knowledge society and to this end disseminates its research to its stakeholders through various mediums such as workshops, documentary films, & publications.

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