Q. 155.0( 2 Votes )

How as the consumer movements evolved in India?

Answer :

The consumer movement was from the emergence of the dissatisfaction that took place among the consumers, due to the unfair trade practices by the producers or sellers. There was no legal system which favoured the consumers from the exploitations. Eventually, the consumers were not happy with the brands and products which was there in the market. They had no choice other than to avoid buying it or avoid going into the shops. It was supposed that the consumer is the person who should be careful before buying a product, there was no burden levied on the sellers. It took many years in India to bring out the consumer organization, to create awareness amongst the people. This awareness made a drastic shift in the quality of the goods and services on the sellers.


In India, the Consumer Movement originated as a ‘social force’ for protecting and promoting the consumers against the unethical and unfair trade practices. The consumer movement was organized in the 1960s because of the continuous emergence of the rampant food shortage, hoarding, black marketing, adulteration of food and edible oil. Till 1970’s the consumer movement was largely engaged in the writing articles and holding exhibition. They formed the consumer group into look after the malpractices that is taking place in the ration shops and overcrowding in road transport. This led to the upsurge in the number of consumer groups in India.


Another main reason for the evolution of the consumer movement is the demand-supply gap. If the demand for the goods and services exceeds the supply, it creates the weak bargaining power for the consumer and increases the price of the goods and services. This situation can be created by the sellers by the process of the artificial scarcity. Artificial scarcity can be created by the black marketing and hoarding. This is also an unfair practice against the consumers which also contributed to the consumer movement.


Because of these continuous efforts, the movement succeeded in bringing pressure in the business firm as well as government to correct business demeanor which may be unfair and aligned with the interests of consumers at large. A major step taken in 1986 by the Indian government was the implementation of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, popularly known as COPRA.


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