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Get aware, Mall culture is here!

ON THE one hand, using the emerging Shopping Mall culture multinational and foreign companies are pushing many unsafe consumer goods into the market, consumers on the other hand continue to be gullible.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2006 00:43 IST

ON THE one hand, using the emerging Shopping Mall culture multinational and foreign companies are pushing many unsafe consumer goods into the market, consumers on the other hand continue to be gullible.

The seller is heavily organized and united while consumers are totally unorganized.

The R&D institutes in the country are massively capable to check safety levels of consumer goods, but then the government and the legal system must insulate the institutes so that they can protect the consumers.

National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) director Dr P Pushpangadan said this on the first ever national seminar on the Role of R&D Institutions in consumer protection jointly organized with the Bharat Jyoti here at the institute on Sunday.

However, State Advocate-General Virendra Bhatia, the chief guest at the seminar, said: “There is the Consumer Protection Act for consumers but there is such low awareness among them and such high level of cashing in on the gullibility of consumers that sellers most of the time manage to sell unsafe or substandard things to consumers. People don’t even have awareness to check expiry dates on food and medicines.”

Mr Bhatia said if consumers raised their awareness and voices, sellers would get wary and check themselves.

Just last year when the city had the dropsy outbreak and large number of people fell ill and several died, traders despite being at fault got organized and united against actions that were being initiated against them, while consumers just suffered silently, said Vijay Acharya, president of the Bharat Jyoti.
Dr Pushpangadan also said that a scientist could not go in too much of court litigation.

“His role is to analyse the samples provided to him and, in turn, give his report of the contents of the samples and its results.Unnecessary cross examination needs to be avoided, otherwise they will be afraid of owing their responsibilities.”
The one-day seminar saw a lot of scientists and representatives from consumer forums from Lucknow and some other parts of the country participating in it.

First Published: Jan 16, 2006 00:43 IST