Con­sumers get ex­pert ad­vice at griev­ance re­dress camp

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NAVI MUM­BAI: Kun­dan Pawar, 70, a res­i­dent of Kalyan, had given Rs3 lakh to a builder for book­ing a flat in an un­der-con­struc­tion build­ing in 2014.

Even as the builder had promised him the pos­ses­sion of the flat in De­cem­ber last year, he did not. The builder has stopped tak­ing his calls.

A few days ago, he heard about a griev­ance re­dress camp to be or­gan­ised by Con­sumer Guid­ance So­ci­ety of In­dia (CGSI) at MGM Law Col­lege in Nerul.

With­out giv­ing a se­cond thought, he along with his wife reached the col­lege cam­pus on Fri­day. He nar­rated his plight to the of­fi­cials of CGSI and showed the rel­e­vant doc­u­ments.

The of­fi­cials asked him to send a let­ter to the builder’s reg­is­tered ad­dress ask­ing for the money. If he does not pay af­ter two re­minders, they ad­vised him to reg­is­ter a case at the con­sumer court.

Many peo­ple like Pawar turned up at col­lege cam­pus with their prob­lems which ranged from elec­tric­ity bills to med­i­cal in­sur­ance to prop­erty frauds. Within three hours, the CGSI of­fi­cials ad­dressed 15 com­plainants.

The of­fi­cials at the camp were as­sisted by col­lege stu­dents. They also pro­vided a live demon­stra­tion of its elec­tronic milk anal­yser, which an­a­lysed nearly 30 milk sam­ples brought by the stu­dents.

“Cheat­ing con­sumers is com­mon in our so­ci­ety. There­fore, ev­ery res­i­dent should be aware of his rights while buy­ing a ser­vice. We are try­ing to help as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble through such camps,” said Santosh Shukla, joint sec­re­tary of CGSI.

Colle ge prin­ci­pal Geeta Shri­vas­tav said the camp helped not just the com­plaints but stu­dents as well.

“There are many laws in our coun­try. How­ever, there is hardly any un­der­stand­ing of them among the com­mon peo­ple. Nor­mally, peo­ple don’t ap­proach the court as­sum­ing it is just wastage of time and en­ergy. So, when they face a prob­lem, they keep wan­der­ing due to lack of le­gal aware­ness,” she said.

“The stu­dents also ben­e­fit­ted be­cause Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act is a part of their cur­ricu­lum. They saw the prac­ti­cal as­pect of the sub­ject in the camp. They also learnt how a com­mon man should be made un­der­stood in sim­ple lan­guage and not in le­gal words. We are plan­ning to or­gan­ise more such camps,” she added.

CGSI, the pi­o­neer con­sumer or­gan­i­sa­tion founded in 1966, has been work­ing for the pro­tec­tion of con­sumer in­ter­ests for the past five decades.

Its con­sumer com­plaints re­dres­sal wing re­ceives plenty of griev­ances from con­sumers which the le­gal aid arm ad­dresses on a weekly ba­sis.

Almira Las­rado, a se­cond year stu­dent of the col­lege said, “I thought milk taken from all places are good and used to drink it with­out much think­ing. But to­day I re­alised that many of such milk sam­ples are adul­ter­ated too.”

“We also saw how old peo­ple had to strug­gle due to lack of le­gal as­sis­tance and aware­ness. Many of them even lose hope of get­ting jus­tice even af­ter mov­ing the court. So the camp helped us,” she added.

There are many laws in our coun­try. How­ever, there is hardly any un­der­stand­ing of them among com­mon peo­ple. Nor­mally, peo­ple don’t ap­proach court as­sum­ing it is just wastage of time and en­ergy. When they face a prob­lem, they keep wan­der­ing due to lack of le­gal aware­ness.

GEETA SHRI­VAS­TAV, prin­ci­pal of MGM Law Col­lege

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

Stu­dents of MGM Law Col­lege at­tend the griev­ance re­dress camp on the cam­pus on Fri­day.

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