BRIEF HISTORY & ACHIEVEMENTS – Year Wise
BIRTH & GROWTH
- Way back in 1979, at Golf Club in Chandigarh, some member & their wives were discussing the difficulties faced by them due to sudden rise in prices of vegetables & fruits as a result of vagaries of weather in the region. They were also critical about the lions share of profit being cornered by the middlemen at the cost of producer. It was then suggested by one of the members that instead of airing the grievances like that, they should get together and form a Forum to take up various problems of consumers with the Administration. The First meeting of the Founder Members was held on 12July, 1979 when it was decided to form Consumers Forum Chandigarh under the Chairmanship of Late Lt. Gen. Sartaj Singh, George Medal, Padma Bhushan.
- Soon after, Chandigarh Administration was approached to allow the farmers to sell their produce of vegetables & fruits directly to the consumers & this is how the concept of APNI MANDI took shape. Since then it is being held in different Sectors of the city on set days which are eagerly awaited by Housewives. After putting this idea into a practical shape for 2-3 years. Apni Mandi was passed on to Punjab Mandikaran Board and is being looked after by one of our conveners regularly. Consumers Forum Chandigarh took up new concept of Awareness-cum-Sale counters for sale of essential items of daily use, properly weighed and packed at rates cheaper than those prevailing in the market. A pricing Committee independently takes appropriate action for display of prices fixed by the Pricing Committee and also organizes the display of literature on Consumerism near the counters for free issues to the consumers on as required basis.
- The establishment of these counters results in keeping a check on rising prices in the local market, encourages the retail dealers to give fair deal to the consumers, prevents sale of substandard items and also passes on the middle mans profit to the consumers. Inspite of opposition of business community dealing with provision stores, these counters have become very popular with the housewives who wait for the dates for the establishment of these counters near their sectors.
- After 1986 when the Consumer Protection Act was enacted by the Government, another method for spreading the awareness on consumerism was adopted by holding Awareness-cum-sale Mela for 405 days during the celebrations of Consumers Day which falls on 15March every year. We have been organizing this Mela every year sinc3 1988, in tandem with Chandigarh Administration & Municipal Corporation ever since the latter came into existence. Almost 60,000to 70,000 people visit this Mela every year for purchases of items of daily use at comparatively cheaper rates. It also provides them opportunity to visit our information & complaint centre where they come to know about consumerism & also can get Free literature in the language of their choice. The Mela gives a fillip for enrolment of new members. Our present membership exceeds 7500.
- Khula Manch is arranged in the afternoons of all the days where the complaints get the opportunity of face to face inter-action with the Heads of Department of Telephone, LPG, Electricity, Water, Sanitation and Public Health. Large number of their problems are solved at site and the rest are taken up for solution in the shortest possible time after the Mela.
Free stalls are allowed to the following departments in the Mela Complex for helping the Consumer to get acquainted to deal with the problems of their lives :
- Of Health Detection of Adulteration in food stuff.
- Weights & Measures information about short measures.
- Bureau of Indian Standards ISI Guarantee for safety.
- P.G. (Cooking gas) conservation of gas & safety measures.
- Traffic Police Safe driving & knowledge of traffic rules.
- Grameen Mahila Sangh Women Welfare.
- SPCA Prevention of cruelty to animals.
- Police Family Welfare Sale of hand made items at cheaper rates.
- Super Bazaar For sale of items at controlled rates.
- Free medical aid to Senior Citizens/dental check up has also been added to the Mela Activites.
Students are encouraged to take part in declamation contests, On the Spot Painting Contests & Slogan Writing. Prizes are awarded to best three in each group on the closing day ceremony of the Mela.
FREE REDRESSAL OF COMPLAINTS
The method of negotiated settlement adopted to settle the complaints OUT OF COURT is becoming quite popular. About 60 to 65% complaints are settled by this method. It is our experience that by right method of counseling and persuation and also by high-lighting the disadvantages of litigation, most of the parties agree to settle the cases amicably by this method. By settling large number of cases by this method every year, we have not only been able to get quick relief to the complainants but also render signal service in reducing the work load of consumer courts. We have been able to solve 3400 cases by this method so far.
Needles to say that all this service to the consumer is absolutely Free of Cost. Advertisement about this FREE service appears in the Engagement Columns of Local Newspapers. Our office is open for 5 days in a week from 9:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. except on Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays. Complainants are welcome to register their complaints & get FREE Counselling for redressal.
Consumers Forum is member of following Organisations:
- Central Consumer Protection Council, New Delhi.
- Consumer Coordination Council, New Delhi.
- Consumer Education & Research Centre Ahmedabad.
- Public Distribution Committee, U.T. Chandigarh.
- Local Advisory Committee, Chandigarh
- Animal Husbandary Management Council.
- Police Advisory Committee Chandigarh.
- Traffic Warden cell of Chandigarh Traffic Police.
REGISTRATION & RECOGNITION
- We are a Registered Society registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 at Chandigarh under Registration No. 684 dated 25tJune, 1981.
- Consumers Forum Chandigarh has been recognized as a REGISTERED CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION under Rule 3 of MRTP (Recognition of Consumer Association) Rule, 1967, under Govt. of India, Ministry of Industry, Department of Company Affairs, Shastri Bhawan No. 31/8/87-M-III dated 27.1.1988 Reg. No. 05/88.
SHORT RESUME OF PRE-1992 ACTIVITES
Before becoming a member of Consumer Coordination Council (CCC) New Delhi which was formed in the year 1992, the main activities of Consumers Forum were centered around Chandigarh. To start with, Apni Mandi was for the benefit of residents of Chandigarh and the producers of fruit & vegetables. Later on having handed over Apni Mandi to Punjab Mandikaran Board, Forum switched on to Awareness-cum-Sale counters which were also meant for the citizens of Chandigarh. Side by side, help to the citizens was rendered in assuring correct supply of essential items of ration like atta, rice, K. Oil, sugar through the ration shops in collaboration with Food and Supplies department of U.T. Chandigarh. The concept of Awareness-cum-Sale Mela was tried from the year 1988 & proved very successful as large number of people were attracted to the Mela to buy essential items of daily use as well as durables at rates comparatively lower than the market rates. The establishment of information & complaint centres in the Mela Complex & free distribution of consumer literature at these centre enabled them to learn about the C.P. Act & their Rights enshrined therein. The membership campaign of enrolling more & more members was successful as our membership fee for life Re 1/- & even the weaker sections of society could afford to pay this fee to become our members.
Free redressal of complaints by our method of negotiated settlement also started attracting more & more people for getting their complaints settled OUT OF COURT. The Forum started providing Free advice to the complainants whose complaints could not be solved by Negotiations. All this help to the complainants was absolutely FREE OF CHARGE.
After we became member of CCC, our sphere of activities began to enlarge. Forum could take part in Work shops, Seminars, Programmers related to consumerism which were organized/arranged by CCC at our stations. A number of workshops and seminars were allotted by CCC to be organized by us in Chandigarh which were attended by members of consumer organizations from all over India. The following pages contain in the year wise activities of the forum from the year 1992. A cursory glance at the type of events/ activities undertaken by the Forum during the last 10 years will clearly indicate that or GRAPH OF ACHIEVEMENTS have been rising from year to year. The more fact of winning two National Awards for Consumer Protection in the years of 1994 & 2000 amply proves that the team of our dedicated conveners have been really striving hard to serve the consumers to the best of their ability.
The activities this year mainly centred around providing help to the Department of Food & Supplies in revamping their Public Distribution System. Our conveners helped in detecting & subsequent weeding out large number of bogus ration cards. During the winter months, the price of wheat atta had started going very high. D.C. Chandigarh sought the help of Consumers Forum for Assistance in selling the ration atta at our Awareness-cum-Sale Counters. We lifted the atta straight from the flour mills for selling and this way saved double transport charges thus bringing down the sale price by Rs 5/- per quintal which relief went to the consumers. This greatly helped in checking the price rise in the market.
We also took active part to streamline the sale of cooking gas which always was in short supply in winter months. It was ensured that the consumers got their refills in turn & at regular intervals.
CONSUMERS FORUM IN AID OF STUDENTS FROM WEAKER SECTIONS.
D.P.I. Schools U.T. Chandigarh had issued orders for compulsory wearing of blazers by all students during winter. This was adversely affecting the parents of students during winter. This was adversely affecting the parents of students coming from weaker sections of society. The case was taken up with the D.P.I. by the Forum and the circular was with drawn.
Students from weaker sections of society were encouraged to come & get practical experience in sales from our Sales counters which were established for 15 days every month. This helped a number of students who later on wished to establish their own small business.
Constant pressure with department of education to include the subject of consumerism in the curricular of school education, resulted in, Mrs. G.K. Sodhi PES (Retd.) being detailed to prepare the curricular for various classes.
A poster competition was organized by Consumers Forum on 9th December at the residence of chairman, Gen, Sartaj Singh. There was enthusiastic response from schools & 42 students took part in the competition. Prizes were given to the three best students for posters drawn by them.
AWARENESS CAMPAIGN IN SCHOOLS & COLLEGES
Lectures were arranged at morning prayer time in schools and colleges to educate the student community as well as the teaching staff to spread awareness about the Consumer Protection Act. Students were encouraged to ask questions after the end of lecture and literature was distributed to all participants.
CONSUMERS FORUM COMES TO THE AID OF DEFENCE PERSONNEL
Many owners of A.W.H.O. houses approached the Forum about the defective construction of their houses handed over to them in Sector 47, Chandigarh. Col. Sarwan Singh who is an engineer by professions, submitted a detailed report about the defective workmanship & poor quality of Defence Secretary and as a result there of monetary compensation has been given to all house owners for getting the faulty constructions rectified under their own arrangements.
REDRESSAL OF TELECOM COMPLAINS
Our Convener, Shri S.S. Bhalla dealing with Telecom complaints, with his strenuous efforts, was unable to get relief to telecom subscribe specially on following:
- Suo-moto relief in telephone rentals where the faults remained unattended for more than a week.
- Proper filling of trenches dug by contractors or by the department to remove defects for more than a week.
- More than 100 complaints of billing based on excess metering were taken up by him & relief was given to 57 cases without going to the Redressal Courts.
Meeting of Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC)
This year three meetings of CCPC took place. First meeting was on 19 January, second on 26th May & the third on 31 July. Col. G.S. Sandhu, VSM, Retd. attended all these meetings. The agenda for these meetings included following points:
- Consumer Awareness: General consensus of the participants was that the awareness amongst the consumer was not upto standard & steps must be continued to get maximum numbers involved in the movement. Consumer education was also sought to be included in the syllabi of Schools & College education.
- Redressal Agencies: Expressing concern over the working of these agencies, it was felt that necessary coaching for the president & members of the FOR A was needed. The tendency of these agencies to start working like other courts needed to be curbed. The employment of lawyers in these courts must be discouraged & number of the redressal courts must be increased to cater for the increasing number of cases.
- Consumer Protection Act: The long awaited amendments to the C.P. Act to make it more effective have been approved which mainly included more powers & increasing financial limits of Redressal Agencies. It also brings Housing, Medical & Railways under the Act.
NATIONAL CONVENTION ON CONSUMER PROTECTION
This convention was held on 9 December 93 and has the historic significance as it was presided by the then Prime Minister. It was organized by CCC in Mavlankar Hall, New Delhi. Col. G.S. Sandhu, Col. K.S. Dhaliwal & Mrs. Kulwant Dhaliwal attend this convention on behalf of CFC.
A day before the said convention, a meeting was held at the residence of Shri H.D. Shourie, Chairman CCC to prepare the agenda points for the convention. Following points were finalized to be brought up in the convention:
- We should create climate for replacing Govt. control by social control in various organizations.
- Market must play its part fairly to reject the products which are not consumer friendly.
- Public Utility Services like telephones, electricity, road, transport & banking must be brought under the ambit of CP Act.
- Maximum efforts must be made to take the consumer movement to the grass root levels.
Col. Sandhu in his address to the meeting wanted another District Redressal Forum to be added to the Chandigarh redressal FOR A. He also brought the issue of defective Montana Car manufactured at Bangalore and stressed that it must be stopped as the consumers were not at all happy with the performance of this car.
CONSUMER COORDINATION ON 25JANUARY
Lt. Col. G.S. Sandhu attended this meeting of CCC on 24January as a representative of CFC. The points discussed during the National Convention Meeting held in December last year were reviewed for action and the agenda for the meeting of CCPC which was to be held on 25th January was discussed at length.
CCPC MEETING ON 25JANUARY
Col. G.S. Sandhu attended the meeting which was chaired by Shri A.K. Antony, Union Ministry for Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs. Agenda included proper functioning of Redressal Forums, framing of rules for consumer welfare fund, retailers responsibility.
NOMINATION FOR CCPC
Chairman consumers Forum Chandigarh was nominated as a member of the prestigious Central Consumer Protection Council for another three years.
PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATIONTRG PROGRAMME
Two members of CFC, Shri R.K. Kaplash & Shri Vidya Sagar attended this programme for 5 days from 21 February to 25th February at Gaziabad. The programme was organized by Director General Health Services, FFA Unit, Mnistry of Health and Family Welfare Govt. of India. The local arrangements were made by Food Research & Standardisation Laboratory Gaziabad.
Training imparted included inspection & sampling procedure of milk & milk products, spices & condiments & oils fats. Practical training was imparted by visits to food processing units to study the manufacturing processes. Recommendations made at the end of programme were that the representatives of all organizations who attended be granted statuary powers of Food Inspectors.
SECOND MEETING OF CCC AT DELHI
This meeting chaired by Shri Manubhai Shah, Chairman CCC was held on 20 April at Delhi. Shri Jaidev Singh, Secretary General CFC attended.Points discussed during the meeting were;
- Code of conduct for consumer organizations.
- Implementation of decisions recommended by National Convention held in December last year.
- Increasing interaction between industry & trade.
- Finalize Agenda points of CCPU Meeting scheduled for 21 April.
CCPC MEETING ON 21 APRIL
This was the second meeting of CCPC during the year & was attend by Shri Jaidev Singh, Secretary General, CFC Buta Singh, Union Minister for Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs in his inaugural address said that an amount of Rs. 61 crores had been earmarked for providing necessary infrastructure for the Consumer Courts in the country. He also emphasized the need of including consumerism as a subject in educational institutions. He further said that consumer organizations must improve their rapport with the media for spreading awareness.
Shri Jaidev Singh distributed the copies of Annual which he had carried with him. The representatives of Consumer organizations from Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar & Rajasthan were very much impressed with the celebrations of world Consumers Day which were depicted in the Annual. He also met Shri Buta Singh during lunch break & conveyed the greetings of our Chairman to him.
SEMINAR ON DEVELOPMENT STUDIES
A seminar on Development Studies was organized by Centre of Indian Development Studies in University Hall, Chandigarh. Shri Jaidev Singh, Brig. Jagmohan Singh. Mr. R.K. Kaplash, Mrs. Kulwant Dhaliwal and Col. K.S. Dhaliwal attended the seminar and highlighted the problem of settlement of migratory labour was allotted hutments and these were sold by them to outsiders on premium and the allottees went back to their original labour colonies to lay claim for new tenements as and when these were constructed.
The President complaints cell, Maj. Gen. Avtar Singh Took up the cases of unsatisfactory working of Public Distribution System, marketing of salt with inadequate iodine content, malpractices in L.P.G distribution, inadequate number of CTU buses and unsatisfactory working of telephones with the with the heads of respective departments and U.T. Administration. Packed goods must print MRP, shelf and date of expiry on the packing outside. The malpractices on the sale of Indane games came up for a severe criticism.
SEMINAR ON CONSUMERISM AT HISSAR
This seminar was organized by BINTY, a Delhi based consumer organization. Two of our conveners, Col. K.S. Dhaliwal and Shri Surinder Verma attended this seminar.
A number of consumer organizations based at Mohali, Ludhiana, Nahan in Himachal Pardesh, Kot Kapura in Punjab, Punchkula & Yamuna agar in Haryana had been approaching CFC for guidance in setting Consumer Welfare Organisations in their respective places. Necessary guidances along with the printed copies of literature were made available to them & they were advised to become regular affiliated units of the Forum.
This poster competition was organized by CFC in collaboration with Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, A German Funding Unit at Delhi, on 9 December 1994. Students from six schools took part in the competition. Prizes were awarded to first students whose posters were judged best by a panel of consumer activists.
TEACHING CONSUMERISM IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
Based on the recommendations of CCPC, a sub-committee headed by Mrs. G.K. Sodhi was formed to prepare the curricular for middle & high school students, to be sent to higher authorities for approval & necessary action.
TRAFFIC CONTROL EDUCATION
Three of our conveners, namely Shri R.K. Kaplash, Shri D.S. Virdi & Shri S.K. Verma got training of traffic control rules & have since been working as honorary Traffic Wardens with Chandigarh Traffic Police.
MANAGEMENT TRAINING PROGRAMME AT DELHI
This one week training programme was organized at Rajhans Hotel, New Delhi and was attended by Secretary General Shri Jaidev Singh. Heads of Voluntary organizations were imparted intensive training on consumerism and various aspects of advocacy. Practical training was also given for bringing awareness amongst consumers at grass root level namely how to make effective use of media, how to prepare projects and how to do research work after getting a complaint. Secretary General had a chance to meet, Dr. Axer, Head of FNST Germany & Discuss number of consumer problems peculiar to India. Mr. Axer was very appreciable of the way of working of consumers Forum Chandigarh where most of the members are working without any honorarium and producing results even with limited funds. He was invited to hold the next Regional Trainers Training Programme at Chandigarh & the suggestion was readily accepted.
MANAGEMENT TRAINING PROGRAMME : Northern Region Trg of Trainers.
This programme sponsored by CCC & Funded by FNST was organized by Consumers Forum for 4 days at Hotel Sunbeam, Chandigarh from 20th to 23rd August 1995. The object of the programme was to train persons working in consumer field for evolving different training methods and developing their faculties in the area of communications with the consumers. It was formally inaugurated by Lt. Gen. B.K.N. Chhiber, Governor of Punjab & Administration U.T. Chandigarh. The main participants were 23 delegates from states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K and U.T. Chandigarh. All conveners of the Forum and NGOs from Chandigarh took part in the deliberations.
The subjects discussed included Consumer Protection Act with practical examples of some cases decided by Consumer Courts, Complaint handling, Awareness Campaign & Advocacy and finally the Communication Skills. Eminent speckers included Prof. Manubhai Shah, Managing Trustee CERC Ahmedabad, Ms Rinky Singh Advocate officer CCC, Mr. Augustly Thomas, Director FNST, Mr. N.L. Rajah Advocate Madras High Court, Mrs Rani Advani Advocate Gujrat High Court & Dr. Sri Ram Khanna of voice, New Delhi. The objectives to be achieved were:
- To create a cadre of Master Trainers.
- To have a pool to Resource Persons to promote the cause of consumerism in their respective regions & net working with like minded groups.
ALTERNATE REDRESSAL OF DISPUTES SEMINAR
This seminar was held at Ahmedabad for four days in Novemebt this year. Shri H.S. Ahluwalia attended this seminar as representative of CFC. Ms. Cox came all the way from America to emphasise the importance of Alternate Redressal of Disputes. Mr. Ahluwalia told her that CFC was very successfully solving the disputes by this methods & that too without charging any fee from any party. She highly appreciated the role of CFC in this novel method of free redressal of complaints. She said that in America they charge fees from both the parties and this method is called Arbitration method. A resolution was also passed by CERC requesting the Govt. to give due recognition to this system to help the consumers.
COMPLAINTS ABOUT AFTER SALES SERVICE
Complaints were being received from a number of consumers about the poor quality of durable purchased by them from CSD canteens & no arrangements of any kind for after sale service. This matter was taken up by the President Complaints, Gen. Avtar Singh with the Head Office at Bombay & the result of this effort has been that instructions were issued to all CSD depots to nominate dealers for after sale service of items found defective.
GRANT FOR LIBRARY BOOKS & OFFICE EQUIPMENT
A SPECIAL GRANT OF Rs. 67500/- was received from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs for specific purpose of purchase of library books, translation of literature in regional language, purchase of furniture for office and preparation of charts. The work of translation of literature was entrusted Mrs. Ranbir Kaur who had offered herself to look after the work of Punjabi translation.
QUALITY CONTROL THROUGH CONSUMERS FORUM EFFORTS
Complaints were received from consumers about the high content moisture in the Cremica Bread. The case was entrusted to Shri R.K. Kaplash who had a training in detection of adulteration in a training course at Gaziabad. This case was solved when the results of laboratory tests of bread were intimated to the producer & the quality of bread improved afterwards. His training also came handy when complaints were received about short quantity of petrol issue at petrol pumps against round figures of rupees. With the efforts of CFC the rate lists were displayed at the petrol stations indicating the quantity of petrol the amount paid.
CFC MEETING ON 21 APRIL
Shri Jaidev Singh attended this CCPC meeting at Delhi held in Vigyan Bhavan under the presidentship of Shri Buta Singh, Union Minister for Civil supplies & Consumer Affairs. Some of the points which emerged from the deliberations were as under.
- Consumer education to be introduced upto college level.
- Inability of Govt. to release funds required by consumer organizations engaged in awareness campaigns.
- Check on foreign collaborations to prevent the exploitation of consumers
- Concession declared by Govt. in excise must be passed on to the consumers.
WORLD CONSUMERS DAY CELEBRATIONS
As per past practice of few years, this day was celebrated by organizing an Awareness cum Sale Mela in Nehru Park, Sector 22-B, Chd. For 4 days. The inaugural function was chaired by Mrs. Rama Chhiber wife of Punjab Governor & U.T. Administration on 15 March. The other activities during the celebrations were;
- Khula Munch on the afternoons of all days where the Heads of Service Providing Departments interacted with the consumers to solve their day to day problems.
- Student community was involved by organizing On the Spot-Painting Contest & Slogan writing contests.
- Membership enrolment continued on all the days resulting in addition of 325 new members.
- The members of complaint committee received complaints from the visitors & made efforts for their redressal.
- The departments of Weights & Measures & Public Health gave practical demonstrations of Food Adulteration checking Measures.
CAPACTIY BUILDING PROGRAMME AT SURAJPUR NEAR DELHI
This programme was follow up of the programme of Regional Training of Trainers organized at Chandigarh in August last year. Shri R.K. Kaplash attended this programe of 5 days from 29 November to 3 December. The objectives laid down were the same as enumerated in the Chandigarh Programme but during this programme stress was laid on communication Skills, Fund Raising & Interaction with Media. Consumer Forum Chandigarh, wanting to be in the front line of leading consumer organizations had made sure that for purpose of continuity, all Capacity Building programmes should be attended by the same persons.
CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAMME AT DEHRADUN
This was the Third in the Capacity Building Programme series and was held at Dehradun for two days on 25th & 26th May 1996. Shri R.K. Kaplash attended this programme as representative of CFC. Points discussed included experience sharing of participants, analyzing the strength & weakness in each case, to prepare an outline strategy for public fund raising & practical steps needed to achieve it in the consumer organizations.
CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAMME AT PUNE
This was the 5th last in the series of Capacity Building Programmes organized by CCC at various stations in the last 18 months. Shri R.K. Kaplash attended this Programme of 5 days from 17th November to 21 November 1996. Main stress in this programme was on Advocacy & Campaigning which included the following issues:
- Issue must be understand properly by people
- Issue must be manageable within the available resources.
- Issue must have good chance of being accepted by people;
- Issue must finally build the organization resulting in real improvement in the lives of people.
- Advocacy is a tool based on organized efforts by using the instrument of democracy to finally strengthen the democractic process. It is not the end but a means to achieve the end by persuation & assertiveness.
ECO FRIENDLY WORKSHOP AT AHMEDABAD
This important 4 days workshop was organized by CERC Ahmedabad during September 1996 and was attended by the Secretary General Shri Jaidev Singh. The representative of Ministries of Industries & Commerce from Delhi, Bureau of Indian Standards and Consumer Welfare Organisations all over India took part in the Deliberations. The concept of eco friendly products. Which had become very popular in the Western Countries was discussed & it was recommended that Eco Friendly labels for products like plastics, paper, soaps, edible oils, paints & infant foods be enforces for Indian products as well.
SEMINAR ON CHANDIGARH 2000
This seminar was organized by director Indian Development Studies at Chandigarh and was attended by our conveners in strength as the theme had delved on problems of growing population of the city which was resulting in unplanned constructions & encroachment on Govt. lands.
SYMPOSIUM ON TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY
This special symposium having direct bearing on the Citizens Charter campaign was organized by CCC at New Delhi on the eve of Golden Anniversary of Indian Independence. It was attended by Shri Jaidev Singh, Secretary General. The message of Prime Minister was read by Shri Ibrahim, Union Minister. Our representative very forcefully projected the points relating to eradicating of corruption, Accountability & transparency in working of all Service Providing Departments.
SEMINAR ON CONSUMERISM AT CHANDIGARH
This seminar was organized by the Sociology Department of University of Punjab. As the subject was of great interest to consumer organization, our conveners attended it in strength. Brig. K.I. Kumar who led the delegation of our conveners stressed the urgency of amendments of Consumer Protection Act.
F.I. C.C.I. SEMINAR AT DELHI
This seminar was organized by F.I. C.C.I. to discuss the problem of Urban Amenities vis–vis the rising population of the country. Shri D.S. Virdi who is an architect by profession attended on behalf of CFC. The other participants wer, chief Engineers of the various departments, D.I.G. traffic. General Manager D.T.U., Professional architects and representatives of consumer organizations.
MEMBERSHIP OF GOVERNING COUNCIL OF CCC
Shri Jaidev Singh, Secretary General, was elected a member of Governing Council of CCC. The was a unique honour to CFC. His name was Shourie, director Common Cause. He was also nominated a member of organization wanting to take the membership of CCC.
Brig. Jagmohan Singh AVSM (retd.) was unanimously elected Vice Chairman of CFC. This post was lying vacant after resignation of Maj. Gen. G.S. Gill.
CITIZENS CHARTER GOLDEN JUBILLEE GIFT TO NATION
The concept of Citizens Charter was approved by Parliament in December, 1996. Consumer Organisation all over the country joined with Consumer Coordination Council (CCC) New Delhi in collecting and collating data for five departments namely, Electricity, Telecom, Health, Banking & Municipal Corporations. The formulation of Citizens Charters of these five departments were based on the data collected and discussed in a Workshop on National Campaign of Citizens charter organized by CCC at New Delhi. It was attended by Col. Sarwan Singh who was the president Friedrich Naumann Stiftung a German based organization reiterated their commitment to render all possible help in funding the new campaign during this workshop.
This was followed by a workshop on Strategic Planning for Organisation & Competence in Delhi which was attended by Shri Jai Dev Singh, Secretary General, CFC. Another worshop on evaluation & planning on Citizens Charter was also arranged at Delhi to chalk out an ACTION PLAN for the implementation of Charters as and when these are formulated by the service providing Departments. This second workshop was attended by Col. Sarwan Singh.
GOVERNING COUNCIL OF CCC- MEMBERSHIP
During January 97, Shri Jaidev Singh, Secretary General was elected A.G.C. Member of CCC from Northern Region. This unique honour was based on the past achievement of CFC in awareness campaigns of Consumer Protection Act in all the Northern States of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J & K and U.T. Chandigarh. Sh. Jaidev Singh was also entrusted the duty of Treasure to CCC in the same meeting. He performed this duty for a period of over 2 years successfully.
WORLD CONSUMER DAY CELEBRATIONS 1997
9Awareness Cum Sale Mela was organized from 14March to 17March in Nehru Park, Sector- 22-B, Chandigarh. As Municipal Corporation had come into existence form the last year, the Mela was organized in collaboration with Chandigarh Administration & Municipal Corporation Chandigarh.
Sh. K.K. Khandelwal, I.A.S., D.C. Chandigarh, inaugurated the Awareness-cum-sale mela on 15th March, He lauded the efforts of CFC for organizing the celebrations on this grand scale. He also announced a grant of Rs. 11000/- to CFC to cover part of the expenses of the celebrations.
Lt. Gen. H.B. Kala, G.O.C. in C. Western Command was the Chief Guest on the closing day ceremony on 17th March. He also gave away prizes to the winners of events organized during the celebrations week.
NATIONAL AWARD FOR THE YEAR 1994
Consumer Forum Chandigarh was awarded this prestigious second prize of National Award for Consumer Protection for the year 1994. Shri Jaidev Singh, Secretary, Received the Award in a glittering ceremony in Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, on 31st May, 1997. The Citation for the award reads as under:
CONSUMERS FORUM, CHANDIGARH, 99, SECTOR 8-A, CHANDIGARH
It is one of the leading consumer organizations in the country and has more than 7000 members. It has been working for the benefit of consumers for the last 16 years and is able to have impact on consumers in Union Territory of Chandigarh. The organizations is conducting various activities such as awareness training programmes, redressal of consumers grievances, checking adulteration in food items, medicines etc. With the assistance from Consumers Welfare Fund, it has printed consumer protection literature in regional language. It also organizing Khula Manch a face to face meeting of officials with consumers. It is also organizing consumer protection programmes for schools and colleges. The award also carried a cash dole of Rs. 40,000.
MEETING OF GOVERNING COUNCIL & ANNUAL GENERAL BODY OF CCC
Secretary General, Shri Jaidev Singh attended these two meetings on 9th & 10th July in New Delhi.
STUDY OF DELAY IN ADJUDICATION IN CONSUMER COURTS
This assignment was given to us by the centre to study the cases of delay in redressal For a in Chandigarh. One of the main causes was that there was no presiding officer for redressal for a No. 1 for a long time. Not only the posting of the presiding officer was expedited but second redressal for a was also got sanctioned for U.T. Chandigarh resulting in speedy disposal of pending cases.
WORKSHOP ON NATIONAL CAMPAIGN ON CITIZENS CHARTER
This important workshop was organized by CCC in New Delhi in July & was chaired by the cabinet secretary. Shri Ram Khanna, Chairman CCC, presented the outlines of Citizens Charter programme. A few charters which had been formulated by organizations were distributed to the participants for their views & suggesting further amendments. The quidelines to streamline the programme were issued as under:
- Launch full fledged awareness campaigns for issue of charters
- Organise series of press releases & publish articles in papers.
- Organise Door Darshan & Radio talks
This workshop was attended by Col. Sarwan Singh on Behalf of Consumers Forum Chandigarh.
A panel discussion was arranged Door Darshan Jalandhar on 6th August in which Mr. T.S. Cheema a retired sessions Judges & Shri Jaidev Singh took part. The subject was implantation of Consumer Protection Act (86).
CONSUMER PROTECTION COUNCIL U.T. CHANDIGARH
Chairman Lt. Gen. Sartaj Singh was nominated as a member in the consumer protection council U.T. Chandigarh. The meetings of this council are utilized by CFC in projecting the consumers problems relating to short supply of rationed articles, LPG and Utility problems of water supply, sewage and Public Health.
EVALUATION & PLANNING WORKSHOP
This workshop was organized by CCC on 5/6 November at New Delhi to finalise time & action for the implementation of Citizens Charted. Stress was laid to educate M.P.s., M.L.As., bureaucrates, principals of colleges & schools and judicial high ups. Political parties were to be contacted to include the citizens charters in their manifestos. Stress was also laid to carry the message of consumerism to grass root levels for educating the masses in the rural areas. Col. Sarwan Singh attended this workshop on behalf of the Forum.
RESOURCE PERSONS WORKSHOP
This 4 days workshop was organized by CCC in collaboration with FNSt (Friedrich Naumann Stiftung) a German Funding Agency, at Wet & Wild resorts in Gurgaon (Haryana) in October this year. It was attended by Secretary General, Shri Jaidev Singh. The objective of the workshop was to suggest ways & means to strengthen the CCC and various consumer organizations in the country. The important personalities of FNSt who conducted the workshop were Mr. Peter Schroedor, Mr Siegfried Haring & Mrs. Monica Bolin, and Mr. Augusty Thomas. The topics discussed were self appraisal of working of wasteful expenditure, improving relations with political parties & association with the media community in general.
In the group discussions, our representative highlighted the contribution of CFC in redressal of complaints by Negotiation method, malpractices in the PDS machinery in the lower formations and the steps taken to spread awareness by various methods. Keeping in view the contributions made by CFC in the past, an MOU (memorandam of understanding) was signed by the Forum for undertaking future projects in Northern Region.
DATA COLLECTION FOR NEW PROJECTS
During June this year, CFC was asked to collect data on five important new projects which were to be included in the first list of Citizens Charters campaign. Following projects were given to the conveners mentioned against each project:
Municipal Services Col.Sarwan Singh
Bnking Shri H.S. Aulakh
Health Shri Surinder Verma
Electricity Maj. Gen. Avtar Singh
Telecom Shri R.K. Kaplash
The data collected was sent to CCC and it formed a basis for workshops which were organized to discuss and finalize the citizens of these department at Central Level. The data collected by us was considered very exhaustive and was appreciated by CCC.
This years activities centred around propagation of the concept of Citizens Charter. Number of meetings were held with the Advisor to the Administration, U.T., Chandigarh impressing upon him the necessity of early formulation of charters by the Service Providing Departments of the Administration. Written instructions were issued to all departments by the Advisor to start work on formulation of charters. The Advisors also gave a promise that all charters would be issued before the next republic day in January 1999.
As Chandigarh Municipal Corporation had also been formed, the matter was also taken up with the Commissioner Municipal Corporation who also promised to do the needful.
INTERACTION MEET ON CITIZENS CHARTER
An interaction Meet was organized by CFC on 21 September 1998 in Karuna Sadan, Sector 11-B, Chandigarh in which the Mayor Shri Gian Chand Gupta and other councillors of the Corporation took part. In the Keynote address read by Secretary general, Col Sarwan Singh, the participants were apprised of the Necessity, Historical Back Ground & concept of the Citizens Charter Action Plan finalized by Consumer Cordinating Council (CCC), New Delhi for the year 1998. The Councillors were told that over 40 Charters had been already formulated by the Central Government departments.
Shri Gian Chand Gupta was very much impressed with the new campaign of Citizens Charter and gave an assurance that action will be taken to get the charters of service providing Department of the Corporation issued soon.
In the closing address, chairman CFC, Shri Jaidev Singh impressed the necessity of bringing in the principles of Accountability & Transparency in the working of all departments. The citizens charter, he said was the vehicle which could bring in these two factors in day to day functioning of the departments.
DECLAMATION CONTESTS ON CITIZENS CHARTER
Two declamation contests were organized to educate the students & staff of teaching institutions about the benefits of the Citizens Charter. First contest was held in government college for women sector-11, it was sponsored by New India Assurance Company Chandigarh. The second one was organized at Govt. College, Sector 46, Chandigarh. It was sponsored by M/s Colgate & Palmolive India Ltd. The staff of both the colleges showed great interest in the charter programme. Literature on Consumer Protection Act as requested to spread the awareness about the charter to all their near & dear ones also.
DEATH OF FOUNDER CHAIRMAN
The Forum suffered a great loss in the demise of its Founder Chairman, Lt. Gen. Sartaj Singh, George Medal, Padam Bhushan (Retd.), on 25th April 1998. He had started the organization in the year 1979 with a band of 11 zealous founding members. Fighting against all odds and bravely overcoming the teething troubles he saw to it that it became one of the leading consumer organizations in northern India. Condolences were received from numerous consumer organizations in India & abroad, Government of Punjab & Administrator U.T., Chandigarh, High ranking officers of Punjab, Haryana & Himachal Pradesh.
Another set back to the Forum was the death of its vice chairman, Major Gen, Gurbaksh Singh Gill who passed away on 25th August. He was also one of the Founding members of the Forum and had contributed a lot in the campaigns of awareness of consumer Protection Act & Citizens Charter.
NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE FORUM
As Maj. Gen. Gurbaksh Singh, Vice Chairman, was not keeping good health & had expressed his inability to perform the duties as chairman, Brig. Jagmohan Singh AVSM Retd. took over as Chairman after the death of Lt. Gen. Sartaj Singh. Shri Jaidev Singh Secretary General, was later on appointed acting Chairman for four month when Brig. Jagmohan Singh left for a visit to U.S.A. in June 98.
FORMATION OF CORE GROUP
As the work load of the Forum had considerably increased with number of new schemes & projects coming up, it was decided by the new Chairman, Brig Jagmohan Singh to form a Core Group which act as a think tank for the organization. It was formed in may 1998 and comprised of six members namely Brig. K.I. Kumar, Mrs. Kulwant Dhaliwal, Col. Sarwan Singh, Col. T.S. Sidhu, Shri R.K. Kaplash & Shri D.S. Virdi.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
Constitution of the Forum was almost 20 years old. With the overall increase in work load & increase in working strength of the forum, certain impediments were being experienced in the smooth running of organizational set up. A By-Law committee was therefore set up for recommending the amendments to the constitution. Brig. K.I. Kumar was appointed convener with Col. Sarwan Singh & Shri H.S. Aulakh as members.
BY-LAWS OF CONSUMERS FORM
Col. G.S. Brar was requested to make by-laws of the Forum at the same time. Draft by-laws were submitted by him for approval by the House.
CFC AS A SUPPORT PARTNER TO CERC AHMEDABAD
CERC ahmedabad has set up a laboratory for sample testing of food stuffs and consumer durable including electrical & medical appliances. CFC has been taken as support partner for this laboratory. Samples of edible oils, electrical goods and packages items of food are regularly being sent to CERC for testing in their regular demands.
LECTURE ON CITIZENS CHARTER IN ROTARY CLUB
On a demand from Rotary Club Kharar Distt. Ropar, a lecture was specially arranged for the members of the club as well as leading citizens of the town. Col. Sarwan Singh who delivered the lecture traced the History of the Charter in U.K. & other Western countries and delved on the necessity of formulation of charters by the service providing departments to provide hassel free service to the consumers. The select gathering asked a large number of questions at the end of lecture indicating there by the interest taken by them in the concept of citizens charter.
ONION PRICE RISE & ROLE OF CFC
During this year, due to unfavourable weather, the onion crop failed & there was unprecedented price rise in the country. In Chandigarh it had risen to Rs. 55/- per K.G. CFC took up the cugets & arranged a special meeting with the NHOs on 13 October to create a pressure group for taking up with the Administration to take suitable measures to control the prices. Press notes were issued and as a consequences news papers issued an appeal to the residents not to panic but stop the use of onions as far as possible. The same message was conveyed by representatives of CFC through the local cable T.V. all this had a softening effect & the prices in the market started coming down.
The schedule of activities during this year was very exacting and exhaustive. The normal day to day activities of attending to the complaints by our novel method of Negotiations and advising the complainants for steering other cases through the Redressal Courts were continued. The gala event of World Consumer Day celebrations was celebrated with gusto from 13th to 16th March in Nehru Park, Sector 22-B, Chandigarh. Other important events like Khula Manch, Spot Painting Contest & redressal of complaint were carried on as per past practice.
ELECTIONS OF CHAIRMAN & VICE CHAIRPERSON 24 APRIL 99
Consequent upon the death of Founder Chairman, Lt. Gen. Sartaj Singh on 23 April 1998, Brig. Jagmohan Singh being the vice chairman had taken over as chairman till April 1999 when the elections were due. Shri Jaidev Singh M.A. LLB was unanimously elected Chairman and Mrs. Kulwant Dhaliwal also elected Vice chairperson unanimously. At the same time as proposed by the newly elected chairman, Col. Sarwan Singh Retd. was unanimously approved as secretary general & Shri H.S. Aulakh, Retd. chief Manager, State Bank of India, as Treasure from the same date.
NORTHERN RAILWAY PASSENGERS WORKSHOP
Railways had formulated their Charter during the year 1998. This workshop was organized to discuss deficiencies in the charter & recommended measures to improve upon the amenities for the passengers. CFC was nominated as Lead Partner for the Workshop which was to be organized in collaboration with CCC. The workshop was held for two days on 28th & 29th June in Hotel Metro, Sector 35, Chandigarh. A record number of 73 participants took part in the deliberations which were inaugurated by Shri Aslam Mahmud, Commercial Manager Northern Railways.
The participants included 23 from Railways, 9 NGOs, 9 representatives of print/electric media, 2 M.Ps, Mayor of Chandigarh & 27 conveners of the Forum. Shri Bejon Misra Programme Adviser & Ms Shambhavi Vedantam Executive Secretary, were the reps of CCC. The problems of long queues at the reservation counters, inadequate seating arrangements in rest rooms & waiting rooms, unhygienic conditions at platforms & rest rooms, unusual delays in getting refunds were put forward by speakers. Shri Aslam Mahmud spent over an hour & half in giving replies to all problems & promised to make up for the deficiencies where ever these exist.
One major gain of the workshop has been that Chandigarh Railway Station was selected to be model charter station by March, 2000. Necessary work service to achieve this end were reported to have been started & the work was in progress. Copies of Report of Workshop were sent to all concerned including Railway Board and the Northern Railway Head Quarters in Addition to Ministry of Consumer affairs, CCC & U.T. administration. A copy has been kept in the library for reference.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
As the work load & activities of the forum had increased many fold, certain amendments to the constitution were necessitated to streamline procedures. These amendments were passed by the House on 31 July 99 & an amended copy of Constitution filled in the office of Registrar soon after. Chandigarh Chapter.
RAILWAY WORKSHOP AT EW DELHI
The second Railway Passenger workshop was organized by Consumers Forum, Chandigarh, in collaboration with CCC New Delhi on the afternoon of 1st November, 1999, at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. This workshop was a part of two day consumers convention organized by CCC which was attended by more than one thousand participants from the consumer organizations from all over India. The main object of the workshop was to highlight the problems of passengers and to extract a positive response from the railway administration for the solution of the same. 82 delegates from consumer organization took part in the workshop which was chaired by Sh. S.P. Mehta, General Manager, Northern Railway, Mr. Aslam Mehmood, Chief Commercial Manager, Northern Railway, Sh. P.K. Goel, Executive Director Railway Board, Dr. S.R. Khanna, Chairman, CCC, Ms. Shambhavi Vedantam, Executive Secretary of CCC and Shri Pushpavanam, Member General Council alongwith our Chairman Shri Jaidev Singh were the other principal participants. The workshop was successful in getting full details of the programme of computerization in railways which eventually is going to solve the major problems by reducing long queues, quick redressal of complaints, training of cutting edge staff to make them consumer friendly and finally to suggest remedial steps for preventing accidents. Sh. P.K. Goel assured the participants that within a period of 3-4 years the programme of computerization would be completed in Northern Railways.
REVIEW & STRATEGY PLANNING WORKSHOP
Secretary General Col. Sarwan Singh Attended the two day workshop on 10-11th December, 1999 in the conference Hall of Jamia Hamdard University. The main purpose of the workshop was to review the activities of CCC and Member consumer organizations during the year and also to discuss action plan in the coming year 2000. Stress was laid on the following points namely:
- Getting political commitments for Citizens Charter.
- Carry the awareness programme of Citizens Charter to the grass root level in rural areas
- Developing website for CCC to disseminate information and to reach out to other NGOs.
SEMINAR ON PRIVATISATION OF MUNICIPAL SERVICES
A seminar on the above mentioned subjects was organized by the centre for Research in Rural & Industrial Development, Sector 19-A, Madhya Marg, Chandigarh, on 21& 22January, 2000. This important seminar was attended by Delegates of Punjab, Haryana & U.T. Chandigarh and many other Northern States of the country. The new concept of privatisation of Municipal services was discussed thread bare alongwith the resources required for carrying out large projects by the Municipal Bodies. Speakers from Financial Institutes like ICICI, Insurance and Banks addressed the seminar suggesting ways & means of placing funds at the disposal of the Municipal bodies required for large scale projects. Col. Sarwan Singh, Secretary General CFC attended this seminar.
WORLD CONSUMER DAY CELEBRATION 2000
This year the celebrations started with organizing a seminar on Telecom Service on 11March 2000 in Art Gallery, Sector 10, Chandigarh, followed by the 12Awareness cum-sale mela in Nehru Park from 14March to 18March, Khula Manch, Information & Complaint Centre, On the Spot Painting, Free Dental Check up & Healthy Baby Contests were other activities included during the celebrations.
REPRESENTATION IN CENTRAL CONSUMER PROTECTION COUNCIL
Chairman, Consumer Forum, Chandigarh was nominated as a member in the Central Consumer Protection Council under Gazette notification No. 392 (IE) dated 18April 2000.
PARLIAMENTARY STUDY GROUP
Conveners of Consumers Forum Chandigarh took active part in the proceedings of two Parliamentary Study Groups on Telecommunications and Communications on 19& 20June 2000. Written recommendations handed over to the Study Groups included improving the poor reception of door Darshan, Jalandhar which was the general complaint of the citizens of Chandigarh.
RURAL CONSUMER AWARENESS CAMP
This Awareness Camp was organized in Village Maloya, U.T., Chandigarh on 16.7.2000. More than 300 villagers participated in the proceedings chaired by Sh. M Ramshekhar, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Chandigarh. The camp was very effective and successful in educating the rural people about their rights enshrined in Consumer Protection Act and about the benefits of the Citizens Charter.
ALL INDIA RADIO BROADCAST ON RURAL AWARENESS
The Chairman, Consumers Forum, Chandigarh, Sh. Jaidev Singh took part in recording on the subject of Consumer Protection Act on 17July 2000. Later, on 17August 2000 on a call from A.I.R. Chandigarh, Col. Sarwan Singh, Secretary General also took part in the recording and subsequent relay on the same date on the concept of Citizens Charter.
RAJIV GANDHI AWARD PARTICIPATION
Sh. H.S. Ahluwalia and Er. L.B. Gupta from Consumer Forum, Chandigarh, participated to offer Consumer Advice in two important evaluation committees organized by the Central Government for evaluating Verka Milk Plant & ACC cement Factory, Bilaspur, for Rajiv Gandhi Award.
MEDIA WORKSHOP ON CITIZENS CHARTER
This National level workshop, second of its type in India, was organized by consumers Forum, Chandigarh, in collaboration with consumer Coordination Council (CCC), New Delhi and Friedrich Nauman Stifting (NFSt.). The aim and objective of the Workshop was to share and exchange ideas with Media for mobilizing public opinion in favour of citizen charter for good governance, to build awareness amongst the citizens to enable them to demand quality services from service providers which have been committed by them in their respective charters and invite Media as partners to raise voice for various consumer problems like right to information and amendments to the Consumer Protections Act. The venue of the workshop was Partap Singh Kairon Hall, Kisan Bhawan, Sector 35-A, Chandigarh. 97 representative of various organizations, departments of Punjab & Haryana, Ministry of Administrative Reforms, New Delhi, including 24 representatives of Media Workshop in their respective news bulletins and senior representatives of Hindustan Times, Dainik Bhaskar, Indian Express and other regional newspapers published in Chandigarh took active part in the deliberations. A Full report alongwith the paper clipping and photos during the deliberations was submitted to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs & Administration Reforms, New Delhi, Heads of Departments, States of Punjab & Haryana including U.T., Chandigarh. A copy of report is also available in the Library for reference.
Col. G.S. Sandhu, VSM Retd. was elected as second Vice Chairman of the Forum on the 29th of July 2000. The revamping of Committees also took place during the same period.
- Servicing Committee Sh. D.S. Virdi, President
- Pricing Committee Sh. R.K. Sachdev, President
- Utility Services Brig. K.I. Kumar
- Law & Order Col. B.S. Sekhon
- P.D.S. & Sampling Mrs. Shakuntala Khullar
- Youth & Student Activities Mrs Ranbir Talib
- Health Col. G.S. Sandhu, VSM Retd.
WORLD STANDARDS DAY CELEBRATIONS
Chairman and Conveners of Forum took part in the World Standards Day Celebrations organized by Bureau of Indian Standards, Chandigarh, on the 17th October 2000 in the Banquet Hall of Hotel Shivalik View, Chandigarh.
LEGAL SERVICE DAY CELEBRATIONS
Legal Service day was celebrated on the 9th of Nov., 2000 by organizing a Seminar in our office at Karuna Sadan. All NGOs having offices at Karuna Sadan. All NGOs having offices in Karuna Sadan took part in the deliberations, Chairman, S. Jaidev Singh and Sh. H.S.Ahluwalia, President Complaints spoke on the alternate method of negotiations for Redressal of Complaints Forum, Chandigarh.
DECLAMATION CONTEST ON CITIZENS CHARTER
This declamation contest was held in D.A.V. Senior Secondary School, Sector 8-C, Chandigarh, on the 22nd of December 2000. Students and staff of different schools took part in the contest. Pries were awarded to the top three students adjusted to be the best by the Panel of Judges.
DEFECTIVE WATER METERS IN CHANDIGARH
By September 2000, the number of defective meters had crossed the figure of 50, 000 i.e. majority of water meters in Chandigarh were defective. A study carried out by Consumers. Forum revealed that the Municipal Corp.Chandigarh was utilizing the rent paid by the owners for other purposes & not for replacing the defective meters. The Corp, issued a Notification in September 2000 under which the responsibility for maintenance of water meters was transferred to the consumers. This was bitterly opposed by the Consumers but the Corpn. did not relent. Delegation of CFC met the Commissioner M.C. Chandigarh pointing out the unjust notification as the fault squarely lay on the shoulders of the Corpn. As the Corpn. Did not respond positively, it was decided by CFC to file a P.I.L in the High Court of Punjab & Haryana to get justice for the consumers . A PIL was filled & won in the year 2001, a detailed report can be seen under next years proceedings.
FUTURE PLANNING WORKSHOP 2000
Secretary General took part in the Future Planning Workshop organized by CCC, New Delhi on the 4th of December 2000 for planning the activities of Consumer Organizations in the coming year. In addition, the detailed programme of the impending convention at Kolkata during the month of February 2001 was discussed & finalized.
CONSUMER CONVENTION AT KOLKATA
A delegation of 10 Conveners led by Chairman, Sh. Jaidev Singh participated in the Gala event of Consumer Convention at Kolkata for 2 days on 10th & 11th Feb. 2001. The Convention was attended by over 1000 delegates from Consumer Organizations all over India and abroad and was inaugurated from Consumer Minister for Consumer Affairs Sh. Shanta Kumar. 11 workshops on various subjects like Good Governance & Citizens Charter, Consumer Protection Act, Legal Aid & Social Justice, Role of Women in consumer movement & rural awareness were also organized during the same period. 11 Resolutions were passed in the valedictory session for onward transmission to central Govt. laying special emphasis on the urgency of Amendments to Consumer Protection Act (1986) and increasing grants to grass root levels.
EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FOR GUJARAT VICTIMS
In addition to passing a special Resolution expressing grief on loss of life & property during the earthquake on the 26th of Frb. 2001, the Conveners made special efforts to collect funds & clothing for the earthquake victims & onward dispatch to Gujarat.
B.I.S. AWARENESS PROGRAMME
Bureau of Indian Standard, Chandigarh in Collaborations with Consumer Forum Chandigarh organized an Awareness Programme on the 6th of Feb. on the subject of Consumer Welfare through Standardization & Certification & Redressal of Grievances Mechanism of BIS. The programme was attended by all the conveners of the Forum, representatives of Consumer organizations from Mohali & Panchkula, NGOs located in Karuna Sadan Complex & he staff of BIS office of Chandigarh.
WORLD CONSUMERS DAY CELEBRATIONS 2001
As per the past practice of last 12 years, 13th Awareness-cum-Sale Mela was organized from 14th to 18th March 2001 in Nehru Park, Sector 22 B, Chandigarh which was inaugurated by Sh. R.S. Gujarat, IAS, Secretary Home & Consumer Affairs, Chandigarh Administration. Main activities during the celebrations included a Declamation Contest on Consumer Protection on 13th March in the Government College, Sector 46, Khula Manch on the afternoons of all the days where the Heads of departments of Electricity, Water, Telecom, LPG & Public Health interacted with the consumers to solve their problems. Lecture were organized on the subjects of LIC, GIC, traffic control training & Banking.
Information Centre & Complaint Centre were established at the Centre of Mela Complex to educate the consumers on matters relating to their Rights, Redressal of their complaints and also to enroll new members for spreading the movement. Over 75,000 people visited the Mela during all the five days. Free literature in Hindi, Punjabi & English was distributed during the said period.
This closing day function was presided over by Air Marshal Randhir Singh PVSM AVSM Vr. C. Retd. He greatly admired the efforts of CFC for organisng the Mela & educating the consumers in various ways. He also presented mementos to Col. Gurbaksh Singh Brar, Shri Jai Dev Singh & Col. B.S. Sekhon being Founder Members of the Forum. Mementos were also presented by him to otherconveners namely Col. Sarwan Singh, Col. G.S. Sandhu, VSM, Shri R.K. Kaplash, Mrs Ravinder Kaur, Shri D.S. Virdi, Brig. Jagmohan singh, Mrs Shakuntla Khullar, Shri H.S. Ahluwali & Shri H.S. Aulakh for their distinguished services in their respective fields of activities in the Forum, Shri Gopal Dutt DFSO & Shri K.S. Sharma, Supdt. Food & Supplies were also honoured by presenting Mementos to them for their continued assistance in organizing the world Consumers Day Celebrations Mela.
Air Marshal also presented a cheque of Rs. 11,000/- as his contribution to the consumer day expenses incurred by a Forum. The gesture was greatly appreciated by the gathering.
P.I.L. ON DEFECTIVE WATER METERS.
As already explained in last years report, the number of defective water meters having crossed the figure of 50, 000 & the Municipal Corp. not responding to the representations of the users as well as CFC, a P.I.L. was filled in Punjab & Haryana High Court by CFC on behalf of the consumers of Chandigarh in March 2001. On the basis of data collected by CFC, our pleadings, short & simple were as under:-
The Municipal Corporation was collecting rent for the water meters for long time past & the defective water meters were being replaced from the rent so collected. However, during the last five years, the rent collected by the Corporation was misappropriated & used for other purposes resulting in the increase in number of defective meters to over 50,000. The approximate figures of rent collected by the corpn. Were furnished. It was also proved by calculations that had the corporation used that amount for the purpose it was collected, all the defective water meters could have been replaced & there was no necessity to issue a Notification under which the responsibility had been transferred to the consumer.
The pleading of the corpn. About financial crunch were set aside & the case decided in favour of the consumers. The court ruling were as under:-
1) The water meters in Chandigarh would be maintained by thecorpn. As per the original practice and the consumers would not be burden of this responsibility of maintaining the meters.
2) A nominial increase in the monthly rent of meter was allowed.
3) The consume r who had replaced their defective meters under
their own arrangements after issue of Notification, would get the refund of Rs. 350/- through their water bills.
Chandigarh residents were overjoyed to hear the ruling of the court & the office of CFC was flooded with greetings calls. The newswere carried by the consumer magazines to all parts of the country and we have been sending the copies of the court ruling to many consumer organizations for reference as & when some similar situation develops in their respective areas also.
Shri Sartaj Singh Advocate of 1015, 15-B, Chandigarh, piloted the case in the High Court charging any fee. He was honoured by the Forum by presenting a memento during the Closing Day function of World Consumers Day Celebrations for the year 2002. Col Sarwan Singh who collected the data for the case & Dr. .S. Bajaja who assisted Mr. Toor were also honoured by mementos during the same function.
Full proceedings of the case and a detailed Report has been placed in the Forum library & can be seen by any one interested to know more details.
DIRECT CONSUMER INFORMATION CENTRE (DCIC)
The sanction of DCIC for Chandigarh was the result of continued & sustained efforts of the Forum for the last four years. This is a project costing Rs. 5 lakhs to be completed in a period of three years. The sanction was received in april 2001 & first allotment of grant of Rs. 2.5 lakhs released subsequently. The sanction includes a computer with internet facility, a fully equipped library, a reading room and a guidance centre where the consumers can approach our Resource Personnel for advice for Redressal of their complaints as well as information on related consumer matters.
Our own website : www. Consumersforumchd.org has since been launched alongwith our E-mail address : firstname.lastname@example.org The DCIC was formally inaugurated by Sh. R.S. Gujral IAS, Secretary Home & Consumer Affairs, on 24th Nov. 2001. The problem of separate accommodation for DCIC still remains. Efforts have been made to get a large room at ground floor for easy access to the consumers. Deputy Commissioner, UT, Chandigarh who is also the Chairman of UT Red Cross has promised to make a room available as soon as accommodation is vacated by any of the NGOs in Karuna Sadan.
NATIONAL CONSUMERS DAY CELEBRATIONS 2001
A Seminar on Municipal Services was organized on 24th Dec. 2001 to celebrate the National Consumers Day. This half-day seminar was chaired by Sh. Pawan Kumar Bansal, M.P., UT, Chandigarh, Municipal Corporation took part whole-hearted with all the nominated & elected councilors also attending the seminar. Municipal Commissioner, Sh. M.P. Singh, I.A.S. not only read the Keynote address but also read another important paper under the Heading of Limitations & Resource Constraints of Municipal Corporation. The other papers read were:
I Privatization of municipal Services by Col. Sarwan Singh,Secretary General, CFC.
II Formulation & implementation of Citizens charters by Sh.Jaidev Singh Chairmn, CFC.
III Conservation of Water Resources by Sh. R.K. Kaplash, ViceChairman, CFC.
IV Utility Services by Col. T.S. Sidhu, President Utility ServicesCommittee, CFC.
V Solid Waste Disposal by Dr. G.C. Bansal, Medical Officer ofHealth, Municipal Corpn. Chandigarh.
Other dignitaries who attended included Air Marshall Randhir Singh, PVSM, AVSM, Vr. C., Chairman Federation of Sector Welfare Associations, Chandigarh, Dr. Satnam Singh (Retd.), W.H.O. Consultant, General Secretaries of Consumer Organizations at Mohali and Panchkula. Presidents/General Secretaries of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh, NGOs having offices in Karuna Sadan and Sector Conveners of Consumers Forum Chandigarh.
The gist of recommendations made during the seminar have since been passed on to the Commissioner Municipal Corpn. As well as the Mayor M.C. Chandigarh for action where necessary.
BREAST FEEDING WEEK CELEBRATIONS
Breast Feeding Week from 1st August to 7th August 2001 was celebrated by distributing literature on the benefits of Breast Feeding in Hindi & Punjabi Languages. Mrs. Aruna Khanna, the project officer-in-charge accompanied by other lady conveners visited maternity wards in the hospitals, Primary Health Centres in the rural areas & had one to one talks with the women explaining the benefits of breast feeding. A seminar was also organized on 6th Aug. in the lecture hall of Karuna Sadan which was attended by the staff of all NGOs located in Karuna Sadan. Our own conveners attended some of them accompanied by their wives. Lectures were delivered by Joint Secy. Red Cross, Dr. Randhir Singh, Air Comdor. Retd., Mrs Shakuntala Khullar, Mrs Aruna Khanna & Sh. Jaidev Singh, Chairman, CFC.
RURAL CONSUMER AWARENESS CAMPS
Project sanction was received from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs for organizing two Rural Consumer Awareness Camps during the year 2001. First camp was organized at village Kajheri, UT, Chandigarh on 5th May 2001. Sh. Pawan Kumar Bansal, M.P., presided over the function. The village Panchyat Sarpanch took keen interest & it was with his efforts that more than four hundred men & women took part in the deliberations. Chairman, CFC, Sh. Jaidev Singh after welcoming the Chief Guest gave a short resume of the history of Consumer Protection Act and Citizens Charter. Chief Guest and encouraged the villagers to make full use of the Free assistance being provided by the Forum for redressal of their complaints.
Second camp was organized at village Kishengarh on 27th Nov. & was chaired by Sh. Gurmel Singh, PCS, Additional Deputy Commissioner Chd Brig. J.S. Phoolka, President Charter Wing, spoke on the benefits of the charters to the consumers. Col. Sarwan Singh spoke on the CP Act & the rights of Consumers.
At both the camps, Food & Supplies Department of UT, Chandigarh had deputed special teams for issue of BPL cards in the rural areas. Director Health Service delivered lectures on Health & Sanitation. Information booths were set up at both the camps and free literature was distributed to the visitors.
Arrangements were also made with Red Cross Society of Chandigarh for distributed of blankets & clothes to weaker sections of society. Shri Gurmel Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner first distributed blankets to some & later on Sh. Jaidev Singh & Brig. J.S. Phoolka distributed the remaining clothes.
REGIONAL SEMINAR ON CITIZENS CHARTER AT MUSSORIE
Chairman, Sh. Jaidev Singh participated in the regional seminar at Mussorie (UA) for three days from 1st Nov. to 3rd Nov. The seminar was organized by the Ministry of Administrative Reforms. New Delhi and the representatives of all Northern States took part in the deliberations. Our Chairman had the rare honour of being invited by name as the only NGO representative from the region. The main emphasis was on the formulation of charters by the Service Providing Departments of States & UTs in Northern India. The parameters approved in the seminar were to minimize the waiting time for getting the work done from the service providing departments, introducing the factors of Accountability, Transparency & Standards in the day to day working and reducing the number of forms / documentation in the offices. It was stressed that the charters must be printed in the regional languages & in the form of handbills which can be distributed freely to public & NGOs.
RAJIV GANDHI NATIONAL AWARDS-2000
Our Convener, Sh. L.B. Gupta, a retired Chief Engineer was nominated as a consumer activist member of high level committee appointed by the Central Govt. to Assess the Suitability of Gagal Cement Works, Bilaspur (HP) for Rajiv Gandhi National Award for the year 2000. the contribution of Sh. Gupta for bringing out the consumer aspect in the Production & Distribution of Cement during the finalization of the proceedings were highly appreciated by the Chairman of the Committee.
FOOD SECURITY SEMINAR
A National Seminar of Food Security, Sufficiency & Safety was organized by Citizens Consumer & Civic Action Group (CAG), Chennai & Consumer International Regional Office for Asia & Pacific (CI-ROAP) Malaysia on 7th & 8th Dec. 2001. Sh. R.K. Kaplash, Vice Chairman, CFC, represented the Forum. This very important seminar was attended by Dr. S. Sothi, Regional Director Consumer International ROAP Malaysia, Ms. Rajeshwari Kanniah, Deputy, CAG & Trustee of CAG, Mr. N.L. Rajah.
The main topic of discussion was achieving Food Security & Food Sufficiency vis–vis responsibilities of the State as well as civil society groups who have a stake in ensuring food security & sufficiency. Emphasis was laid on sufficiency & safety with regard to food to poor & disadvantaged women. The speakers also stressed the point regarding use of food as a political weapon and emphasized that it must be avoided at all costs.
MONITORING PROJECTS OF OTHER NGOs
Ministry of Consumer Affairs has sanctioned number of Projects from the Consumer Welfare Fund in the year 1997. The progress reports from some consumer Organizations about the proper use of the sanctioned amount were not being received. The Monitoring of one of these projects sanctioned in the name of Banswara Sehkari Thok Bhandar, Banswara was entrusted to Consumer Forum Chandigarh. Chairman, Sh. Jaidev Singh accompanied by Col. Sarwan Singh, Secy. General visited Banswara on 18.4.2001 for the purpose. To their surprise they found that not a single paisa was so far spent. They were advised about the procedure & requested that the money be spent & completion report rendered to the Ministry.
LECTURES ON CONSUMER PROTECTION
Chairman, Sh. Jaidev Singh addressed the members of Rotary Club Chd. Midtown, the select intelligentsia of the city, on 1 June on the subject of Consumer Movement in India and awareness about the CP Act. He first traced the history of CFC from the Year 1979 followed by the activities of the Forum in spreading awareness about the CP Act and Citizens Charter. He also brought to their notice the case of Defective Meters in Chandigarh about which the Forum had filled a PIL & won the case on behalf of the consumers thus giving them the much needed relief from the hassles of maintaining their own water meters. He also apprised the members of the club about the Alternate method of Redressal of complaints by Negotiations under which the complainants need not go to the Court & their complaints were redressed free of cost.
WORKSHOP ON RIGHT TO INFORMATION
Col Sarwan singh, Secy General attended a Workshop on Right to information organized by Central Coordination Council (CCC) on 21st July in Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi. Sh. Pranab Mukherjee, MP & Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on the subject addressed the members who had come to attend the General Body Meeting of the CCC fixed for that day. Members were informed that the draft Bill for amendments to Official Secrets Act was ready & likely to be passed by the Parliament soon.
TERRORIST ATTACK ON WORLD TRADE CENTRE
In a special meeting, the Forum members expressed their anguish over the terrorist attack & expressed heartfelt condolences towards the families of victims of the terrorist attack on WTC, New York on 11th Sept. 2001. A condolence message was sent to the Mayor of New York with a copy to the Ambassador of USA in NEW Delhi.
On 11th Sept. 2001, members also observed two minutes silence in the sacred memory of those who had perished in the attack on WTC buildings.
The Drive for increasing the membership of the Forum is continuing. Our membership has increased to over 7500 by the end of April 2002. The membership fee has been kept purposefully low at Rs. 10/- to attract the maximum number of people from the lower income group. Forum has got 60 Life Members by now. The life membership fees is Rs. 250/-
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUION
A special General Body Meeting of the House was called on 28th July 2001 to pass certain much needed amendments to the Constitution, Major amendments were:
- Add a new sub-para under para 4 Membership, to get the benefit of Standard Deduction of Rs. 50.000/- from the Income Tax. All members of CFC shall perform their duties without any remunerations. They shall not be entitled to any share in the profits accruing to the forum time to time.
- Q. & H.O. of the forum will be at one place i.e. Room No. 3, 3rd Floor, Karuna Sadan, Sector 11-B, Chandigarh.
- Annual membership fee to be Rs. 10/- instead of Rs. 20/-
- Lay down eligibility of service as convener to hold appointments:
- Heads of Committees : 3 years
- Members of Ex-Council : 6 years
- Addition of INDEMINITY Clause. It was not there earlier, and has been now added to indemnify the members of executive against all suits/proceedings in courts for the execution of duty in their respective spheres. Under this Clause, the executive members have been indemnified out of the Forum while performing their duties in their respective spheres of offices.
INER COLLEGE DECLAMATION CONTEST
This Declamation Contest on Consumer Protection & Citizens charter was organized in Govt. College, Sector 11 on 28th Feb. 2002 in collaboration with the said college. Students from 7 colleges in UT Chandigarh took part in the contest. Prizes were given to the three best students selected by the panel of three judges. Members of the Staff & Some students also took part in the deliberations.
INTERACTION MEET ON BIS ROLE IN CONSUMER PROTECTION
This meet was organized on 5th Mar, 2002 in collaboration with BIS (Bureau of Indian Standard), (Chandigarh Chapter) in Govt. College, Sector 46, Chandigarh, BIS Staff attended in strength along with students & staff of the college and all the conveners of the Consumer forum. The theme of the discussions was How BIS was helping the consumers by laying Standards for durable required for day to day consumption.
WORLD CONSUMERS DAY CELEBRATION 2002
14TH Awareness-cum-Sale Mela was organized for four days from 14th Mar. to 17th Mar. 2002 in Nehru Park, Sector-22-B, Chandigarh in collaboration with Chandigarh Administration & Municipal Corporation Chandigarh. This years Mela had many new innovations for the visitors. Departments of IncomeTax, LIC, Telecom, ICICI Bank & Health Department of Chd. Admn. occupied stalls in the Mela Complex for educating the consumers about their respective spheres of activities. As per past practice, other departments of weights & Measures, Traffic Police, Health & Sanitation had also established their stalls.
The Mela was formally inaugurated by Ms. Neeru Nanda, I.A.S., Advisor to Administration on 15th March 2002. In her inaugural address, she lauded the efforts of CFC for organizing the Awareness-cum-Sale Mela on such a large scale. She wanted the organization to help the Public Health Department in improving the process of disposal of House Garbage. Consumers Forum having its conveners & members spread all over the city help in educating the citizens the advantages of segregating the house refuse before assign on to the collection agency which will be taking it away to the final disposal site. She herself saw the students taking part in On the Spot Painting Competition organized to test the knowledge of consumerism in students of various ages. She announced a grant of Rs. 40,000/- to the Forum for Printing & distribution of literature to the visitors coming to see the Mela.
Khula Manch was organized on the afternoons of all four days on the subjects of LPG, Licensing & Registration, Telecom, Health, Food & Supplies & Utility Services. Heads of Departments attended the Khula Manch & interacted with the consumers/complainants for redressal of their complaint. Information & complaint centres were set up to distribute free literature & also to attend to the complaints of the consumers.
Smt. Lalit Joshi, Mayor, Municipal Corporation Chandigarh was the Chief Guest on Closing Day Ceremony on 17th March. She eulogized the services of Consumers forum and also announced that Municipal Corporation had decided to wave the rent of Nehru Park for organizing the world Consumers Day from this year. She then gave away prizes to the winners of events held during the Celebrations Week. She also presented Mementos to two Councillors, Brig. Sant Singh MVC & Bar & Sh. P.C. Sanghi for their active role in getting the rent of Nehru Park waved off. Mementos were also presented to Conveners of the Forum namely Brig. K.I. Kumar & to Dr. S.S. Bajaj, Wg. Cdr. J.P. Singh, Co. Sarwan Singh, Sh. Jaswant Singh & Mrs. Aruna Khanna for their outstanding services in their respective fields of activities.
Free services rendered by Sh. Satraj Singh advocate & Sh. Satpal Jain Advocate were also acknowledged by presenting members for free legal assistance in the PIL for water meters case. A Memento was also presented to Mr. K.C. Jain Advocate for legal assistance in filling the first income tax without changing any fee.
Chairman Shri Jaidev Singh announced that a trophy will be awarded every year to a convener for best performance during the year. He presented a cheque of Rs. 2500/- to the Forum for meeting the cost of trophy which will be known as Chairmans Trophy.
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA AWARD FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION
Consumers forum Chandigarh was awarded the second prize for its outstanding role in Consumer Protection for the Year 2000. It may be mentioned here that a similar award was given to CFC in the year 1994 also indicating hereby that the activities of the Forum for Consumer Protection were being carried out at constantly higher pitch. A certificate & a Draft for Rs. 40,000/- was received by Col. Sarwan Singh on behalf of the Forum on 23rd Mar 2002 in a glittering ceremony presided by Sh. Shanta Kumar, Central Minister for Consumer Affairs & Food Distribution.
Consumer Forum Chandigarh
Room No.3, Third Floor, Karuna Sadan, Sector 11-B, Chandigarh.
The Consumers forum Chandigarh is one of the leading voluntary consumer organizations in the country especially in Northern part of India. The organization has more than 7000 members. It has been working in the field of consumer protection for more than 22 years, spreading consumer awareness specially in the rural areas by organizing meetings, seminars & training camps. In the year 2000 the organization focused on consumers below the poverty line to educate them about their rights and responsibilities as consumers. The organization has also dealt with a large number of consumer complaints through arbitration, counseling and filling of cases in consumer forums. The impact of the outstanding activities of this organization has been recognized by the State Government.
CENTRAL CONSUMER PROTECTION COUNCIL MEETING ON 23RD MARCH, 2002
Secretary General, Col. Sarwan Singh also attended the Meeting of Central Comsumer Protection Council held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on the same date i.e. 23rd March 2002 on behalf of the Chairman. Many important issues were discussed during this CCPC Meeting which was attended by almost 200 delegates from the States, UTs and a large number of representatives of Consumer Organizations. Members were also informed that the Bill of amdts. to C.P. Act had been cleared by the Rajya Sabha & was waiting clearance from the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session.
WORKSHOP ON TRAINING WOMEN LEADERS
A National workshop to train women leaders in defending Consumer Rights was organized by Society for Civil Rights in India International Centre, New Delhi on 19-21 April 2002. It was inaugurated by sir Rob Young, British High Commissioner in India. Justice G.B. Pattnaik & Justice S.B. Sinha were the Chief Guests. The subjects covered were Benefits of Standardisation, safety in handling electrical appliances, Doctors Patient Relationship and sales tax in every day life of a consumer.
Mrs. Amrita Sehgal, convener, CFC attended this workshop. She distributed copies of literature published by Consumers Forum amongst the participants who greatly appreciated the activities of the Forum. She has also been taken as a member in the all India Core Committee formed to guide the activities of the Society.
Shri S. Kumar advocate Supreme Court, the organizer of the workshop expressed a desire to organize the next workshop in the series at Chandigarh. Mrs. Amrita Sehgal assured him that all possible help for venue & other organizing matters will be provided by the forum. The financial arrangements would however be made by the society.
CONSUMER AWARENESS CAMPAIGN-MEDIAS ROLE
Although the Consumer Protection Act was enacted in the year 1986.its impact in the rural areas is not yet discemble. The fact is also clear from the small number of complaints from the rural area. Consumers Forum Chandigarh has taken in the rural area. It is proposed to organize four consumer awareness camps in the year 2002. Considering the enormity of the job, this is not enough. The matter has, therefore been taken up with the directors of AIR Chandigarh & Door Darshan Jalandhar for regular recording or live relays of short duration every month to convey the message of consumerism to the far flung areas. This is in accordance with the policy of the ministry of Consumer Affairs which is laying maximum stress on educating the rural consumers about their Rights and responsibilities. A beginning has already been made in this direction. A live relay from Door Darshan Jalandhar took place on 30 April in which Col.Sarwan Singh took part and replied to questions on redressal of complaints and negotiated settlement in a panel discussion. Again on 3rd June, a recorded message was given by him to AIR Chandigarh Team which visited the office of CFC. The message included information about the activities of the Forum from its inception in 1979, Free redressal of complaints by method of negotiated settlement & assistance rendered to the complainants for filling their cases in the Redressal Courts.
Door Darshan Jalandhar allotted fixed slots of 30 minutes each to CFC in Live Relays on Consumerism on 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. Under this arrangement, conveners have been taking part in these relays covering subjects like Consumer Protection Act, Railway Security & Safety, Non Banking Finance Companies, Guarantee V/s Warranty, Citizens Charter, Redressal of complaints by Negotiations and Amendments to Consumer Protection Act.
NEW TELENT IN CFC
(i)Advisor to the Forum
Shri H.S.Walia, B.A. LL.B., who had recently retired as a Member of Consumer Redressal Court No.1 in Chandigarh, joined as Advisor on Consumer issues. He had served as Legal Remembrancer and Joint Secretary to the Govt. of Punjab for over 30 years before joining the Consumer Court
(ii) New Conveners
Following new Conveners were inducted during the year:
Shri A.S.Ahuja 3306/23-D Convener Sector 23
Shri M.L.Vohra 1189/37-B -do- Sector 37
Shri G.S.Kathuria 2960/42-C -do- Sector 42
Shri Kamaljit Joshi 389/43-A -do- Sector 43
MEMBERSHIP OF PUBLIC RELATION SOCIETY OF INDIA
Shri R.K.Kaplash, Vice Chairman & PRO, was elected member of National Council of Public Relations Society of India.
B.I.S.WORLD CONSUMER DAY 2002
The Chairman and a good number Conveners joined the celebrations organized by B.I.S., Regional Office, Chandigarh, on 17October, 2002, as special invitees. They also attended a Seminar on Certification of Products by B.I.S. during these celebrations.
On 17October, a seminar on the same subject was organized by Director, B.I.S. Nalagarh at Solan (HP). It was presided by the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. Large number of representatives from industries located in Himachal Pradesh also took part in the deliberations. Col. Sarwan Singh represented CFC in this seminar.
WORKSHOP ON IMPACT OF SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION & CONSUMPTION ON CLIMATIC CHANGES.
This workshop was organized by Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) Calcutta on 24th October, 2002 at Habitat India, New Delhi. Chairman CCC and large number of Consumer Organisations attended the workshop where the main emphasis was on the Role of Consumer Organisations in sustainable production. Col. Sarwan Singh attended this one day Workshop.
WORKSHOP ON W.T.O. & ECONOMIC ISSUES
This important workshop was organized by CFC in collaboration with CUTS Calcutta on 28th November, 2002 in Kisan Bhawan, Chandigarh. Important issues discussed during the Workshop were Opportunities and Challenges posed by WTO, Investment & Economic Growth and Competition Policy of India. The function was chaired by Shri R.S.Gujral, IAS, Secretary Home & Consumer Affairs, U.T. Chandigarh. The important speakers were Dr. M.R.Khurana, Head of Economic Department, Panjab University, Col. Dr. P.K.Vasudeva, WTO Expert, Prof. M.R.Aggarwal from Panjab University, Sh. Rajiv Raghunath, Editor Financial Express, Prof. Satish Kumar from Business School, Panjab University. Shri Rajan Kashyap, IAS, Principal Secretary to Panjab Govt., Prof. Sucha Singh, Deptt. Of Economics from Punjabi University Patiala, Dr. Samar Verma from ICIRIER, New Delhi and Shri J.S.Hara, a renowned Agriculturist of Punjab. Delegates of Consumer Organisations from Sirhind, Mohali, Patiala, Bhatinda, Himachal Pardesh and NGOs of Chandigarh attended the proceedings.
The deliberations were greatly helpful in clearing apprehensions and doubts about the impact of WTO on Indian economy. The participants could also clear their minds about some Myths and Realities in relation to Indian Economy and also the contentious issue of effect of WTO of Indian Agriculture. A detailed Report containing the proceedings is available in the CFC library.
NATIONAL CONSUMERS DAY – 2002
A Rural Consumer Awareness Camp was specially organized at Village Kansal (Punjab) on 29th December to celebrate the National Consumers Day. The function was chaired by Shri S.S.Gill, SDM Kharar. The Village Panchayat of Kansal took leading part in arranging the presence of large number of participants comprising 360 men and 100 women. The villagers were educated about their Rights under Consumer Protection Act and the procedure for Redressal of Complaints. Free literature was also distributed to all the participants.
LECTURES ON CONSUMER RIGHTS
Our Conveners are specially by other NGOs like Indian Council of Social Welfare, Yuva Satta, Chandigarh Mahila Parishad and Help Foundation to deliver lectures in the camps organized by them in Jhuggi Jhompri Colonies to educate them about their Rights under Consumer Protection Act and the procedure for Redressal of complaints. Shri H.S.Ahluwalia, Comdt. D.S.Romana and Mrs. Aruna Khanna delivered lectures in 6 camps during the year.
REGISTRATION OF CFC UNDER SECTION 12 A (A) OF INCOME TAX ACT, 1961
Consumer Forum Chandigarh was registered as a Society under Section 12A(a) by the Income Tax Commissioner, Chandigarh, under their letter No.CIT/CHD/Tech/02-03/7735 dated 25th February, 2002. This step was necessary to facilitate the process of getting approval of Income Tax Authorities for granting rebate in Income Tax under Section 80G of Income Tax Act for donations to the Consumer Forum.
CONSUMER EDUCATION AT GRASS ROOT LEVELS
The main thrust of Awareness campaigns during this year has been on educating the Rural Consumers by organizing Rural Consumer Awareness Camps and also by conveying the message of consumerism through the Media of Door Darshan. Brief description of these activities is as under
- Rural Consumer Awareness Camp was organized at Village Khizrabad (Distt. Ropar) Punjab on 3rd March, 2003. The function was presided by Mrs. Seema Jain, IAS, Deputy Commissioner Ropar. Over 350 people attended this function, out of which nearly 100 women and equal number of grown up students were there.
- Consumer Awareness Camp at Village Sketri (Distt. Panchkula) Haryana was organized on 31st The function was presided over by Mrs. Seema Chowdhary, President, Municipal Council, Panchkula. Over 450 participants took part in which over 150 were women.
- The third camp was organized at Baru Sahib which is located almost 130 KM from Chandigarh in the interior of hilly terrain in Sirmaur District of Himachal Pradesh. The Principal of the school made a special request to us to educate the staff and senior students of the school and also the villagers located around the said place. Our Conveners gladly accepted the invitation to impart the consumer education regarding Rights of Consumer and also the method of redressal of complaints.
HELP OF DOOR DARSHAN JALANDHAR FOR CONSUMER EDUCATION
During the year, our Conveners took part in 18 Live Relays of 30 minutes each on different consumer related subjects like redressal of complaints, importance of standards in consumer goods, control of quality and quantity by Department of Weights & Measures, importance of correct leveling of packaged materials, alternate method of complaint redressal by negotiations, complaints of spurious drugs and medical nature. A new innovation of answering the questions from listeners during the relay itself was started and proved very successful.
LECTURES IN LABOUR COLONIES
The practice of lectures in colonies inhabited by consumers living in Jhuggies Jhomparies was continued. Our Conveners delivered eight lectures in various colonies of U.T.Chandigarh during the year.
WORLD CONSUMER DAY-2003
As per past practice, 15th Consumers Awareness.cum.Sale Mela was organized by Consumer Forum in tendem with Chandigarh Administration and Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh in Nehru Park, Sector 22-B, Chandigarh from 14th to 17th March. The Mega functionwas inaugurated by Shri Karan A. Singh, IAS, Secretary Finance, U.T. Chandigarh.
The Activities included Khula Munch on the after noons of all days, On The Spot Painting Contests by school students, Quiz on consumer issues for ladies, a Seminar on Medical Services in which emphasis was on deficiency of service by private practitioners, demonstration stalls byh Department of Health, Weights & Measures, Police & Public Health, Information Centre and Complaint Centres were established in the centre of the complex for leducating the consumers about their Rights and redressal of complaints. Free literature was distributed to all who visited these centres.
Chairmans Trophy for the year 2003 was presented to Col. Sarwan Singh, Secretary General, for his outstanding services to the consumer cause during the year. His name was selected by a Sub Committee consisting of Patron Col. G.S.Brar, Advisor Brig. Jagmohan Singh and Chairman Shri Jaidev Singh. The donation for the purchase of trophy was made by the Chairman Shri Jaidev Singh.
Seminar on Medical Services was organized on the afternoon of 16th March in which galaxy serving and retired medical specialists took part. The theme was Standard of medical services by private practitioners and grounds of deficiency of service. Dr. (Col) B.R.Pruthy took keen interest in organizing the seminar.
The Closing Day Function was chaired by Shri Subhash Chawla, Mayor, Municipal Corporation Chandigarh. He presented trophies to winners of events like Painting & Quiz contests. Members were also presented to Conveners of Forum who had put in long service and also to those who had done commendable work during the year.
WORKSHOP ON INVESTORS & FINANCIAL LITERACY
This workshop was organized in collaboration with VOICE, New Delhi on 31st March at Hotel Metro Chandigarh to educate the investors about the precautions to be taken while investing their hard earned money in Financial Institutions. The subjects covered during the proceedings were Portfolio Management & Evalutation, Mechanism of Mutual Funds, Investors Plight & Rights and functioning of Stock Exchanges.
CHAIRMAN SHRI JAIDEV SINGH, STEPS DOWN
Shri Jaidev Singh, Chairman stepped down on 28th April, 2003 on health grounds. He was one of the Founder Members of Consumer Forum in 1979 and was responsible for its growth to its present form. His distinguished services as a Secretary General for 24 years and as Chairman for four years was eulogized by Col. Sarwan Singh, Secretary General during the General House Meeting. Brig. J.S.Phoolka proposed a vote of thanks for lhis outstanding contribution and the same was unanimously passed by the House.
ELECTIONS OF NEW EXECUTIVE
Elections for the Executive Council took place on 31st May, 2003. The newly elected team was as under:
Col. Sarwan Singh (Retd.) Chaiman
Sh. R.K.Sachdev Secretary Finance
Shri N.K.Jhingan Organising Secretary
ELECTED BY VOTING PROCESSS:
Sh. R.K.Kaplash Senior Vice Chairman
Sh. H.S.Aulakh Vice Chairman
Sh. H.S.Ahluwalia Secretary General
AWARENESS-CUM-SALE COUNTERS CLOSED
These counters, which were in operation for nearly 20 years, were closed w.e.f. 13th June, 2003. Started during the period of controls over essential items of daily use, these were extremely helpful in maintaining the price level and providing quality goods to the consumers at rates lower than the market rates. In addition, free literature on consumerism was distributed at these counters. These counters were closed due to some technical difficulties experienced relating to maintenance of accounts of Sales Tax etc.
FILING OF PIL AGAINST SMART CARDS FOR VEHICLES
Considering the harassment and other problems caused by issue of Smart Cards for vehicles in Chandigarh, the Forum filed a PIL against it in the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh. The main grouse of the consumers was that the Administration had started charging Rs.220/- for every change of address by vehicle owner as against the prescribed rate of Rs.20/- in Motor Vehicle Act.
CHANGE OF OFFICE ACCOMMODATION IN KARUNA SADAN
A number of Conveners of the Forum and consumers who were over 70 years of age have been finding difficulty in negotiating three flights of stairs to reach the office in Room No.3 at third floor. After a great difficulty, Forum managed to get office accommodation at first floor in Room No.7 and everybody heaved a sigh of relief after this change.
REPRESENTATION IN NATIONAL CONSUMER CONGRESS AT VISAKHAPATNAM (AP)
Consumers Forum was represented by Shri R.K.Sachdev, Secretary Finance at the National Consumer Congress organized by Visakha Consumer Council at Visakhapatnam (AP) for two days on 8th and 9th November, 2003. He gave an outline of the activities of CFC to the participants in one of the workshops specially the system of Free Alternate Redressal of Complaints by Negotiations. He informed the participants that over 8500 complaints had been settled by this method. It was very much appreciated by the participants.
NATIONAL CONSUMER DAY 2003
National Consumers Rights Day was celebrated on 29th December by organizing a Seminar on the important subject of Conditional Access System (CAS) on Cable TV as the consumers of Chandigarh and surrounding areas were very much upset about the ever increasing rates imposed by the cable operators. The function was presided by Shri A.S.Sandhu, Additional DC also holding the charge of Cable TV in UT Administration. The issue of capping the rates of cable operators were discussed at length.
INVOLVEMENT OF COLLEGE & SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NATIONAL CAMPAIGN ON FOOD SECURITY AND GOOD QUALITY
Consumers Forum took active part in a campaign launched by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, New Delhi for collecting data by involving the school and college students. A set of 50 questionnaires were received for filling up by college students and on the spot painting by school students to test their knowledge about Food Security & Food Safety. Prizes were awarded to the students for best essays and paintings. The completed questionnaires were sent to the Ministry for further compilation.
MEMBERSHIP OF GOVERNING COUNCIL OF CCC
Col. Sarwan Singh, Chairman CFC, was unanimously selected member of Governing Council of CCC for two years.
LIVE RELAYS OF DOOR DARSHAN ON CONSUMERISM
Consumers Forum Chandigarh was allotted two slots of 30 minutes each for taking part in Live Relays every month. Our Conveners took part in 21 Live Relays during the year covering subjects like Insurance claims, Utility Services, Standards of Food for Children, Consumer Education, Redressal of Banking Complaints, Gold Jewellery Standards, Telecom Complaints, Medical Complaints, Implementation of Court Orders, Spurious drugs, Citizens Charter, Rights of Consumers and Household Insurance.
CONSUMER CONVENTION & GC MEETING OF CCC AT PONDICHERRY
The third Consumer Convention organized by CCC Chairman, Shri P. Muthukrishnan, was held for two days on 20th & 21st December, 2003 at Pondicherry (South India). A delegation of six conveners headed by Shri R.K.Kaplash, Senior Vice Chairman, took part in the deliberations. They also attended important workshops on subjects namely Investors Education, Involvement of Youth in National campaign for Food Quality and Consumer Protection by Handicapped & Economically Weaker Sections of Society. A number of resolutions were passed during this convention and forwarded to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs for action in the recommendations during the convention.
The Governing Council Meeting of CCC was also held soon on 20th December. Shri Bejon Misra was formally installed as Chairman CCC and Shri P. Duraisingham was declared elected as Vice Chairman of CCC.
NEW TALENT ENROLMENT OF
Following two new Conveners joined during the year:
- Shri R.K.Sharma – Convener Sector 16
- Rakesh Khullar – University Complex
Mrs. Amrita Sehgal was appointed Convener of Sector 16 after she changed her residence from Sector 34.
DEMISE OF TWO CONVENERS
CFC unfortunately lost the following two very senior conveners during the year:
- Shri J.D.Chawla, Convener Sector 38 (West)
- Shri D.S.Bhatia, Convener Sector 10
WORKSHOP ON INVESTORS EDUCATION
This was the second workshop on this subject which was held on 7th February, 2004 at Mohali (Punjab) on demand by the consumers of that place. The first one was organized at Chandigarh last year. Members of Consumer organizations from Mohali, Sirhind, Panchkula, Patiala and Bhatinda took part in the deliberations. It was organized in collaboration with VOICE New Delhi.
WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY 2004
16th Awareness-cum-Sale Mela was organized for 4 days from13th March to 16th March in Parade Ground, Sector 17, Chandigarh in tandem with Chandigarh Administration and Municipal Corporation Chandigarh. Justice (Retd.) O.P.Verma, Governor Punjab & Administrator UT Chandigarh was the Chief Guest for the inauguration ceremony. He went round the Mela Complex and took keen interest in the On the Spot Painting competition by the students and at the Information & Complaint Centre.
The gamut of activities included Khula Manch on the afternoons of all days. On the Spot Competition & Sloan Writing competition by school students, Seminar on Medical Services, Ladies Quiz on Consumer Awareness & Poster Making, Road Safety Lectures, demonstrations by Public Health and Weights & Measures Department. Membership campaign was also carried out by the Information & Complaint Counters and freed literature was distributed to all the visitors on all days.
The Closing Ceremony Function was presided by Mrs. Kamlesh, Mayor, Municipal Corporation Chandigarh. She distributed prizes to winners of different events and also mementos to Conveners who had performed valuable service to the consumers during the years.
Chairmans Trophy for the best Convener was awarded by Shri R.K.Kaplash, Sr. Vice Chairman and PRO. The weightage for the award of Trophy was his excellent performance as a Public Relations Officer in the past year.
WORKSHOP ON EXPECTATIONS FROM CIVIL SERVICES BY CONSUMERS
This important workshop was organized by CCC at IPA Conference Hall in Inderprastha Estate, New Delhi on 30th April, 2004. Earlier, a questionnaire on the consumer expectations from Civil Services was received and filled by the members of CFC. These completed questionnaires of CFC and other consumer organizations were discussed during the workshop. A joint recommendation was formalized and sent to the Ministry of Administrative Reforms at the end of the proceedings. Col. Sarwan Singh, Chairman CFC attended this workshop. Being a member, he also attended the meeting of Governing Council of CCC on 1st May to discuss the website of CCC and review of its financial position.
CONSUMER CLUBS IN SCHOOLS
This new scheme was launched by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs for giving a fillip to the consumer education to the younger generation of student in Schools and Colleges. Our Conveners approached the heads of schools in UT Chandigarh for lstarting clubs in their respective schools. Secretary, Home & Consumer Affairs was approached for approving our name as a Coordinating Agency for 50 schools in first year. The list of the schools which had agreed to open student clubs in their schools was also handed over. The approval is awaited.
NEW PROJECT SANCTIONED FOR FOUR CONSUMER AWARENESS CAMPS
Ministry of Consumer Affairs sanctioned a project costing Rs.88000/- for organizing four Consumer Rural Awareness Camps in villages lying in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Camps at Pinjore (Distt. Panchkula) and Banur (District Patiala) were organized during the year. The remaining two camps were planned for the next year.
HONY. TAX CONSULTANT
Sh. K.C.Jain, Advocate, R/o 3126/21D Chandigarh, was appointed Hony. Consultant to the Forum. Considering the long Hony. Services in the past, he was also granted Hony. Life Membership of the Forum.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR THE OFFICE
The Constitution of CFC has a provision for the post of Assistant Secretary to look after the office work. This post was kept vacant due to financial stringency. As office work had increased with the sanction of DCIC and funds position had also improved, this post has now been filled w.e.f. June 2004.
SILVER JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS OF CONSUMER FORUM
The CFC completed 25 years of its service to the consumers. A Seminar on Consumer Education at Grass Root Levels was organized on 24th July 2004 at Art Gallery Auditorium, Sector 10, Chandigarh to celebrate the Silver Jubilee Day. The function was chaired by Shri Bejon Misra, Chairman CCC. Senior revenue functionaries of States of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh were invited with special invitations as their help and assistance was needed for organizing awareness camps in rural areas in their jurisdiction. The representatives of consumer organizations of Panchkula, Mohali, Sirhind and Patiala also participated.
CFC CAMPAIGNS AGAINST SALE OF DAMAGED WHEAT/ATTA
In last week of July 2004, it came to our knowledge that the damaged wheat which was sold by FCI from some of the depots in Punjab, was making its way into the market where the flour mills and traders had started selling it to the general public. As it concerned the health of consumers in Punjab and UT Chandigarh. CFC swung into action by calling a press conference which was also attended by Shri Bejon Misra, Chairman CCC, who happened to be in Chandigarh to attend Silver Jubilee seminar. Soon, after reading the news which appeared in the print media, Justice O.P.Verma, Governor Punjab and Administrator UT Chandigarh issued strict instructions to the Department Head of Food & Supplies to ensure that no damaged wheat or atta was sold in the market. Our Conveners also kept a strict vigil on the quality of atta being sold in the market for over a month. This way, the timely action taken by CFC and the Chairman CCC prevented the sale of damaged atta/wheat which could result in a great health hazard.
RURAL CONSUMER AWARENESS CAMPS
Due to delay in getting sanction of project for organizing four camps during the year, only following two camps could be organized:
- At Pinjore, Distt. Panchkula (Haryana) on 7th August , 2004
This was a very successful camp as it was attended by CFC Conveners and over 450 participants which included about 100 students and over 50 women. Shri Devinder Kaushik, SDM Kalka presided over the function. He also promised to render all possible full assistance for any number of camps which may be arranged in his area.
- At Banur, Distt. Patiala (Punjab) on 9th October , 2004
Shri Priyhanka Bharti, SDM Rajpura presided over the function which was attended by CFC Conveners and over 400 participants including 200 grown up students, 25 functionaries of the Municipal Corporation and villagers from the local and neighbouring villages.
LIVE RELAYS ON DOOR DARSHAN
Our Conveners continued taking part in the live relays from Door Darshan Jalandhar twice a month on first and third Thursday of the week. Members of Consumer Organisations at Mohali and Patiala also associated in sending their representatives to take part in the live relays during the year.
LECTURES ON CONSUMER RIGHTS IN JHUGI/JHOMPRI COLONIES
These lectures were arranged on special requests from other NGOs in Chandigarh who organized their own separate programmes for the welfare and uplift of the residents of these colonies. The participants of these colonies generally belong to low income group. They are educated about the Consumer Rights and also the procedure to be followed for redressal of their complaints. Eight lectures were delivered in the colonies this year.
WORKSHOP ON QUALITY HEALTH SERVICES
Shri R.K.Kaplash, Sr. Vice Chairman attended this workshop on the subject of Accessibility & Affordability of Quality Health Services organized by Indian Medical Association in collaboration with CCC at Thiruvanthapuram (Kerala-South India). The proceedings lasted for three days from 10th to 12th September. The workshop discussed at length the implications of medical practitioners coming into purview of Consumer Protection Act. The fact that the doctors had become over cautious and had started prescribing greater number of tests before starting the treatment was brought out by the consumer representatives during the workshop. Detailed proceedings and recommendations have been brought out in the report submitted by the Medical Association and is under study by the Government.
MEET ON PACKAGED FOOD LABELLING
The meet was arranged by the Confederation of Indian Industries in collaboration with CCC at New Delhi on 2nd December 2004. The Cold Drink Giants Coca Cola & Pepsi and the representatives of consumer organizations attended the meet. The points under discussion were the legal requirement of constituents of the packaged food to be given on the label outside. The Cold Drink Giants were hesitant to give the names of all the constituents as they said that these were their trade secrets. Shri R.K.Kaplash who attended Meet, stressed on the requirement of giving full information on the label for knowledge of the consumers. No decision could be taken as the case on the same issue was pending with the Supreme Court.
TERMINATION OF CONVENERSHIP
Consumer Forum feels sorry to loose services of following four Conveners w.e.f. 26.08.2004:
- Sh, D,S,VIrdi Convener Sector 49
- S.S.Bajaj Ex. Convener Sector 15
- Sub Major Ram Convener Manimajra Market
- Ravinder Kaur Ex. Convener Sector 49
The main reason for the termination was the failure of these Conveners to attend minimum number of meetings as specified in the Bye-laws of the Forum.
The Awareness Lecturers were given by the Conveners on the following dates:
Date Held at Speakers Name
22.11.2004 Rural Camp at Mataur Sh.H.S.Walia
01.12.2004 Govt.Sr.Model School Sec.10 Chd Dr.B.R.Pruthi
07.12.2004 Colony No.5, Chandigarh Sh.H.S.Ahluwalia
13.12.2004 Govt.Sr.Model School Sec.10 Chd Dr.B.R.Pruthi
15.12.2004 Khuda Lahora, Chandigarh Sh.H.S.Ahluwalia
16.12.2004 Desu Majra, Kharar Sh.H.S.Walia
30.12.2004 Recording & Relay by AIR Col.Sarwan Singh(Retd)
SEMINAR ON CITIZENS CHARTER
Lt. Gen. S.F.Rodrigues (Retd.), Governor Punjab and Administrator UT Chandigarh had issued instructions for formulations of Citizens Charter by all departments of UT soon after taking over the assignment. This Seminar was organized by the CFC on 24.12.2014 at Art Gallery Auditorium, Sector 10, Chandigarh do discuss the salient features to be included in their respective Charters. A large number of NGOs, Representatives of Sector Welfare Associations and sister consumer organizations took part in the deliberations. The function was presided over by Sh. P.H.Vaishnav. Sh. P.C.Sanghi, Chairman, Federation of Sector Welfare Associations, Chandigarh was the Chief Guest. Unfortunately, none of the officials of departments, who were specially requested to take part in the proceedings, attended the Seminar.
SEMINAR ON WHEAT FLOUR FORTIFICATION
The seminar was organized by the Federation of Wheat Flour Mills in CII Hall, Sector 31, Chandigarh on 4.1.2005 and was presided over bhy Sh. S.K.Tuteja, Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, New Delhi. Lt. Col. Sarwan Singh, Sh. R.K.Kaplash and Lt. Col. G.S.Sandhu attended the seminar.
The Awareness Lectures were given by the Conveners on the following dates:
Date Held at Speakers Name
05.01.2005 DD Jalandhar, V.Dhanas UT Sh.H.S.Ahluwalia
18.01.2005 Desu Majra, Kharar Sh.H.S.Ahluwalia
19.01.2005 SBI Pensioners Meet Chd Sh.H.S.Aulakh
APPOINTMENT OF CONVENERS
On the recommendations of Executive Council of CFC, the following were appointed Conveners for the sectors mentioned against their names:
Name Address Sector
Sh.R.S.Dasta 1031/8C, Chandigarh 8
Col.H.P.Singh 52(GF), 44A, Chd 44
Sh.Satish Kumar 453/2, 44A, Chd 44
Sh.B.M.Mittal 312/B, 51A, Chd 51
Sh.Charanji Lal Saini 528, Phase II,Saini Vihar Baltana
The Awareness Lectures were given by the Conveners on the following dates:
09.02.2005 Mauli Jagran, UT Chd Comdt.D.S.Romana(Retd.)
13.02.2005 Bapu Dham Colony, Chd Sh.H.S.Ahluwalia
AWARENESS-CUM-SALE MELA 2005
The Awareness-cum-Sale Mela 2005 this year proved below expectations as far as the occupation of the stalls was concerned. This was inspite of the fact that we were able to get the services of M?s Innovative Group who were professionals in arranging such functions. Unfortunately their publicity for the sale of stalls was of very low standard. The other factors which came in the way were Rose Festivals of Mohali and Panchkula and the Cricket Test Match between India and Pakistan during that very period. Unfortunately, the number ofadvertisements in the Annual Magazine 2005 were also much less due to some restrictions placed by State of Haryana.
CONSULTATIVE & PLANNING MEETING OF CONSUMER ONLINE RESOURCE & EMPOWERMENT CENTRE
Our Chairman attended the Consultative & Planning Meeting of Consumer Online Resource & Empowerment Centre (Core Centre) on 27th February, 2005. It was arranged by CCC at IIPA Conference Hall, New Delhi to discuss and finalise the programme of implementation of the above noted project. The meeting was chaired by Shri L.Man Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs and attended by Member Consumer Organisations of CCC along with some Specialists on the subject. It was decided in the meeting that a sum of Rs.31000/- would be allotted to member organizations to augment their resources of DCICs.
PARTICIPATION IN WORLD CONSUMER DAY FUNCTIONS OF OTHER ORGANISATIONS
In addition to organizing our own Mega Function of Awareness-cum-Sale Mela, our Conveners also participated in the following celebrations:
- Inauguration of Core Centre Project Ar Shivdev Singh
by Shri Sharad Pawar, Minister of Sh. R.S.Dasta
Consumer Affairs in a function organized
by CCC at Delhi on 15th March, 2005
- Seminar on Consumer Rights organized Col Sarwan Singh
by Punjab Branch of Indian Institute of Sh. R.K.Kaplash
Public Administration at Conference Hall Sh. H.S.Ahluwalia
of Busines School of Panjab University
- Celebrations by Consumer Protection R.K.Sachdev
Forum Mohali (Pb) to celebrate the Day. Sh. M.L.Vohra
- Directorate of Marketing/Inspection H.S.Ahluwalia
Agmark, Govt. of Punjab at Satsang Sh. K.I.Kumar
Bhawan, Sector 26, Chandigarh. Sh.R.S.Rathore
RURAL AWARENESS CAMPS
Shri H.S.Ahluwalia, Secretary General informed two awareness
camps were required to be held in the month of April 2005 either at Dera Bassi, Parwanoo or Kharar. Ar. Shivdev Singh informed that contacts were being made with the Authorities for having the rural awareness camp at Parwanoo (HP) during April, 2005.
The following Conveners delivered talks on Doordarshan,
Jalandhar on the subject mentioned against each:
Sh. H.S.Ahluwalia 06.04.2005 Procedure of Complaint Redressal
Sh. R.K.Sachdev 20.04.2005 Rural Livestock Insurance
Sh. H.S.Aulakh 04.05.2005 Banking
Lt. Col.Sarwan 18.05.2005 Safety & Security
PARTICIPATION IN SEMINAR ON CONSUMER RIGHTS
In the seminar organized by Punjab Branch of Institute of Public
Administration on Consumer Rights on 15th March, 2005, out of five sessions held in two days, three sessions were presided by representatives of CFC who were also honoured by the Institute by presentation of shawls. CFC members were:
Lt. Col. Sarwan Singh (Retd.) Chairman, CFC
Sh. H.S.Walia Legal Adviser, CFC
Brig. J.S.Phoolka (Retd.) President, Citizens Charter Wing
APPOINTMENT OF PATRON
Considering his sincere and long service of 24 years for the growth and attainments of Consumer Forum Chandigarh right from the day of its inception in the year 1979, the House unanimously resolved to appoint Shri Jaidev Singh as an Hononaryh Patron of the Forum with immediate effect.
CHECKING OF WEIGHTS & MEASURES OF APNI MANDIS
CFC had requested the Controller, Weights & Measures, Chandigarh to check the weights and measuring instruments of sellers in the Apni Mandi. Shri R.K.Kaplash and Shri N.K.Jhingan were coopted to check in all the Apni Mandis. As a result of this checking, some sellers were challaned by the Inspector, Weights & Measures due to defective and inaccurate measuring instruments.
TALK ON DOORDARSHAN JALANDHAR
Shri H.S.Walia, Legal Adviser appeared on Doordarshan Jalandhar on 20.07.2005 and delivered a talk on Medical Negligence.
MOTTO FOR CONSUMER FORUM CHANDIGARH
The House decided to adopt the Motto Consumer Care Our Concern for Consumer Forum Chandigarh.
ATTENDING RAISING DAY AT GOA
Col. (Dr.) B.R.Pruthi had attended the Goa State Consumers Forum Raising Day on 26th May, 2005 at Conference Hall of Chamber of Commerce, Azad Maidan, Panaji (Goa) which was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Goa. He extended invitation to the President to visit Consumers Forgum Chandigarh.
PANEL FOR LEGAL ADVICE
S/Shri H.S.Walia, Legal Adviser and H.S.Ahluwalia, Secretary General, CFC had been nominated on the panel of National Consumer Helpline (NCH), CORE CENTRE and CONSUMER VOICE covering the telecom, electronic and print media for advising consumers on their problems/grievances/complaints.
Awareness Camp was organized at Balongi (Punjab) on 20th August, 2005 and at Behlana (UT Chandigarh) on 10th September, 2005, which was a grand success.
NOMINATION FOR PARTICIPATION IN LOK ADALATS
S/Shri H.S.Walia, Legal Adviser and H.S.Ahluwalia, Secretary General, CFC were nominated as Members to participate in the proceedings of Lok Adalat on 9th September, 2005 from 10.00 AM and during the subsequent Fridays as desired by the State Commission, UT Chandigarh.
APPOINTMENT AS GC MEMBER OF CCC, NEW DELHI
Shri R.K.Kaplash, Vice-Chairman, CFC had been nominated as a GC Member of CCC as well as candidate for the post of Vice-Chairman of Consumer Coordination Council, New Delhi in the forthcoming election.
DELIVERY OF GAS REFILLS AFTER WEIGHING BY VENDORS
An e-mail dated 29.10.2005 was received from Shri B.Vaidyanathan, Secrerary , CPF, Rourkela that National Commission directs IOC to make delivery of cooking Gas Refills after weighing them in the presence of the Consumers. It was decided to write a letter to IOC to the effect that every vendor must have the weighing balance with him when he delivers the refills to the consumers.
DEBATE ON RATIONAL USE OF DRUG PROJECT
A debate, which is an off shoot of Rational Use of Drug Project started by Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS), Kolkata was held in the Govt. Sr. Secondary School, Sector 10, Chandigarh on 26.11.2005. This was attended by Sr. Vice Chairman, Secretary General and Col (Dr.) B.R.Pruthi, Project Officer of CFC. There was a debate on AN ASPRIN A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY. The Principal, Teachers and about 50 students of the school participated. The best three speaker students were given prizes. CUTS Kolkata gave us a project on Rational Use of Drugs which contained one seminar, four public interfaces and one campaign on RUD to be completed within specified time limit. This project was given for execution to Dr. Rakesh Khuller and Col. Dr. B.R.Pruthi. CUTS expressed their gratitude for completing the project in a most befitting manner. CUTS also made a mention in their magazine Beware about the workshop on RUD conducted by Consumer Forum Chandigarh.
COMPLAINT AGAINST CHARGING ABOVE THE PRINTED PRICE OF BOTTLE LOF COLD DRINK
Shri H.S.Aulakh had complained that he was charged Rs.16/- by Skylark, Panipat for a bottle of cold drink whereas the printed price was Rs.8/-. The matter was taken up with the Department of Tourism, Haryana who refunded Rs.8/- to Shri Aulakh. It was decided to take up the matter with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, New Delhi for issue of necessary orders to ensure the sale of articles at the printed price.
During the months of November and December, 2005, the following members took part in programmes relayed from Doordarshan Jalandhar on awareness on the dates shown against each:
Shri H.S.Ahluwalia 28.11.2005
Shri R.K.Kaplash 12.12.2005
Mrs. Renuka Salwan 24.12.2005
CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL CONSUMER DAY
National Consumer Day was celebrated on 24th December, 2005 in the Govt. Art Gallery, Sector 10, Chandigarh. CERC appreciated our efforts to celebrate National Consumer Day by holding a seminar on NGOs Role in Consumer Protection.
Shri H.S.Walia, Legal Adviser appeared on Doordarshan Jalandhar and spoke on Medical Negligence on 13.02.2006 and 12.06.2006. Shri H.S.Ahluwalia, Secretary General delivered a Lecture on Redressal procedure on 13.03.2006 and 24.04.2006. Shri H.S.Aulakh, Convener delivered a Lecture on Banking on 22.05.2006.
Doordarshan Chandigarh also recorded our Awareness programme on 8.6.2006 which was telecast on 14.06.2006 and 21.06.2006. Shri H.S.Walia, Legal Adviser and Shri H.S.Ahluwalia, Secretary General took part in the recording programme.
A Consumer Awareness Programme Camp was held on 23.03.2006 in collaboration with Portage Association at Dadu Majra and another camp was held on 10.04.2006 at Maloya in collaboration with Chetna. Both these camps were addressed by Comdt. D.S.Romanaon Consumer Education. Shri H.S.Ahluwalia, Secretary General delivered a Lecture on Consumer Rights & Redressal Procedure on 15.05.2006 in Govt. Sr. Secondary School, Sector 27D, Chandigarh.Shri R.K.Kaplash, Vice-Chairman delivered a Lecture on Street Food on 10.07.2006 on DD Jalandhar. Shri H.S.Aulakh, Convener delivered a lecture on Banking on 24.07.2006 on DD Jalandhar.
COMPLAINTS ON ELECTRONIC ELECTRICITY METERS
On complaints that Electronic Electricity Meters were running fast, we took up the matter with the Deputy Director General, BIS to get the accuracy of such meters checked. The Deputy Director General informed that the needful was being done.
FILING OF PIL FOR RATIONALISATION OF ELECTRICITY TARIFF
Inspite of best efforts made by the CFC, the Administrative Authorities did not respond positively to rationalize the electricity tariff. Accordingly a PIL was filed in High Court of Punjab & Haryana on 25.08.2006.
MEETING OF PHARMACEUTICAL ADVISORY FORUM
Shri R.K.Kaplash, Vice-Chairman was invited to attend a meeting of Pharmaceutical Advisory Forum which was under the Ministry of Chemicals & Petro-Chemicals in which Honble Minister Shri Ram Bilas Paswan presided over along with his deputy and Secretary Mrs. Satwant Reddy. Ministers of Health of most of the states along with Health Secretaries were also present. This was the second meeting finalizing the parameters of prices, manufacturing and marketing of the medicines/drugs. Some points were put forward by CFC such as only prescribed medicines should be sold to the consumers, presence of qualified pharmacists should be a pre-requisite at the Chemists Shops and Doctors-Manufacturers nexus should be done away with. Unfair practices adopted by the chemists and manufacturing companies were also discussed. The Honble Minister assured that 10 days time be given to the chemists associations and drug manufacturers to streamline the issued. A helpline number 0124-3989-8080 regarding making complaints for over charging and any other information about medicines was circulated. Some important points such as pricing of generic and branded generic medicines were also discussed.
CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL CONSUMER DAY
A seminar on Banking and Non-Banking Financial Services was held on 16th December, 2006, to celebrate the National Consumer Day. The number of participants attending the seminar was over 100 and it was a great success.
Shri R.K.Sharma and Col.B.Pruthi delivered 7 consumer related lectures at different places in the months of January and February in and around Chandigarh.
PUBLIC INFORMATION CAMPAIGN
Bharat Nirman under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting held a Public Information Campaign in Village Maloya (UT Chandigarh) from 10.03.2007 to 12.03.2007. They installed a number of stalls where CFC was also invited to educate the people about Consumer Protection Act and Redressal Procedure. Col. H.P. Singh, Shri M.L.Vohra, Dr. Shivdev Singh and Shri R.K.Sharma managed one stall for three days and delivered lectures on consumer related subjects to educate the audience and replied to the questions of visitors for three days.
RESTARTING OF SALE COUNTERS OF ESSENTIAL ITEMS OF DAILY USE
Awareness-cum-Sale Counters were closed by the Forum about four years ago as the prices of essential items of daily use had stablised. The imparting of awareness education was, however, continued by various other methods. But, during the last one year, the prices of dals, atta and other commodities had again shot up and the consumers of the city and surrounding areas were approaching us to restart these counters. Shri R.K.Kaplash, Vice-Chairman offered his services for proper administration of these counts as and when started. A number of issues like finance, Vat system of sales tax accounting and responsibility of rendering the accounts to the department were raised by the conveners. It was decided that the whole issue will be examined in the light of points raised in the and put up to the house during the next monthly for taking a balanced decision in the case. Shri R.K.Kaplash offered to study the case in depth and bring it in the house in the next meeting.
STARTING OF ON-LINE GRIEVANCE FORUM BY GOVT.
Govt. of India started an on-line Grievance Forum at http/darpg-grievance.nic.in. The Govt. wants people to use this tool to highlight problems faced by them while dealing with Passport Office, Electricity Board, BSNL, MNTL, Railways etc.
AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION IN REGARD TO TENURE OF MEMBERS OF EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
In the General Body Meeting of the Consumers Forum Chandigarh held on 21st May, 2007, the Constitution was amended as under:
The tenure of each member of executive council is two years from the date of election. Each office bearer may seek re-election for the same post for any number of tenures.
ELECTION OF NEW OFFICE BEARERS
In the General Body Meeting held on 30th May, 2007, the following office bearers were elected unopposed:
S.No. Name of the Candidate Post for which elected
- Brig. J.S.Phoolka Chairman
- Sh. R.K.Kaplash Sr. Vice Chairman
- Mrs. Amrita Sehgal Vice Chairman
- Sh. H.S.Ahluwalia Secy. General
- Sh. Thakur Singh Secretary Finance
- Sh. B.M.Mittal Organizing Secy.
Col. Angad Singh appeared on DD Jalandhar on 26.06.2007 and gave a talk on VAT. Shri H.S.Ahluwalia delivered a Lecture on Consumer Rights in Dadu Majra on 20.05.2007. Shri R.K.Sharma educated the people about their consumer rights in Govt. High School, Dadu Majra on 13.06.2007.
AWARENESS PROGRAMMES ON DD JALANDHAR
During the months of September & October, 2007, the following appeared at DD Jalandhar on the subject shown against each:
- 24.09.2007 – Brig. J.S.Pbhoolka – Jago Grahak Jago
- 08.10.2007 – Shri N.K.Jhingan – RTI Act, 2005
- 22.10.2007 – Ms Renuka Salwan – Standardisation-Hallmark
Doordarshan Jalandhar wanted to celebrate 60 years ofIndependence V/s Consumers and accordingly a programme was recorded on 23.10.2007 and relayed on 1.11.2007. Shri H.S.Ahluwalia and Shri H.S.Walia attended this programme.
CONSUMER AWARENESS IN SCHOOLS
Consumer Awareness Camp was held in New Public School, Sector 18, Chandigarh on 16.10.2007 which was attended by about 500 students and teachers. Our Chairman, Secretary General, Mrs. Aruna Khanna and Shri H.S.Walia spoke on different consumer related topics and educated the students about their rights and procedures for redressal of complaints.
CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL CONSUMER DAY 24.12.2007
National Consumers Day was celebrated on 24th December, 2007 in the premises of Karuna Sadan. In fact, we have celebrating the day in a series starting from November, 2007 when we held Consumer Awareness Camps in Sharda Sarvhitkari School, Sector 40D, Chandigarh on 17th November, 2007 and in Aurbindo School of Integral Education, Sector 27A on 19.12.2007. In this connection, we are proposing to hold an awareness camp in January, 2008. The theme of the Awareness campaign was Enlightened Consumer is Empowered Consumer. All the Awareness programmes stated in connection with the National Consumers Day celebrations were well attended and well organized.
ALLOTMENT OF ROOM FOR DCIC
Room No.8, next to our present office (Room No.7) , was allotted to us for DCIC and the 325th Monthly Meeting for the month of January, 2008 was held in Room. The allotment of the room was due to the sustained efforts made by Col. Sarwan Singh.
DROPPING OF CONVENERS
The following four Conveners were dropped for not attending monthly meetings and functions organized by the Forum:
- Sh. Jaswant Singh
- Sh. Kamaljit Joshi
- Sh. Sukhwinder Singh
- Sh. Gurbachan Singh Kathuria
Our Legal Advisor Shri H.S.Walia had appeared on DD Jalandhar on 21.01.2008 for a Telecast on Judicial Activism.
SEMINAR ON RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005
A Workshop on Consumers Right to Information was organized jointly by Consumer Forum Chandigarh, Citizen Awareness Group and Sirhind Consumer Protection Forum in collaboration with Consumer Coordination Council, New Delhi on 09.02.2008 in Press Club, Sector 27A, Chandigarh. Mr. Wajahat Habibulla, IAS, Chief Information Commissioner, New Delhi was the Chief Guest and Ms Ramaben Mawani, Chairperson, Consumer Coordination Council, New Delhi presided over the function. Shri Rajan Kashyap, Chief Information Commissioner Punjab and Mr. Vivek Attrey, Director Public Relations, UT Administration addressed the gathering. About 150 persons from different walks of life attended the function and the workshop was a grand success.
WORLD CONSUMER DAY CELEBRATIONS
World Consumer Day, which falls on 15th March every year, was celebrated with lot of fanfare in collaboration with Union Territory Administration and Municipal Corporation Chandigarh in Nehru Park, Sector 22B, Chandigarh from 13.03.2008 to 16.03.2008 in the form of Consumer Awareness Mela. The function was inaugurated by Shri Krishan Mohan, Secretary Home and Consumer Affairs, UT Chandigarh. In his inaugural address on 14.03.2008, he lauded the efforts of the Consumer Forum Chandigarh for holding such Melas to educate the consumers about their rights and procedure for redressal of consumer complaints. The Chief Guest also released the Souvenir Annual 2008 of the Consumer Forum Chandigarh. About 60 stalls were erected for sale of utility and daily use items for the visitors. A Medical Seminar on Transplantation of Human Organs in which top doctors engaged in Transplant gave their views. As usual, Quiz Competition, Healthy Baby Competition, Slogan Writing and Postar Making Competitions were organized in which many visitors and children participated. The Closing Ceremony was performed by Shri Pradip Chhabra, Mayor, Municipal Corporation Chandigarh on 16.03.2008 He distributed prizes to winners of different contests. He also lauded the efforts being made by Consumer Forum Chandigarh to educate the consumers about their rights and solving the complaints of consumers and helping the them in filing their complaints with the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum Chandigarh.
Sh. R.K.Sharma delivered a Lecture on Consumer Protection at Anganwari Centre, Sector 38C, Chandigarh in the Awareness Programme conducted by Acharya Gurukul on 29.08.2008. He also educated the Mauli Complex, UT, people about Consumer Rights in an AGP organized by Surya Foundation on 23.10.2008 and a similar programme in Rajiv Colony, Panchkula on 11.11.2008 and also on 09.12.2008 which was attended by about 35 ladies below poverty line attended . He also appeared on Doordarshan Jalandhar for a Live Relay on 15.11.2008 and Shri H.S.Walia on 22.11.2008.
PIL NAME CHANGING
The last hearing for Writ Petition No.387/2008 H.C.Arora V/s Chandigarh Administration before the Honble Punjab & Haryana High Court at Chandigarh was held on 28.11.2008 in which High Court gave its judgement and directed the Registrar of Societies Chandigarh to register Consumer Forum Chandigarh with its new name i.e. Consumers Association Chandigarh.
FICCI MEET AT TAJ CHANDIGARH ON SAFE & HYGIENE MILK
Shri R.K.Kaplash, Sr. Vice Chairman attended a meeting held by FICCI at Hotel Taj Chandigarh on 19.01.2009 for a debate in which all the Dairy Departments of Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh along with Bureau of Standards and other Milks Producers were present.
GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS IMPACT ON CONSUMERS
A Seminar on Global Financial Crisis Impact on Consumer Rights was organized in Panjab University Hall on 08.02.2009. This Seminar was well managed and over 150 people attended the function. We had excellent speakers who went into minor details of the crisis for information of the audience. The arrangements for the Seminar were made by Sh. R.K.Kaplash, Sr. Vice Chairman. Brig. J.S.Phoolka, Chairman, congratulated and profusely complemented Sh. R.K.Kaplash for grand success of the Seminar.
Sh. R.K.Sharma attended three Awareness meetings during January 2009 in labour colonies around Chandigarh in collaboration with other NGOs to create Consumer Awareness. Sh. H.S.Ahluwalia, Secretary General, appeared on Doordarshan Jalandhar on 15.04.2009 to give a talk on Jago Grahak Jago.
CELEBRATION OF WORLD CONSUMER DAY 15.03.2009
The World Consumer Day, which falls on 15th March every year, was celebrated by holding a series of Awareness Programmes in different parts of the City as under:
|1.||04.03.2009||Janta Colony, Sector 25, Chandigarh|
|2.||04.03.2009||Colony No.5, Sector 45, Chandigarh|
|3.||12.03.2009||Pindi Foundation, Bhaskar Colony|
|4.||13.03.2009||Balmiki Dharamsala, Badheri, Sector 41D|
|5.||14.03.2009||Nehru Colony, New Kajheri, Sector 52|
|6.||18.03.2009||Nehru Colony, Opp. Sector 52|
|7.||23.03.2009||Maulijagran, Community Centre|
|8.||23.03.2009||New Indra Colony, Community Centre|
|9.||24.03.2009||Butrela Panchayat Complex Centre, Sec. 41B|
|10.||27.03.2009||Rotary Balwari, Dhanas|
|11.||31.03.2009||Bhaskar Colony, Sector 25|
|12.||31.03.2009||Palsora Colony, Community Centre, Sector 56|
ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS FOR 2009-2011
The following were elected office bearers for the term 2009-2011:
Name of Candidate Post for which elected
- Sh. R.K.Kaplash Chairman
- Sh.H.S.Ahluwalia Senior Vice Chairman
- Ms Amrita Sehgal Vice Chairman
- Comdt. D.S.Romana Secretary General
- H.S.Aulakh Secretary Finance
- B.M.Mittal Organizing Secretary
Sh. Sardul Singh Abravan re-associated with the organization and was given the assignment of publicity of various activities of the Association. Sh. Gurnam Singh R/o H.No.38, Sector 10A, Chandigarh
LECTURES ON CONSUMER AWARENESS
A Lecture on Consumer Rights was delivered by Sh. R.K.Sharma on 30.07.2009 where a substantial number of illiterate ladies were present. This was arranged by CARES. Comdt. D.S.Romana delivered a Lecture on Consumer Protection Act on 27.08.2009 to para-military officers at CRPF Officers Mess, Hallomajra where about 50 officers/officials of BSF, CRPF , ITBP and Assam Rifles were present.
NATIONAL CONVENTION OF CCC AT RAJKOT
Chairman Sh. R.K.Kaplash and three Conveners, namely S/Sh. B.M.Mittal, C.L.Wadhwa and S.K.Khosla attended the National Convention of CCC held at Rajkot on 19th & 20th December, 2009.
SEMINAR ON G.M. FOODS
Seminar on genetically modified foods was held on 24.01.2010 at CRRID Building, Sector 19, Chandigarh. Mr. Shiv Chopra, a well known scientist from Canada delivered the lecture giving details about G.M.Foods and apprised the audience that without conducting all the necessary tests of B.T.Brinjal should not be accepted in India. Spokesmen of some other Organizations also discussed the pros and cons of the same. Around 120 people from various organizations and second welfare associations were present in the Seminar.
CELEBRATION OF WORLD CONSUMER DAY
On the eve of World Consumer Day, a Seminar was organized in collaboration with Quality Council of India in Govt. Art Gallery, Sector 10, Chandigarh. Ms Anu Chatrath, Mayor, Municipal Corporation Chandigarh, while inaugurating the Seminar, appreciated the role of Consumers Association Chandigarh for choosing the best opportunity of the day to bring consumer awareness among masses. On this occasion, she also released Annual 2010 of the our Association. S. Manohar Singh, Inspector (Weights & Measures) of Legal Metrology Department, Punjab narrated the various regulations of the Weights and Measurements especially Food & Package Commodities Act. Mr. Avneet Singh of Quality Council of India talked about the certification of services,. i.e. ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 14000 for environment management and similarly ISO 22000 are for safety management. Sh. Rajeev Sharma, Director, BIS, Chandigarh apprised the participants about various standards formulated by the BIS. He also stressed the need that spurious ISI & Hall Markings being used by the manufacturers should be reported to the Department by the public. Sh. A.K.Upadhyay, Marketing Officer, Directorate of Marketing & Inspection apprised that Agmark agency is working under the Union Ministry of Agriculture in the field of agriculture marketing to ensure purity and quality of eatable products under the seal of Agmark.Mrs.. K.K.Narang, Deputy Director General, Northern Region, BIS, Chandigarh chaired the technical session. In her concluding remarks, she urged the consumers on this special day to be aware and exercise their rights for substantial results.
A camp for organized on 11.03.2010 at Creche Madrasi Colony, Village Maloya by CARES, Sector 39B, Chandigarh and second camp was organized on 16.03.2010 at Khera Mandir, Indra Colony by Marigold Educational Society, Manimajra. Both of these camps were attended by Sh. A.S.Ahuja on behalf of Consumers Association Chandigarh. He delivered lecture on the rights of consumers. Literature containing information about rights of the consumers was also distributed. An awareness camp was also organized on 18.02.2010 at Mauli Complex, Community Centre, Mauli Jagran sponsored by the Chandigarh Social Welfare Board. Sh. R.K.Sachdeva delivered lecture on the consumer related problems and also answered the queries of people to their satisfaction. He also delivered a Lecture on Consumer Rights at Awareness Camp organized by Yuvsatta on 22.04.2010 at Shiv Mandir, Colony No.4, Chandigarh. Sh. B.M.Mittal delivered a lecture on Consumer Protection in a camp organized in Village Kajheri on 03.05.10 and Sh. R.K.Sharma in Bapu Dham Colony on 16.05.10.
In an awareness camp organized by Yuvsatta in Janta Colony, Sector 25, Chandigarh, Sh. R.K.Sharma spoke on the Rights of Consumers and made the audience aware about many other consumer related matters. Sh. B.M.Mittal delivered a lecute on Consumer Rights in an Awareness Camp held at Village Burail (Sector 45) Chandigarh on 11.07.2010. About 80 illiterate ladies attended the camp. He also delivered a lecture at Mauli Jagran on 20.08.2010 in an Awareness Camp organized by Yuvsatta.
REPRESENTATION IN APNI MANDIS
On our request to the Secretary Apni Mandi, two of our conveners, Sh. S.K.Khosala and and Sh. B.M.Mittal, were co-opted in the Apni Mandi Committee.
CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL CONSUMER DAY
National Consumer Day was celebrated by organizing a Seminar on Consumers, Discharge Your Responsibilities: Assert Your Rights at Karuna Sadan, Sector 11B, Chandigarh. Shri Kesho Ram Gupta, Managing Director, International Testing Centre, Panchkula presided over the function. He appreciated the role of Consumers Association Chandigarh for choosing the best opportunity of this day to bring awareness among masses about various rights enshrined in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. S.Manohar Singh, Inspector (W&M) of Legal Meteorology Department, Punjab elaborated various regulations of Weights & Measures Act especially Packaged Food Commodities Act. Mr. R.P.Mishra, Scientist E, BIS, Chandigarh informed that BIS is promoting standardization quality control and simplification in industry and commerce.
CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL CONSUMER DAY IN SCHOOLS
National Consumer Day was celebrated by almost all the schools coordinated by our Association under School Consumer Clubs Scheme by organizing seminars and rallies. Students prepared banners, road slogans etc. and took out rallies in some of the sectors raising slogans about consumer rights.
CELEBRATION OF WORLD CONSUMER DAY
World Consumer Day was celebrated in Govt. Model Sr. Secondary School, Sector 10, Chandigarh. Sh. Satyapal Jain, Ex. MP, was the Chief Guest. The keynote address was given by Sh. P.D.S.Uppal, DGM RBI (Retd). A lecture on Fuel Pricing & Consumers by Sh. S.K.Khosla, Consumers Right to Safe Food by Ms Neeraj Attri, Banking Loans & Subsidies to Consumers by Sh. Sajjan Singh, PNB Mohali and Know Your Rights were highlighted by Sh. R.K.Sharma, Convener. The winners of the slogan writing contest for the school clubs were awarded.
Sh. R.K.Sharma attended Consumer Awareness Camps on 12th September, 2011 organized by Y.T.T.S. on behalf of Consumers Association Chandigarh.
ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS FOR 2011-2013 TERM
Election of Office Bearers for 2011-13 term were held on 28.01.2012 and following office bearers were elected unanimously:
Sr. Vice Chairman Ms Amrita Sehgal
Vice Chairman Codt. D.S.Romana
Secretary General Sh. D.S.Virdi
Organizing Secy. Sh. B.M.Mittal
As Sh. H.S.Aulakh could not file his nomination papers for the post, hence he was co-opted as Finance Secretary by the Chairman.
Sh. A.S.Ahuja attended the Awareness Camp organized by Mari Gold Educational Society at Manimajra. He delivered a lecture on Rights of Consumers and distributed literature pertaining to consumer awareness.Shri R.K.Sharma attended the Awareness Camp organized by Bhaskar Colony near Community Centre, Sector 25, Chandigarh on behalf of CAC. He delivered a lecture on Rights of Consumers and distributed literature pertaining to Consumer Awareness. Shri R.K.Kaplash, Chairman appeared in the Radio Programme Akashvani Helpline on 30.04.2012 and answered queries of the callers on the spot.
Sh. R.K.Sharma attended the awareness camp at Bapu Dham Colony on 16.07.2012 and Shri A.S.Ahuja attended the awareness camp at Village Daria on 02.07.2012. They imparted lectures regarding Consumer Awareness and Rights and free literature on consumerism was distributed. They also attended awareness camp at Mauli Jagran on 08.08.2012 and at Manimajra on 23.08.2012 respectively organized by Yuvsatta.Lectures were delivered on the Rights of Consumers as enshrined in the Consumer Protection Act. Free literature was also distributed to the participants.
Shri R.K.Sharma attended the Awareness Camp organized by Uttar Pradesh Welfare Association on 10.10.2012 in Mauli Jagran Complex Chandigarh. He delivered a lecture on Consumer Rights and method for protecting oneself while making purchases. Shri M.L.Vohra attended the Awareness Camp organized by Pindi Foundation on 22.10.2012 in Rag Pickers Colony, Sector 56, Chandigarh. He delivered lecture on Consumer Rights and distributed free literature to the participants. He also attended the awareness camp organized by Pindi Foundation in Sector 25, Chandigarh and delivered a lecture on Consumer Awareness.
CHECKING OF WEIGHTS & MEASURES IN APNI MANDIS
As a result of our continuous efforts and pursuation, Punjab Mandi Board issued a letter to the Director, Legal Metrology Department, UT Chandigarh for conducting the camps in all the Apni Mandis for approval of weights with our coordination.
CHECKING OF OVERCHARGING BY VENDORS OF VERKA & VITA MILK PLANTS
On our taking up the matter regarding overcharging by vendors of Verka & Vita Milk Plants, their representatives personally visited our office and assured that the complaint will be taken care of.
Shri M.L.Vohra attended the awareness camp organized by Surya Foundation and Yuvsatta on 27.12.2012 and 23.01.2013 respectively and delivered a lecture on consumer awareness. He also attended the awareness camp organized by S.D.Education Society on 12.02.2013 and 21.02.2013 at Madrasi Colony and Mauli Jagran respectively. Shri A.S.Ahuja attended the awareness camps organized by U.P.Welfare Association and Marigold Education Society on 04.02.2013 at Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran and Shastri Nagar, Manimajra.
Shri M.L.Vohra attended the awareness camp organized by S.D. Education Society and Y.T.T.S. at Sector 56, Bapudham Colony and Shastri Nagar, Manimajra on 25.03.2013 and 26.03.2013 respectively. Shri A.S.Ahuja attended the programme organized by U.P.Welfarew Association on 26.02.2013 at Mauli Complex. He also attended the awareness camp organized by Jan Jagriti Society Chandigarh in the Anganwari premies of Mauli Jagran Complex on 30.03.2013.
Sh. D.S.Virdi and Shri R.K.Sharma visited Nokia Service Centre in Sector 22B Chandigarh on 01.06.2013. They inspected the manner in which complaints were being attended. They also contacted the complainants and observed that they were satisfied with the personnel of the company.They also visited Mauli Jagran Village on 7July, 2013 and addressed the residents along with Sarpanch, Panches and other senior members of the Panchayat and distributed free literature on consumerism in Hindi and Punjabi.
Shri M.L.Vohra apprised the students of Govt. Hight School, Dadu Majra on Consumer Protection Act on 11December, 2013 and distributed free literature pertaining to consumer awareness. Shri R.K.Sharma, Vice Chairman delivered a lecture on Consumerism at NSS Camp in Govt. Sr. Secondary School, Manimajra on 21December, 2013.
ALL INDIA RADIO (AKASHVANI)
Shri M.L.Vohra participated in Sunehari Sham programme broadcasted by Akashvani Chandigarh on 13.02.2013.
MEETINGS OF SCHOOL CLUBS
A meeting of School Consumers Club for the students of Class IXth and Xth was organized by Ms. Jaspal Kaur, Teacher Coordinator at Govt. High School, Sector 46, Chandigarh on 08.02.2013 which was attended by 150 students. Sh. M.L.Vohra, Sh. A.S.Ahuja and Sh. B.M.Mittal addressed the students and apprised them about the Consumer Rights as envisaged in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
On request from our Chairman, Mr. Gosal, Punjab Mandi Board attended the monthly meeting and apprised the Conveners about the working of Apni Mandis. He promised to have displayed three rate lists at all the entrance of Sector 34 Apni Mandi.
ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS FOR 2013-2015 TERM
The following officer bearers were elected for the term 2011-13 unopposed:
- R.K.Kaplash Chairman
- Ms Amrita Pritam Vice Chairman
- R.K.Sharma Vice Chairman
- D.S.Virdi Secretary General
Shri Vinay Jhingan, House No.210, Sector 51A, Chandigarh has been appointed a Legal Adviser of the Association.
Shri Manjit Singh Gill has been inducted as Convener for Sector 19, Chandigarh.
PROGRAMME ON MEDIATION
The Chairman attended a training programme on Mediation sponsored by CCC at Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi from 15th July to 19th July, 2013. It was informed in the meeting that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs was very much inclined to open mediation centres in all the consumer courts through out India and the Joint Secretary, who presided over the inaugural session, informed that thousands of mediators would be needed when this program will be implemented very shortly by the Ministry.The Chairman apprised the Ministry that one such pronject on mediation was sent to their office for sanction of grant by CAC Chandigarh which was lying pending in their office.
A tricity declamation contest was held on 31st October, 2013 at Post Graduate Govt. College for Girls, Sector 11, Chandigarh. Mr. Vikram Rana, State Liaison Officer, UT Chandigarh, was the Chief Guest and he gave away the prizes to 1st, 2nd, 3rd and two consultation prizes to the winners.
NATIONAL CONVENTION AT AGARTALA
The Chairman along with Secretary General attended the National Convention at Agartala on 15th and 16th December, 2013. Mr. R. Reddy took over the Chairmanship of CCC New Delhi. The CCC has taken our suggestion as resolution of linkage of Adhar Card with LPG.
CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL CONSUMER DAY
A Cycle Rally was organized by CAC in collaboration with Chandigarh Administration on National Consumer Day i.e. 24th December, 2013 from Govt. Model Senior Seconday School, Sector 10, Chandigarh to Sports Complex, Sector 7, Chandigarh. About 150 students took part in the Rally. Joint Director, Food & Supplies and Consumer Affairs flagged off the Rally.
Shri M.L.Vohra delivered lectures on Consumer Protection Act to the students Govt. Model High School and Govt. Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37, Chandigarh on 22.01.2014.
The Association, in collaboration with BIS, organized an awareness talk on the Role of Standards at Community Centre, Sector 21, Chandigarh and Post Graduate Govt. College for Women on 7th & 19th March, 2014, respectively.
An awareness programme was organized in Sociology Department, Panjab University Chandigarh in the month of November, 2014 in which about 80 students participated. Shri R.K.Sharma, Vice Chairman, apprised the participants about the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act and the Rights of the Consumers enshrined therein.
Our Association was registered as CAG (Consumer Advocacy Group) by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, New Delhi for a period of two years.
CELEBRATION WORLD CONSUMER DAY
World Consumer Day was celebrated at the Community Centre, Sector 21C, Chandigarh on 15March, 2014 by holding a seminar on Food Safety & Standards Act. S. Sukhwinder Singh, Food Safety Officer, UT Chandigarh, apprised the audience about the Food Safety Act. Shri Harphool Chander Kalya, Mayor. Municipal Corporation Chandigarh was the Chief Guest and he released the Souvenir 2014. Finance Secretary, Shri H.S.Aulakh, was also honoured by presenting him a memento as life time achievement award by the Chief Guest.
RECOGNITION OF OUR ASSOCIATION BY BIS
BIS recognized our Association as Registered Association with them for conducting the awareness programmes independently during the year 2014-15 and they will provide us funds.
APPLICATION FOR ALLOTMENT OF GRAHAK SUVIDHA KENDRA AT CHANDIGARH
Our Association applied to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Govt. of India, New Delhi for allotment of Grahak Suvidha Kendra at Chandigarh to us. VOICE also approached us for collaboration in this regard for allotment of Grahak Suvidha Kendra jointly to our two organizations. However, the proposal of VOICE was not found favourable and we applied for the allotment of Grahak Suvidha Kendra exclusively to our organization.
CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL CONSUMER DAY
National Consumer Day was celebrated on 24December, 2014, at Community Centre, Sector 21, Chandigarh, in collaboration with Bureau of Indian Standards by organizing a Seminar on Empowering Consumers Universality of Consumer Rights. A Presentation was given by Shri U.K.Kher, Scientist F of BIS Chandigarh on Consumer Protection under BIS Regulations and Policies. Prof. Sri Ram Khanna, M.D. VOICE, New Delhi gave a talk on the Consumers Rights and Powers. Shri Satya Pal Jain, Ex. M.P. was the Chief Guest and he assured to take up the issues of the Consumers Association Chandigarhwith the concerned quarters in Govt. and Ministry.
A programme on Consumer Awareness was held at CSIO, Sector 30, Chandigarh, on 19.01.2015 which was attended by over 70 persons. Shri R.K.Sharma, Vice Chairman dwelt at length about the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act and the rights of the consumers enshrined therein. Shri R.K.Kaplash, Chairman answered the queries from the audience.The Acting Director of the CSIO appreciated our efforts and promised to cooperate in organizing such programmes in their campus in future also.
Awareness programme was organized in Shishu Niketan Sr. Secondary School, Sector 22, Chandigarh, on 02.02.2015 to apprise the students about the Consumer Protection Act. About 100 students participated. Shri M.L.Vohra apprised the students about the rights of consumers and precautions to be taken while shopping. Shri R.K.Kaplash conducted an interaction session with the participating students.
An awareness programme with a theme of Jago Grahak Jago was organized in Chandigarh University, Gharuan (Kharar-Morinda Road, Punjab) on 11.03.2015 for the MBA students. Shri R.K.Sharma, Vice Chairman, apprised the participants about the provisions of Consumer Protection Act and the rights of consumers provided in the Act. Shri Inder Sen Rao, Scientist F, BIS apprised the participants about about the BIS Certification & Policies. An interaction session was also held to answer the queries of the students.
A Consumer Awareness programme was organized in Sociology Department, Panjab University Chandigarh on 18.02.2015 in which about 60 students participated. Shri M.L.Vohra gave a brief description of consumer rights and Shri R.K.Sharma, Vice Chairman apprised the participants about the procedure of how to file a consumer complaint.
CELEBRATION OF WORLD CONSUMER DAY
World Consumer Day was celebrated by Consumers Association Chandigarhin tandem with UT Administration by organising a seminar on “Consumer Awareness – ISI and Hallmarking” at Kisan Bhawan, Sector 35, Chandigarh. Sh. Danish Ashraf, IAS, Jt. Director, Food & Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Chandigarh, presided over the function. Souvenir-2015 of CAC was released by the Chief Guest.
Sh. M.L.Vohra of CAC gave a detailed description of the Rights of Consumers and Sh. R.K.Sharma, President-Complaints of CAC, made the participants aware that how an aggrieved consumer can file a complaint. Sh. U.K.Kher from Bureau of Indian Standards informed that BIS is a national standard body vested with the task of standardization and certification of the products. Under their i-care programme, testing of Public Samples by recognized consumer organizations to get the ISI marked product tested from BIS recognized labs and hallmarked jewellery from BIS referral labs to protect them from being cheated. While passing a vote of thanks, Sh. R.K.Kaplash, Chairman CAC, thanked the Administration for their help.
Comdt. D.S.Romana was honoured by presenting him a memento as life time achievement award for his long, voluntary and selfless services.
ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS FOR 2015-2017 TERM
The following officer bearers were elected for the term 2015-17 unopposed:
- R.K.Kaplash Chairman
- R.K.Sharma Vice Chairman
- D.S.Virdi Secretary General
- N.K.Jhingan Organizing Secretary
Shri H.S.Aulakh could not collect nomination form for the post of Finance Secretary due to his preoccupations. He agreed to continue as Finance Secretary for the ensuing terms. The Chairman, therefore, coopted him as Finance Secretary.
Dissemination of Consumer information has become easier with the setting up of District Consumer information Centre in the office. Consumers can have access to our website which contains full information about organizational set up, addresses and telephone numbers of various committee heads dealing with complaints or general information required by the consumers. Our website & E-mail address are;
Website : www.cacchd.org.in
E-mail : email@example.com
Visitors to our office are welcome on all week days from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. except on Saturday , Sunday & U.T. holidays. They are encouraged to read the consumer literature laid on a table and also carry a set of pamphlets in the language of their preference. Membership forms are also available and new membership is open to all at a paltry amount of Rs. 10/-. The membership card is issued there and then.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Ministry of Consumer Affairs under their No. 9/3/95-CPU dated December 12, 1995 have issued a code of conduct for adoption for all consumer organizations in India. We are proud to say that we have been following the code strictly in letter & spirit. The salient points of this code are:
- It should be a voluntary organization working exclusively for promotion and protection of consumers interests.
- It should be non-political, non-official, non-commercial & be managed by a non-proprietary management without any govt. control.
- It should have a legal status & should be registered under the Indian Companies Act or the Societies Registration Act of the concerned state.
- It should not run for profit to any individual or group of individuals but only serve the general public without distinction of caste, creed, gender or religion.
- Its statement of accounts should be audited regularly by a chartered accountant.
- The organization may collect reasonable contribution towards the cost of serves rendered by it from the consumers. NO FEE or CHARGE, however, should be collected for rendering services.
- The organization should not collect any money from business houses or industry by way of donations or advertisement charges.
- no office bearers of the organization should be an office bearer of a political party/trade/business/industry/association at any time.
- No office bearer of the organization should have been convicted by a court on grounds of moral turpitude or declared insolvent or insane.