Consumer awareness is about making the consumer aware of his/her rights.It is a marketing term which means that consumers are aware of products or services, its characteristics and the other marketing P’s (place to buy, price, and promotion).Though the first consumer movement began in England after the Second World War, a modern declaration about consumer’s rights was first made in the United States of America in 1962, where four basic consumer rights (choice, information, safety and to be heard ) were recognized. Ralph Nadar, a consumer activist, is considered as the father of ‘consumer movement’. March 15 is now celebrated as the World Consumer Rights Day. The United Nations in 1985 adopted, , certain guidelines to achieve the objectives of maintaining protection for consumers and to establish high level ethical conduct for those engaged in production and distribution of goods and services.
High prices, duplicate articles, underweight and under – measurements, rough behavior, undue conditions, artificial scarcity are some of the ways by which consumers are exploited by manufacturers and traders. Limited information, limited supplies and low literacy are factors causing exploitation of consumers.
In India, the concept of consumer protection is not new. References to the protection of consumer’s interest against exploitation by trade and industry, underweight and measurement, adulteration and punishment for these offences, were made in Kautilya’s ‘Arthashastra’. However, an organized and systematic movement to safeguard the interest of consumers, is a recent phenomenon. The consumers have to be aware not only of the commercial aspects of sale and purchase of goods, but also of the health and security aspects. Food safety has become an important element of consumer awareness these days. In case of food products, its quality depends not only on its nutritional value, but also on its safety for human consumption. Consumption of contaminated or adulterated.