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Ministers step up vigil on consumer awareness

Special Correspondent

State level Consumer Protection Awards- 2009 distributed

— Photo:M.Moorthy

Know your rights: Transport Minister K.N.Nehru, Forest Minister N.Selvaraj and Swaran Singh, Secretary, Food, Cooperation and Consumer Protection, at the exhibition organised as part of National Consumer Day in Tiruchi on Wednesday

TIRUCHI: Consumers should remain vigilant of their rights and exercise them with responsibility, observed speakers at the National Consumer Day observation organised by the Department of Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection in the city on Wednesday

The State level Consumer Protection Awards for 2009 given away by the department were presented on the occasion.

K.N.Nehru, Transport Minister, who distributed the awards and inaugurated an exhibition, commended the role played by consumer activists in upholding the rights of the people.

Consumer activists have played a key role in the development of Tiruchi and they have been in the forefront in lobbying for major projects such as the upgrade of the Annal Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital attached to K.A.P.Viswanatham Government Medical College. Their aspirations would be met soon, he said.

N.Selvaraj, Forest Minister, said the State government by implementing various welfare measures for the poor were protecting the interests of the consumers at large.

Schemes such as supply of rice at Re.1 a kg and Pongal packets were meant to protect consumers from poorer sections from the impact of the price rise.

Swaran Singh, Principal Secretary, Food, Cooperation and Consumer Protection, emphasised that consumers should be alive to their rights and should check the maximum retail price and quality of products they consume. They should also exercise their rights with a sense of responsibility and join hands to make the consumer movement a success.

K.Balachandran, Commissioner, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection, said the government was keen on sensitising people on consumer rights and protect them from exploitation.

It was with this intent that over 500 consumer clubs have been promoted in colleges and schools across the State.

Awards 2009

The first prize in the category for outstanding service in consumer protection, awareness and public distribution system was bagged by Tiruchi district represented by former Collector T.Soundiah and his team of district revenue officers and district supplies and consumer protection officers who had served during the period.

Namakkal (former Collector U.Sahayam and team of officers) and Erode districts (Collector J.Chandrakumar and team of officers) bagged the second and third prizes respectively. The first prize in the category of outstanding consumer activists' award was presented to K.Muniyan, secretary, Consumer Awareness Movement, Mathaiyankuttai, Salem district. The second and third prizes were given to K.K.Chockalingam, secretary, Tamizhaga Consumer Protection Movement, Karur, and M.Venkatesan, vice president, Thandarampattu Union Consumer Protection Council, Tiruvannamalai district.

Best Citizens Consumer Club Awards – Schools: I prize - Government Higher Secondary School, Sengapadai, Madurai; II prize – K.J.Keezha Muslim HSS, Paramakudi and III Prize – St.Innasiyar HSS, Tuticorin district. Colleges: I prize – Sivagangai Community College; II prize – Sri Saradha Niketan College of Science for Women, Karur and III Prize – St.Xavier's Autonomous College, Palayamkottai.

Mahesan Kasirajan, Collector, K.N.Sekaran, Anbil Periyasamy and M.Rajasekaran, MLAs and S.Sujatha, Mayor, spoke. A seminar on consumer rights and responsibilities was also organised as part of the event.

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