New Delhi : The government’s consumer awareness campaign, Jago Grahak Jago, is set to be recast.
As the government looks to revamp the Consumer Protection Act, originally of 1986, bringing in over 20 major amendments, the department of consumer affairs is also simultaneously planning to revitalise its marquee consumer awareness campaign. It intends to do so with the help of private advertising agencies and ad gurus.
Jago Grahak Jago started in 2005 and is still running. It might see a noted celebrity as brand ambassador, as cine star Amitabh Bachchan has been for the pulse polio campaign or Aamir Khan for ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’. “We are looking at empanelling a fresh set of agencies for giving a new shape to the campaign and have also asked DAVP (the government’s directorate of advertising and visual publicity) and others to work on this. Also, we are talking to private advertising agencies directly,” a senior official said.
Amendments to the Act, include bringing e-commerce, direct selling and teleshopping in its ambit. The amendments will also facilitate mediation and arbitration between parties, to bring down the load of cases in consumer courts.
Officials said the purpose was to ensure justice was delivered fast and at consumers’ nearest point of contact. The amendments are expected to be placed soon for Cabinet approval. The government is also looking at starting weekend programmes on television, based on the campaign, with a storyline showing how consumers can assert their rights. Local self-help groups can be involved. Bijon Mishra, consumer rights activist, said there was an urgent need to revitalise the campaign, as people were not getting hooked to it any more.
He said the campaign had become jaded over the years. “Some professionalism needs to be imbibed into the campaign, as it had become moribund over the years. More so when the government is planning drastic changes in the Consumer Protection Act, to further empower consumers, strengthen grievance redressal mechanisms, and include new items and services into consumer rights,” the official said. A trial run of the new campaign is expected soon.
“There should be some innovation, some creativity in this important public awareness campaign, so that stereotypes do not set in,” he said