POST INDEPENDENCE, India has been striving to develop and strengthen its industrial base. In this pursuit of “self-sufficiency,” consumers have endure use of sub-standard products and services, adulterated foods, short weights and measures, spurious and hazardous drugs, exorbitant prices, endemic shortages leading to black marketing and profiteering, unfulfilled manufacture guarantees, and a host of other problems.
In 1960’s exploitation of consumers by manufacturers and service providers was rampant in India with a few monopolistic business houses controlling the industry. In one infamous case, forty persons suffered dropsy and glaucoma after consuming groundnut oil adulterated with toxic argemone oil. The victims did not get any justice and the culprits escaped without punishment.
This outrage energized nine women to organize a movement to fight and protect consumer rights by establishing the first consumer organization in India the Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI) in 1966 to resist the silent suffering of consumers, and exploitation of all forms. CGSI that has grown in strength and stature celebrates its Golden Jubilee of its formation in 2016-17.