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Thursday, January 18, 2018

You don’t have to watch movies or read labels on cigarette packs to know the ill-effects of tobacco. It’s not an unknown fact that tobacco is the main cause for oral cancer, yet as per GATS -2 India (2016-17), 26.8% adults aged 15 and above use tobacco in any form. Ironically, tobacco industry in India is one of the largest in the world today but the cost it involves is something to ponder upon. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Bihar are the major tobacco producing states in India.

Quit Smoking

Tobacco affects not only smokers but people who are involved in its production right from its inception. To begin with tobacco affects the environment adversely as thousands of hectares of forests are cleared every year for production of tobacco.  This results in deforestation and loss of flora and fauna as well thereby disturbing the eco system. The tobacco industry employs women and children who are not only the most vulnerable population of the society but receive a meagre salary of Rs 88 (8.8 paise) for 1000 beedis they roll. According to the industry body, beedi producers employ about 8 million rollers, mostly women. They also work under inhuman conditions and lead unhealthy lives Beedi rollers are exposed to unburnt tobacco dust which affects their throat and pharynx. Beedi workers also suffer from Green Tobacco Sickness, which occurs when nicotine is absorbed through skin as workers come into contact with leaves while harvesting the crop.
Basic safety norms are not followed in Indian beedi factories as workers don’t wear masks to cover their mouth or proper gloves to protect their hands. Most beedi rollers expose not only themselves to the hazards of tobacco production but also the entire family is exposed to tobacco dust as they are mostly home based.

Is tobacco industry really contributing to the growth and development of the country? In 2011, the amount spent on diseases attributable to tobacco was Rs. 1,04,500 crores, which is 1.12% of that year’s GDP. On the other hand the amount earned through excise revenue from 2011-2014, was only 17% of the cost.

Think. Is tobacco industry the most lucrative industry?


Monday, January 8, 2018

Consumer VOICE in collaboration with its state partner Consumers Association India organised a car safety workshop at Hotel Raj Park, Alwarpet Chennai on December 28, 2017.The main objective of the workshop is to spread the message that safer cars are needed on Indian roads to save the precious lives.

Ms.Nirmala Desikaran, Chairperson Consumers Association India welcomed the guests and delivered the  inaugural address . She said that a safer car should not only be a priority for the consumer but a need to be supported by manufactures and regulators as well. She said safety features in cars sold in India were insufficient and ineffective when compared to the developed countries or the same cars being exported out of India.

Mr. Hemanth Upadhyay, Senior Advisor Projects & IT, Consumer VOICE, delivered the subject introduction and said lack of safety features in Indian cars is a major cause for high causalities in road accidents in the country. About 30 per cent of deaths are caused due to lack of safety features in Indian cars, he added.

Mr. Hemanth Upadhyay, Senior Advisor Projects & IT, Consumer VOICE at Car Safety Workshop in Chennai

He elaborated about the main safety features such as seat belt, air bags, head strains and consumers should give preference to such features while buying a car. He said the Motor Vehicle Bill 2017 would be cleared by the Parliament soon. “It will be a big tool for the authorities to implement road safety measures in a proper way."

The chief guest of the programme  Ms.D.Shanmuga Priya, Deputy Commissioner of Police-North (Traffic), Greater Chennai said that the police department is giving stronger thrust on sensitising and educating youngsters in the age group of 18-25 years, who are often detected for rash driving and causing injuries, mostly to pedestrians.

“We are also creating awareness at school level with the hope that the children will force their parents to follow safety measures while driving. In the last six months, we have conducted road safety awareness for 20,000 children.

Participants in Car Safety Workshop in Chennai

Mr. P. Bhaskaran, RTO Chennai West spoke about the new Motor Vehicles Act and its rules and the measures taken by his department. The representative from United India Insurance Mr. Prabhakar spoke about the motor insurance policy, how they ascertained the claims etc. in case of an accident.

Representative from United India Insurance, Regional Transport Officer and Consumer activist T.Sodagopan were also shared their views on the subject matter. Around 50 participants were present at the progamme which was followed by question answer session. The programme was covered extensively by the media as well.

Media Coverage

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Consumer VOICE in collaboration with its state partner Rajkot Saher Jilla Grahak Suraksha Mandal, along with Consumer Coordination Council organised a National Convention on Car Safety at Rotary Greater Bhavan, Rajkot on December 23, 2017. The main objective of the programme was to spread the message that safer cars are needed on Indian roads to save the precious lives.

Shri Hemant Kumar Upadhyay, Advisor - Projects, IT & Telecom, Consumer VOICE

Shri Hemant Kumar Upadhyay, Advisor- Projects, IT & Telecom, welcomed the guests and  elaborated upon the subject on Car Safety. In his speech he explained the reasons for the workshop on “Car Safety”. He also explained how VOICE organization is working with global organization to reduce accidents and create awareness on Car` Safety in India. Further elaborating the subject he mentioned that Indian government is taking steps towards harmonization of national regulations of safety standards for passenger cars with UN regulations. He further said that 30% of the fatalities can be prevented by adopting safety gadgets in our cars.

Shri N. M. Dharani, Hon’ble Judge, Rajkot District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Rajkot was the chief guest and Shri Shivlalbhai Barasiya, Hon’ble Chairman, Rajkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry presided over the programme.

National Car Safety Workshop - Rajkot

In his speech Shri N. M. Dharani, Hon’ble Judge, Rajkot District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Rajkot said that most of the small Indian cars don’t meet UN safety and Global NCAP standards. Many Indian cars scored zero on crash & safety tests whereas European cars with airbags scored better. Also the same company when exported their products, it maintained safety features but not when it sold it in India. When Car manufactures are able to make safer car for exports, then it is also possible to make the same for Indian Customer. But due to lack of awareness about Car Safety features and its benefits, Indian customers don’t demand these safety features.

Mr. Amarjeet Singh of Consumer VOICE in his presentation explained about how different cars have their own safety features and differentiated about safety features provided in luxury car and an ordinary car. He also showed a video on Car Safety features and experiences of road accident victims.

Participants in National Car Safety Workshop - Rajkot

Shri J. B. Shah, Hon’ble RTO Officer, Rajkot, shared his ideas on RTO Rules and how people need to be aware about RTO Rules. A video presentation showed by him described how people were driving their vehicles in dangerous ways and how many people have lost their lives by a single mistake of a driver. He also elucidated on how they can save their lives if they follow the traffic rules. Smt. Ramaben Mavani, President, Rajkot Saher Jilla Grahak Suraksha Mandal, Rajkot, further added that how an accident happens and how people are unaware of their rights and duties on road.

Shri Ramjibhai B. Mavani, Founder President, Rajkot Saher Jilla Grahak Suraksha Mandal, Rajkot, shared his valuable ideas on Car safety. He also gave examples of some cars which are not having safety features and how people can save their family member’s life by adding safety features in their car.
The convention was attended by 200 representatives of consumer organisations across India which was covered by media as well. Other Distinguished Guests who attended the event were Mr. S.C.Sharma, Ms. Shobha Hegde, Lead Assessor, NABCB, QCI, New Delhi, Dr. Aparna Dhawan, Hon’ble Joint Director, NABCB, Mr. S. K. Singh, Hon’ble Director & Head, BIS, Rajkot, Shri J. B. Shah, Hon’ble RTO Officer, Rajkot, Shri Kartikbhai Bavishi, Hon’ble Manager, BSE, Rajkot, Shri G.N. Gaglani, Hon’ble retired Manager, The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., Rajkot, Shri S.M.Udani, Hon’ble retired scientist, Agmark, Rajkot.                  

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Consumer VOICE, in collaboration with its state partner Bhartiya Manav Kalyan Samiti organized a Car Safety workshop on December 30, 2017 at Community Centre, Sector 15 Noida. The main objective of this Consumer Awareness Campaign was on Car Safety and to spread the message that safer cars are needed on Indian roads to save the precious lives.

Car Safety Workshop in Noida

The event started with a welcome address by S.C. Sharma, President, Bhartiya Manav Kalyan Samiti, Noida. He spoke about the need of Car Safety and hoped that the workshop on this subject will be very useful for the participants. Hemant Updhyay, Advisor,(Projects & IT) Consumer VOICE broached the subject and talked about the Car Safety necessity in India and supplemented it by giving data of road accidents caused due to driving an unsafe car. Some videos were also shown which gave a detailed view of road accidents caused due to lack of car safety features. Ms. Ekta Purohit Manager (Projects) from Consumer VOICE elaborated upon Car Safety importance and pointed out some precautions which a person should take while driving a car.

Sh. Sumer Singh Rawat, President, RWA, Sector-15 Noida opined that car safety feature like airbags and ABS are of utmost importance which should be not negotiated while purchasing a car. He also stressed upon the fact that while driving everyone should follow traffic rules to minimize the chances of accident. Sh. B. P. S. Dhakrey, Sr. Adv. of Supreme Court, who was the chief guest, emphasized the need of strict compliance of traffic rules as well as to ensure manufacturing of safe car from the company’s end. He further said that in consumer forum it takes time to settle the consumer disputes. Therefore mutual arbitration and mediation should be the preferred course of action.

Participants in Car Safety Workshop in Noida

He applauded the work of VOICE in the field of social service in general and Road Safety in particular. Sh. Kanhaiya Lal, General Secretary, Noida Ex. Officers Welfare Association made a vote of thanks speech and told that they are grateful to their chief guest and other guests for sparing their valuable time. He also thanked participants for making the event a success. Sh. S.C. Sharma concluded the event by saying that this workshop will be very useful in spreading the message of Car Safety among consumers. He also surmised that the participants will not only make use of the knowledge they got in the event but will also take this message forward in public interest. The programme  followed by question and answer session and the consumers  present at the seminar asked their respective questions to the experts.

 This workshop was attended by more than 70 persons from Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and East Delhi. Naresh Prasad and Amrit Sindhu from VOICE were also there as participants. The event concluded with a dinner.

Media Coverage

Amar Ujala

Hindustan Times

Thursday, December 21, 2017

In a joint letter to Rajya Sabha Chairperson, Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Consumer VOICE leading organisation of National Coalition of Road Safety along with other organisations has expressed disappointment with the delay in the submission of the report by the Select Committee, despite the delay in the winter session, and called upon all parties to reach a consensus quickly in the interest of the nation.The press release received huge media coverage both in print and online.


Himachal Pradesh
Online Coverage
Other Print Coverage
The Sentinel - Hindi

The Sentinel - English

Prata Khabar

The Times of India

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Consumer VOICE, in collaboration with its state partner Consumers Guild organized on Car Safety workshop on December 01, 2017 at Hotel Comfort-Inn, Gomtinagar, Lucknow. The main objective of the programme was to spread a message that safer cars are needed on Indian roads to save the precious lives.

Car Safety Workshop in Lucknow

Mr.Abhishek Srivastava, Chairman, Consumers Guild, welcomed the guests and in his inaugural address mentioned the need of car safety and requested the guests to give their best solutions on car safety features.

The Chief Guest of the programme, Shri Deepak Kumar Nigam, Special Judicial Magistrate explained the need of car safety in today’s scenario and appreciated the initiative of organizing such important program in the interest of consumers.

Shri Saundaraya Prakash, Assistant General Manager, One-up Motors, and Mr. Sayed Ehtasham Manager, Maruti Driving school joined the programme as experts and explained the various technical features such as airbags , seat belts sensors etc. They also stressed upon choosing safety over features.
Ms.Rinki Sharma, Head Projects, Consumer VOICE, discussed the importance of safety features such as seat belts, and airbags and also appealed to consumers to give preference to them while making their decision of buying a car.

Participants at Car Safety Workshop in Lucknow

People from all walks of life such as consumers, consumer associations, lawyers, students, professionals, and media participated in the workshop. A short video film was also shown on the subject matter. Informative material and guide to buying a safer car were distributed in the workshop.

Programme focused on the proposed government regulations to make some of these features mandatory for new cars from 1st October 2017 and for all cars in the coming years.

The programme  followed by question and answer session and the consumers  present at the seminar asked their respective questions to the dignitaries.

The event has been covered in press and media.

Dainik Jagran




Wednesday, December 6, 2017

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मीडिया कवरेज

Hookah Bars in Delhi

NGT or the National Green Tribunal has asked authorities to regulate restaurants and bars and warned that it would order their closure in case of any environmental pollution. Consumer VOICE which conducted a survey of 40 hookah bars in Delhi in partnership with MART, appreciates the NGT order.

Following are the various media reports:

Consumer VOICE welcomes NGT Order against hookah bar owners in Delhi - Economic Times

In an observational study conducted by Consumer VOICE, a pioneer consumer protection group working for consumer education and issues since 1983, in partnership with MART found that Hookah bars continue to be located near educational institutions in Delhi, and none of them had personnel checking the age of the customers. Read More

‘Hookah bars still running near schools’ - The Hindu

Ashim Sanyal, chief operating officer, VOICE, said: “We welcome the government’s decision to ban hookah bars in Delhi. Our survey showed hookah bars continue to operate despite the restrictions. Generally, hookahs are used as accompaniments in bars and pubs and target the young adult population. The decision by NGT will help in curbing the escalation of hookah bars attracting the youths of Delhi. It is spoiling the younger generation by getting them addicted. Also, such bars or pubs provide easy access to the student population. This needs to be stopped.” Read more

Hookah bars puffing off the ban and targeting youths - An observational study in Delhi by VOICE - Healthlive

A recent notification of Government of India GSR 500(E) dated May 23, 2017 under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003(COTPA), from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, completely prohibits use of Hookah, even in the smoking zones. Read more

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

To mark the World Day of Remembrance (WDR) for road accident victims Consumer VOICE, New Delhi along with its state partner Citizen Awareness Group Haryana organized a walkathon to spread the awareness on WDR based on the theme of “2020 Target: Reduce Road Fatalities and Serious Injuries by 50%.”

A human chain was created and peace march was held at Sector-5 Panchkula On November 19 to spread the awareness on WDR based on the theme of “2020 Target: Reduce Road Fatalities and Serious Injuries by 50%.” This annual event represents a significant opportunity to call attention to the road safety situation. The peace march held at Panchkula was also aimed at demanding immediate passage of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill-2017 in the coming winter session of Parliament.
Prominent people at the event included political leader Ranjeeta Mehta, Consumer Federation Haryana, S K Nayyar and  Sushma Khanna ,Women Welfare Trust.

Surinder Verma, Chairman, Citizen Awareness Group said  “In the state Haryana in the state of Haryana alone 11,234 road crashes, 10,531 injuries and 4,463 road fatalities took place in the year 2016 as per the report released by MoRTH. These casualties may include thousands of innocent children and youth into their productive years of life. This is a massacre on the roads. The passage of Bill is crucial in the upcoming session.”

The memorandum was submitted to the Transport Minister and Transport Commissioner of Haryana and a copy to Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways.
Amarjeet Singh who represented Consumer Voice said “The Road Safety bill promised by government is yet to see the light of say, We urge the government to pass the motor vehicle amendment bill 2017 in the next session of Parliament”. Around 100 people participated in the ‘Walk for safer roads’ to mark the World Day of Remembrance (WDR) for road accident victims.

The event was covered by the press and media.
Panchkula Bhaskar

Dainik Savera

To mark the World Day of Remembrance for road accidents victims, Consumer VOICE New Delhi, along with Rajasthan Police, Road Safety Cell, Department of Transport, Govt. of Rajasthan, Jaipur Traffic Police and Centre for Road Safety, Sardar Patel University organized a walkathon on November 19, 2017. The walkathon which started form Traffic Park, Shastri Nagar, Jaipur was in partnership with national and international organizations including FIA Foundation, NCC, NSS, Department of Lifelong Learning, University of Rajasthan, Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety and Bhartiya Manav Kalyan Samiti, People’s Trust, CUTS FIA Foundation, NCC, NSS, Department of Lifelong Learning, University of Rajasthan, Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety and Bhartiya Manav Kalyan Samiti, People’s Trust, and CUTS.

Walkathon in Jaipur

The event witnessed participation of more than 700 people including Mrs. S. Parimala, Superintendent of Police (Traffic).  Members from National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Service Scheme (NSS), NGOs, Traffic Police and also from victims’ family joined the event. Ms. Prerna Arora, Centre Coordinator, Centre for Road Safety spoke about the importance of the UN World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims which is organized on the 3rd Sunday of November every year.

World Day of Remembrance

Mr. Rajneesh, Public Relation Officer of the Department of Transport, Rajasthan also shared his life’s major incident when his journalist wife met with an accident. In the remembrance of passed souls, white balloons were floated in the sky by Mrs. S. Parimala, Superintendent of Police (Traffic) along with other dignitaries viz Sh. Aswini Bagga, Dr. Maya Tandon, Ms. Shilpa, and Additional SP, Traffic Police. They also shared their thoughts on the importance of Road Safety. Mrs. Indra, Sub-Inspector and In-charge of Education Cell of Jaipur Traffic Police informed about the various road safety norms and importance of safety gears such as helmets and seat belts.

A small rally for awareness among the general public was also organized by the NCC and NSS corps
and a pledge to all was carried out by Ms. Indra at the end of the event.

The event was well covered by the press and media.


Mahanagar Times

Mahanagar Times

Punjab Kesari 

Rajasthan Patrika

Samachar Jagat