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An Aware Consumer Noteworthy Personal Experiences of an Activist

by B. Vaidyanathan

Format: Paperback

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Mr. B. Vaidyanathan, a Chemical Engineer by profession, and Chief Mentor, Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela, has been associated with the Indian consumer movement, for well over 30 years and has many achievements to his credit, apart from organising a voluntary consumer organisation in the tribal belt of Odisha.

His single handed initiative through the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), against the short-filling of cooking gas refills, resulted in the upgradation of 184 LPG bottling plants of the three Public Sector Oil Companies, M/s IOCL, BPCL and HPCL. Towards this upgradation, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Govt. of India, had to spend over Rs. 300 crores. The mute point is that this upgradation has brought relief to crores of unsuspecting housewives from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Though the Supreme Court failed to deliver justice, in terms of compensation and punitive damages payable to a voluntary consumer organisation and to the Consumer Welfare Fund, as prescribed in the Consumer Protection Act, his determined zeal to pursue the matter till the filing of the Curative Petition and thereafter, should be an inspiration for all those young people, who have the nerves and the commitment to pursue social goals.

Mr. Vaidyanathan has shared his varied experiences in this book, which is a must read not only for the interesting cases narrated therein, but a motivational story, led by an example of ‘Never Say Die’. This narrative has been made all the more interesting by sharing informative experiences relating to important consultative bodies and how the activists need to work to ensure delivery and what the government needs to do to protect the consumers better.

Mr. B.Vaidyanathan is a maverick, who always explores better solutions for enhancing quality of life and reducing unproductive labor. Since, inherently he believes in Value for Money, and a keen eye for justice and fair play, consumer activism came naturally to him. The tenacity with which he pursues his objectives in a professional manner has enabled him to achieve his goals, whether it be in professional life or his favourite hobby of consumer well-being, with astonishing ease. He is literally a jack of all trades. Whether it be turning around of the challenging (effluent treatment) Biological Oxidation Plant, to meet the Pollution Control Board Norms, or attending to Court proceedings, championing the cause of the consumers, or to lead the Rourkela Steel Plant Executives’ Association, as its General Secretary, he has exhibited high standards of objectivity, professional skills, ethical standards, creativity, with a deep sense of “Nothing is Impossible”, when you are indeed committed to the task on hand. It is natural that a multifaceted personality like him with innumerable tasks on hand, tends to be an introvert, with hardly any time for politicking or gossips. Quintessential task master, who appreciates quality and professional work, even among his own family.



An Aware Consumer





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