Dear Consumer, know your rights!

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“I am Maggi quickly made
Nicely dressed in yellow and red
Tear the packet empty in pan
Water is boiling hot when
I am healthy with a round twist
Slipping down your little lips”

I am sure everyone remembers this “I am Maggi” jingle from the Maggi commercial.
A few months ago Maggi broke several hearts, when it was banned from the Indian Market.
Every time Maggi Lovers went to supermarket, their heart must have ached seeing the empty spaces left on the shelves by Maggi.
Every one of us is aware that Maggi was banned on the grounds of unsafe consumption due to excessive amount of lead.
Till date, story of ‘The Maggi Fiasco’, has got a lot of attention.

In recent months, I’ve heard lot of Uncles and Aunties warning me against eating Maggi Noodles,
and how unsafe they can be for my appetite etc.
What actually made the thinking worm wriggle in my mind is – Is FSSAI (Food Safety and Standard Authority of India) is responsible only for checking the safety of the packaged food products? And why not checking food that is loosely sold on road side or in supermarkets (like rice, whole grains etc)
Well in that case, there have been recurring incidents of Algae/fungus like substance found in Frooti, Treat, and Slice drinks. (One such incident was experienced by me –Ting!)
Why not check the area surrounding the eateries?
There are so many restaurants which are located next to public urinals or unhygienic areas.

Leave aside the FSSAI, Many of us were prompt enough to support Maggi ban, but we conveniently turned a blind eye or showed our biased attitudes in situations similar to these.
For example, the roadside junk food stalls, the food on which, the flies graciously lands and sits upon, and the chaat-wallah using his hands to pack the food or offer his customers a round crispy paani-puri, which many of us (including me) savour.
We never give a thought on what goes in the kitchens of our favourite restaurants.
We would prefer to buy vegetables from the big local sabji mandi because they sell “fresh” vegetables.
Unlike few other countries in the world, where even eggs come with an expiry date, we never bother to check for the quality of the eggs or as a matter of fact any other food product that we may buy. (Especially non-veg and raw vegetables)

Recent developments suggests that HC has lift the ban on Maggi , and probably after another rounds of tests, Maggi will again find its way back on the shelves of local super markets.
That means we may again go back to grabbing the yellow-red packets of noodles to instantly satisfy our hunger pangs.
And the whole fuss over “Health” will be again put to rest.
Still dwelling somewhere at the back of our minds, we will continue to turn a deaf ear to it.
I am not writing this article to defend Maggi or the street food, the point I want to make here is, we as Consumers, should first ask ourselves- Are we puppets by the hands of the FSSAI or any other people, who will act according to the strings being pulled?
We are adults with a sane mind, we should decide what is good and what is not.
There are actually more products out there in the market and on the streets, which might be more or less harmful than Maggi.

It’s time we as consumers stop being ignorant, stop taking such issues lightly.
It’s time Consumers realise their right for ‘quality service’ and act for it.
Consumers have a right to complain not just limited to food but about everything or any service that they are paying for and are not satisfied with in return.

Here is a list of websites that may be helpful if you have any complaints:-

http://www.nationalconsumerhelpline.in/

http://www.consumergrievance.com/

http://www.indiaconsumerforum.org/

If we decide to act against the unfair, together we can bring about a good change in the quality of service offered.
So from the moment on let us become a smart and alert consumer.
xNBx

 

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