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School students in UP educate village women about consumer rights!

The residents of Jyouna village in Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh, due to lack of education and widespread illiteracy, were facing several challenges, including unemployment, lack of sustainable livelihoods, and being defrauded by middle-men or vendors. The villagers were not aware of the concepts of maximum retail price, the manufacturing and expiry dates of products, the true value of their crops, etc. This often led to them being cheated of their fair remuneration.

The students of Bharti Foundation's Satya Bharti School, Jyouna got together and decided to educate the residents. They first approached members of the Panchayat and the educated community members, seeking their support in spreading awareness among the community.

The students then divided themselves into five groups and started setting up education centres at strategic locations in the village like the local market, post office and the Gramin Bank. Each centre, besides students, had an ex-serviceman to educate and sensitize villagers on consumer rights and other related matters. These groups also sensitized the shop-keepers and vendors, explaining to them the consequences of violating consumer rights. The students also organized awareness rallies and street plays campaigning against defrauding and illegal activities.

Initially, the campaign faced criticism from shop-keepers and vendors who felt they were being portrayed in bad light and that their profession in specific was being targeted. But soon, they too realized that this campaign was beneficial for all. The Village Panchayat also lauded the campaign for curbing wrongful practices. Seeing the impact, the Gram Pradhan announced two new adult literacy centres to be set up in the village.

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