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March 15: World Consumer Rights Day

The World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is celebrated every year on March 15 to pay solidarity with the international consumer movement and give more attention to promote basic rights of consumers.

Significance of Day: It provides (i) an opportunity to promote the basic rights of all consumers (ii) demand those rights that must be respected and protected and (ii) for those protesting against the market abuses and social injustices.

2017 Theme: ‘Building a Digital World Consumers can Trust’.

Background

The WCRD commemorate the historic address given by the then US President John F Kennedy to the US congress on this day in 1962. In his historic address he had outlined the definition of consumer rights for the first time. He was the first world leader to formally define ‘consumer rights’. The first WCRD was observed on 15 March 1983 and has since become an important occasion for mobilizing citizen action. In 2016, WCRD was observed with the theme “Antibiotics off the menu”.

Note: In India, 24th December is observed as National Consumer Day. On this day in 1986, Consumer Protection Act, 1986 had received the assent of the President.

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January 4: World Braille Day

The World Braille Day is observed every year across the world on 4 January to mark the birth anniversary of Louis Braille, inventor of Braille script or Braille code.

Observance of the day helps people to spread the importance of Braille language and also help people to produce works in this language to allow visually impaired people to read the works.

To commemorate this day several NGOs as well as other organizations come together to raise awareness about the apathy towards blind people and to help them be equal among rest of the people.

About Louis Braille

Louis Braille is credited for inventing the Braille script or Braille code which helps the visually impaired people to read as well as write. Braille was born in France on 4 January 1809 and became blind after an accident at the age of three.

Braille script

Braille script is a language based on the patterns of raised dots on paper that could be felt and one can read anything that is unable to see. For writing in Braille script, people use slates and stylus and the writing technique remains the same as writing in print on paper. Presently, almost every of language including Computer languages has Braille versions. 

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Google Doodle pays tribute to India’s social reformer Savitribai Phule

Search engine giant Google honoured India’s 19th Century social reformer Savitribai Phule on the occasion of her 186th birth anniversary (3 January 2017) by dedicating a doodle on its webpage.

The ‘doodle’ had a narration by New Delhi-based NGO Zubaan, with colourful paintings by Malvika Asher on the different historical aspects of Savitribai’s life.

It showed a group of demure women assembled outside what could be a school for education in a skyblue starry background which also doubles as her blouse.

About Savitribai Phule

  • Savitribai was among the country’s first women to speak up for the rights of women. She was the first woman teacher of the first women’s school in India and also a first pioneer in modern Marathi poetry.
  • Born as Savitribai K. Patil on January 3, 1831 into a family of farmers. She was married at the age of nine to the 13-year old Jyotirao Phule.
  • She was home taught to read and write by her husband. Later the couple founded India’s first school for girls and women in Bhidewada, Pune (Maharashtra).
  • It started with just nine girls from different castes enrolled as students – but it became a historic step when female education was considered taboo in the orthodox Indian society prevalent then.
  • The school was started with just 9 girls from different castes. But it was considered as historic step when female education was considered taboo in the orthodox Indian society prevalent then.
  • During the British rule in India, the Phule couple had launched a crusade against social discrimination based on caste and gender, and also had sparked the flame for women’s equal rights.
  • During this highly patriarchal and orthodox Indian society when women had no say in anything, Savitribai’s courageous campaign covered social issues such as child marriages, child widows, practice of ‘Sati’, women education and fighting for equal rights for all women.
  • Even after death of Jyotirao Phule in 1890, she carried on legacy of his Satyashodhak. She died while serving people suffering from bubonic plague in Maharashtra in 1897.
  • As a tribute to her sheer courage and pioneering efforts in field of women education, social reform and gender equality Maharashtra government had renamed Pune University as Savitribai Phule University. India Post also had released a stamp in honour of Savitribai on March 10, 1998.

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