Moneylife Foundation has been selected for the prestigious M R Pai Award. The Award named so in memory of M R Pai, the man who successfully fought innumerable battles for consumers long before consumer courts were set up in India
has been nominated for the 10th MR Pai Award, instituted in memory of the man 'Reader's Digest' once called, 'Champion of the Consumer'. Dr Deepali Pant Joshi, executive director of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would present the award to Moneylife Foundation on 16th September at 5.30pm at IMC in Mumbai.
This award, in the memory of well-known consumer activist Mangalore Ranga (MR) Pai, was instituted in 2004 by Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Ltd. The Award is given to a consumer activist or consumer organisation each year by the All India Bank Depositors Association, which Mr Pai founded and headed for decades.
Previous recipients of the MR Pai Award include Pushpa Girimaji, Manubhai Shah, Dr AV Huligol, Pradeep S Mehta, Dr Ashish Das, Dr YV Reddy (former governor of RBI), Sunita Narain, Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) and Shirish Deshpande of the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.
During the years of the controlled economy India, when almost all services where provided by a Government-owned monopoly, the services that could be availed by a consumer were either appalling or even non-existent.
It was during this time when the term Consumer Rights was yet to gain popularity, that Mr Pai was able to make a big impact. Services offered by the Indian telephones, nationalised banks and airlines, among others, began to face his ire. He started demanding good services for the customer at every available forum.
Mr Pai successfully fought innumerable battles for the consumers with the telephone department, banks, airlines and several institutions, long before consumer courts were set up under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Thanks to him, thousands of telephone subscribers, bank depositors and consumers across the country benefitted.
He was an honorary secretary of the All-India Bank Depositors' Association, through which he published the book Depositors’ Rights and Customer Service in Banks that provided customers of banks, information required to deal with the various problems faced by them.
The Indian edition of Reader's Digest, featured him on the cover of their October 1995 issue under the title “MR Pai - Champion of the Consumer.”