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India`s perception of fast consumption in Electronics is forced.

All that talk about India being a fast growing consumption society is wrong on so many fronts. We often hear how the rest of the world has made the country as the dumping ground for electronics and all. If you scratch below the surface you would notice that we ourselves are to be blamed and no one else. What we follow is a use and throw policy and companies take advantage of the same fact and push the exploitation button with our elders saying that the products of their generation lasted much longer. Here I would put into light my own 3 experiences which forced me to ponder over the issue and how much expensive and tough is to procure parts if you want to continue using the products. Hence, the cheaper way- buy a new product instead.

1. CD lens cleaner - Call me old fashioned but I still want my pc and laptops to have optical drives at any cost. Options maybe limited in laptops but pc needs to have it come what may. Back in the previous decade a cd lens cleaner used to come which had a small brush attached to the underside of the disc and you used to run it in the optical drive, while it cleaned the drive of the dust which accumulated and made the lens cleaner leading to an increase in a bit of life. I needed 1 badly for myself but the online sellers in India were charging 5k for a single disc, blatant looting. The brand was the same- Maxell. I had even roamed the offline computer market but no luck as it had vanished like dinosaurs from there years ago.

As a last resort I switched to Ebay USA and vola, I got the product listed there at 1100/- INR of a brand new pack with the buy 1, get 1 free offer. Technically, it would cost me just 550/- bucks a disc shipping included, to get it to India. The product arrived in 10 days flat and the owner took care of the shipping instructions I had mentioned. In India it has vanished but abroad its available.

2. Sony Tv remote - The remote of my old Sony Bravia tv conked out one day somehow and it used to develop many problems. When I went to the authorised Sony service centre for a new one I was told that the tv model had been discontinued years ago and company only provides parts and accessories for next 5 years only, after a product has been phased out. They were offering to get me a  compatible remote which would work with my tv costing 750/- and for which I would have to pay 200/- upfront as booking charges. I came back with the thought that I myself can buy a compatible one , whats the use of sony in that ? I again headed to Ebay USA and there at a steal I found the original remote model still being sold for 600/- . Buying a such a meagre accessory for such a price is a risky affair but I decided to take it as in India too I was in the danger of “compatible” remote not working. The gamble has paid off for now.

3. Mouse feet – Now this is something you might have never heard before. Mouse feet or mouse skates as they are also called. They are basically the small rubberised dots at the underside 4 corners of your computer mouse. Each company has a different layout and variation for it. I use the Logitech mouse which uses just 4 dots. Due to years of constant and heavy use, the rubber on 3 sides got worn off and the mouse started to tilt at an awkward angle with the mousepad, thereby damaging it ( an expensive branded rgb gaming mousepad). As a temporary arrangement, I had to put in mom`s bindis in the empty places to act as rubber support but as bindis are not smooth at all, after sometime they also started scratching the pad. Hence, I had to urgently start looking for the mouse feet for the model. Although I found them in plenty and very very cheaper rates at Aliexpress but banning of this site meant I could not buy them. 60 pieces of those dosts (15 sets) were costing me just 525/- INR with 30 day shipping time. Disappointed I had to again search for the known brands which manufactured those world wide and shipped them too. Found a set at Com.Tra-de , based in Netherland which costed me 18 Euro shipping included, 1700/- INR conversion. You might laugh at the purchase when you consider that a new Logitech mouse would cost only 400-500/- but I was adamant in my mind that why should I buy a new mouse just because its rubber were not there. The mouse worked perfectly still, not at all destined for an electronics landfill at any cost. This has to be the most awkward purchase ROI basis. Just to save a completely good mouse being discarded unnecessarily, I had to spend more the 3 times the cost on a small spare… but what to do? No brand in India makes mouse feet although the search told me that worldwide every mouse model comes with its mouse feet as spares. A thing which I might keep in mind in the future while buying a new mouse , either gaming or normal wherein I would check the availability of the spare mousefeet as an important factor in a new buy.

These might be just 3 instances but deep down inside they tell a lot about how the unavailability of spares has turned India into a false mirage of being the fastest adapting nation of new tech. If companies instead of chasing new sales volumes and figures instead focused on providing reliable spares for long, as they are still doing in other countries, we might still achieve the dream of new things lasting just as long as the old ones. This “ use and throw” technique due to cheap prices is really bad…. For us…for everyone.

I had the time and the "useless" energy as you might call , to do all this but its surely not possible to everyone to do that in India... as a result we have probably gone past the point of no return , both in terms of a false sense of growth and environment destruction.
India`s perception of fast consumption in Electronics is forced. India`s perception of fast consumption in Electronics is forced. Reviewed by Shwetabh on 12:56:00 PM Rating: 5

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