Mumbai: With more and more reports of youngsters attempting suicide in various parts of India while playing the Blue Whale challenge, the Thane police has issued an advisory to parents and teachers on how to deal with the menace.
As per the advisory, teachers can help by keeping tabs on sudden fall in grades and by keeping a lookout for abrupt changes in social behaviour. The game is not available in any online application store and cannot be freely downloaded. It is shared among secretive groups on social media networks. The creators of the game seek out their players (victims) and send them an invitation to join.
According to Police Inspector Sukhada Narkar, Thane police spokesperson, “The teachers should regulate the use of e-gadgets at schools. Sensitisation programmes should be conducted in schools to make the students aware about the dangers of the game. The parents should observe the behaviour of children closely. They should pay attention to their moodiness, less or no communication with family members and lack of interest in studies and falling grades. If such changes are noticed, their activities should be monitored.”
The advisory goes on to state that parents and teachers should stay updated with such internet phenomenon. “Parents should ensure that children should access the internet only when family members are around. They should make sure that the children have access to appropriate websites that don’t promote unethical behaviour or violence,” the advisory cautioned.
It added, “Parents should have a healthy discussion with other parents regarding how they can help children from becoming online victims. Adults should be conscious of their own activities online in the presence of their kids too.” As per the police, “Although the Maharashtra Government has sought help from the Centre to ban the game on Internet Service Provider, it is difficult to completely ban the game since it is still available on secretive and close groups.”