Students of a top public school in Greater Noida have been found to be using white eraser fluid to get high in school. This was found when the school authorities watched tapes of closed-circuit TV cameras installed around the building.
Following this, Noida district authorities have ordered all schools, including government ones, to install CCTVs.
"Whiteners act as inhalants that give a high for a short duration and are readily available and cheap," Dr Sameer Parikh, head of the psychiatry department at Max Hospital, said.
RK Bansal, a Noida-based doctor, said a 50ml bottle of whitener costs about Rs 30. Inhaling the fluid is many times more harmful than alcohol.
An official of the school said, "We have, of late, found bottles of correction fluids in toilets, besides our playground, the library and parking lot. But it is not limited to one school."
The district administration has ordered schools to form committees to counsel addicts. "We have issued instructions for a crackdown on stationery shops that sell whiteners to students," said a senior official.
The drive against 'whitener addiction' began in Greater Noida in January following complaints from parents. The latest CCTV footage established the problem might have already assumed alarming proportions.