Blue whale challenge: Child rights body issues advisory for schools

Hindustan Times | By, Gurgaon
Aug 22, 2017 10:36 PM IST

The child rights body will organise campaigns across Haryana to raise general awareness on the harmful consequences of Blue Whale Challenge

Alarmed over Blue Whale challenge, the online dare game that has gone viral and has even been blamed for a spate of suicides among minors, the State Commission for Protection of Child Right (SCPCR) issued an advisory on Tuesday to all the Haryana schools, including those affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE). The advisory is aimed at ensuring that the children are monitored in schools and are not allowed to play any online games.

The game has been blamed for a spate of suicides among children over the recent weeks.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
The game has been blamed for a spate of suicides among children over the recent weeks.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Also, the child rights panel will organise awareness campaigns across the state this month.

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The child rights panel is also trying to reach out to all the schools in the state to ensure the students are counselled and are aware of the ill effects of the game.

“The students should not be allowed to use the internet without the supervision of the teachers and computer laboratories should be equipped with CCTV cameras. We want to ensure that the children are educated on social media games and know the harmful effects they can have on their impressionable minds,” Sushil Verma, member, Haryana State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Panchkula, said.

The game has become wildly popular with children and they have even been interacting with friends on social media about it.

City-based schools have also circulated guidelines to parents in the city, asking them to keep a check on the use of internet by their wards at home.

“We have issued guidelines to parents, asking them to ensure that they spend enough time with their children and track the games they play online. We have also conducted counselling session for the students to educate them on the harmful effect of the ‘Blue Whale Challenge,” Sudha Goyal, director, Scottish High International School, said.

“Time spent online by children and young adults should be wisely monitored by caregivers. The team at our school is closely involved in the emotional development of students. We are in touch with parents and students to make them aware of the hazardous effect of such mindless games,” Jyoti Guha, principal, MatriKiran school, said.

Read I Blue Whale Challenge: Delhi HC wonders how online game influencing adults

The school administration will also be asked to organise a special assembly and urge students not to fall prey to this game.

“We have organised counselling sessions for students to ensure they use the Internet wisely. We are also keeping a strict vigil on the activities of students in school and have ensured that our counsellors are available throughout the day for guidance,” Rohit Mann, director, Lancers International School, said.

Though there have been no reports of the Blue Whale Challenge driving children to death in Haryana, the state government is keen to adopt precautionary measures to avoid any mishaps.

Three such cases have already been reported in Delhi, Maharashtra and Kerala.

According to officials, the game originated in Russia and became popular across the world.

The game sets 50 tasks in a day and one has to accept the ultimate challenge of killing oneself to be the winner. However, the tasks are to be kept a secret, as the moment they are disclosed, one loses.

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    Leena Dhankhar has worked with Hindustan Times for five years. She has covered crime, traffic and excise. She now reports on civic issues and grievances of residents.

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