Blue Whale: Rajasthan police issues guidelines for schools and parents
Jaipur: Due to the rising influence of deadly online game Blue Whale in Rajasthan, director general of police (DGP) Ajit Singh on Thursday instructed police departments in all districts to take help of schools and self-help organizations in setting up awareness camps to stop the menace.
Additional DGP (crime) Pankaj Kumar Singh told the media that the Blue Whale game is a form of cyber-crime and it can prove to be lethal to the lives of teenagers.
Jodhpur’s Rajiv Gandhi Nagar and Jaipur’s Karni Vihar had reported two cases of Blue Whale game recently. On August 25, Jaipur police rescued a Jaipur boy from Mumbai. The teenager fled from his home, reached Mumbai and bought a knife so that he could complete a challenge of Blue Whale game. Similarly, a girl student of class 10 attempted suicide twice within 24 hours of jumping off a cliff near Mandore in Jodhpur to complete the last stage of deadly ‘Blue Whale’ challenge.
“The central government’s cybercrime agency CERT is also helping in our investigation” said Singh adding that in order to stop the Blue Whale game, the Rajasthan police’s cyber cell has been alerted.
The Rajasthan human rights commission has raised concerns.
Justice Prakash Tatia, the head of commission, has sought a report from the home department over the steps taken by the state government to ban Blue Whale.
The blue whale challenge is a suicide game, wherein a curator gives the participant a task each day. There are believed to be 50 such tasks, the last one is to take one’s own life.
Indian government has banned the game.
How can teachers help?
- Teachers need to keep an eye on falling grades and social behavior of the students. They need to monitor the behavior of each and every child.
- They should look for anti-social behavior, they should personally talk to such children who don’t interact with the other children much or are aloof. If they observe something that may seem suspicious or alarming, they should inform the school authorities immediately.
- Teachers should also ensure that children do not use any gadgets during school hours. They should ensure that children are sensitized about the pros and cons of the internet from time to time.
Psychologists (through the medium of district CMO), can be of help as motivators, DGP added.
Singh has also appealed parents to have a friendly relationship with children, so they are aware of personal problems teenagers face.
Here are some guidelines for parents:
- Your child probably knows about the Blue Whale Challenge because of the media frenzy around this issue. There is a need to take certain measures to inform children and interact with them to avoid any mishaps.
- Make sure that your child has access to age appropriate online sites which do not promote unethical behavior or violence.
- Talk to your child more often. Explore the online world together and engage in interesting activities demonstrating ethical and safe online behavior.
- Use parental controls on all the devices used by your child. Monitor the screen time and keep an eye on his/her online activities.
- Observe your child’s behavior closely. Be alert to any unusual changes like moodiness, less or no communication, lack of interest in studies and falling grades. If you notice any such changes, closely monitor his/her online activities, talk to school authorities or consult a child psychologist.
If you find out that your child is already playing the Blue Whale Challenge, immediately stop him/her from using the internet from any devices. Inform your local police authority about what has happened and seek their advice on the next safety measures.