The Haryana Children Protection Commission (HCPC) has issued an advisory to all private and government schools in the state to counsel students about the risk of ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ and other similar online games. The HCPC has asked schools to also keep a close tab on those students who were showing “abnormal” behaviour. The advisory directed the management of all schools to implement to educate students from Class 5 to 12 and make them aware about the deadly, hazardous and negative impact of ‘Blue Whale Challenge’, which has reportedly claimed lives of several people worldwide.
‘Blue Whale’ is a controversial Internet game in which a series of tasks, mostly brutal, are given to players for a period of 50 days by the administrators with a final challenge requiring them to commit suicide. The player is asked to share photos after finishing the different levels of the game. The game is spread via links on social media platforms.
In the 17-point advisory, the HCPC has suggested deploying digital surveillance system in schools, installation of filters, firewalls, monitoring software mechanism, effective use of internet, among others as preventive measure. The initiative was taken following the directives of National Children Protection Commission (NCPC), said Ramesh Yadav, member of HCPC.
Yadav told PTI, “We have directed all Haryana government and public school’s management to spread awareness amidst all students including Gurgaon schools. The schools have also been asked to closely watch and conduct proper counseling in case of abnormal behaviour if shown in any student.” He added, “We have directed schools to send a copy of advisory to parents with similar guidelines and instructions to keep a tab on the activities of students during home.”
The district education officers have been directed to carry out surprise inspection in various schools, including Gurgaon, on day to day basis to get feed back and maintain records if the HCPC guidelines were being followed, Yadav said.