Govt to raise awareness about Blue Whale Challenge

Govt to raise awareness about Blue Whale Challenge

Amid rising concern over the online phenomenon ‘Blue Whale Challenge’, the state government has stepped in to warn people about the challenge which targets vulnerable children, urging them to cause self-harm and commit suicide.

Minister for Women and Child Development Umashree said in a circular on Saturday that the department would take up a ‘massive awareness campaign’ about the perils of the challenge. The circular takes note of media reports from across the country about children who took part in the challenge and harmed themselves.

All available media will be used to reach out to parents and children to warn them, the circular said. The department will also hold campaigns in schools and colleges.

The Karnataka State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) is working with its counterpart in Kerala to bring out an order on the Blue Whale Challenge. Chairperson of the commission, Kripa Amar Alva said the order would be issued by Tuesday.

Simultaneously, several schools and associations have already taken or are contemplating their own measures.

In Delhi Public Schools, a circular has been issued to parents asking them to monitor their children’s Internet usage. “It is advisable to speak to children about the perils lurking in the cyber world and enforce the need to abstain from social media platforms that would only bring about intellectual degradation and damage,” the circular reads. Counsellors in schools will also conduct interactive sessions for students on the dangers of the internet.

The Associated Managements of Private Unaided English-medium Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) will issue a similar circular next week. General secretary Shashi Kumar D said that they would issue instructions to schools and parents once they get details on the online challenge.

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