The government has finally taken a lead in the ‘Blue whale’ saga that seemed like a never-ending episode. Ever since the news of a 14-year-old committing a suicide in Mumbai has come out in the media, the country has been searching about the game and its availability, majorly to feed their curiosity.
Reportedly, the boy’s suicide was a part of a Russian game named ‘Blue Whale’ that is to be played over a period of 50days- each day a challenge is to be finished. The last challenge is to commit suicide.
The government has directed all the internet giants like Google, Instagram, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Whatsapp to remove ‘Blue Whale’ from all their sites, so as to keep them away from the people in the country.
“Instances of children committing suicide while Blue Whale Challenge have been reported in India…You are hereby requested to ensure that any such link of this deadly game in its own name or similar game is immediately removed from your platform,” the ministry of electronics and IT reportedly stated the letter. The letter was issued by Maneka Gandhi, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development to IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, reportedly.
However, psychiatrists and experts say that banning a particular game or removing it from the radar of its users will not make the difference. The key is to solve the issues. “It is good to remove them from their site but what next? Removing a particular game is not the solution. We need to educate the parents and children to identify the threats that may spread online,” said Dr Sagar Karia, secretary of Bombay Psychiatric Society and consulting psychiatrist at LTMG Sion Hospital.
The emphasis on the issue has outlined the need for a well-informed system rather than removing or banning these sites. “We must strengthen our children to be able to identify who their friends are. Moreover, I think parents and teachers and fellow students must be able to pick cues from kids if they are suicidal in any way. Education alone is the way to go,” said Dr Anjali Chhabria, consulting psychiatrist and founder of Mind Temple.