While Indian cities have been grappling with concerns of more and more teens and young adults falling prey to the Blue Whale Challenge, a recent revelation proves that the diabolical game has even managed to reach the remote regions of the country. About 30 children in the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh were found to be playing the online game and have now been sent for counselling.
The 30 tribal children were "rescued" from the government high school in Dantewada on Thursday, September 14, after the school officials told the police that they had carved whale-like shapes on their arms
The police said that the game appeared to have reached the remote area, often targeted by Maoists, about two months back and the students reportedly though that playing the game would solve "personal problems."
"They were playing a local adaptation of the Blue Whale game. They thought the game would help them solve their personal problems. It was acting as some sort of faith healing," assistant superintendent of police Abhishek Pallav told Hindustan Times.
Police personnel are now said to be talking to the school as well as the children's parents for more information and are also creating awareness about the game. They are also said to be visiting other schools in the region to ensure that children do not fall victim to it.
"One child said if he played the game, his father would leave alcohol, another said he wanted to stop his father from forcibly marrying him. They must have come to know about the game through the newspaper or internet. It seems that one child is guiding others about game," Pallav explained to HT.
Meanwhile, the game that is suspected to have originated in Russia has created quite a menace in India after affecting the US, UK, and France. The challenge involves a self-harm group, which encourages teens to commit suicide. The group administrator assigns daily tasks to the members over a period of 50 days. While the tasks initially involve watching horror movies and self harm, they get creepier by the day eventually encouraging the member to commit suicide on the 50th day.
Numerous suicides have been reported in India even though the suspected creators of the game have been arrested. It was earlier said that a Russian named Philipp Budeikin was the one to come up with the game and had even admitted that he encouraged many teen girls to kill themselves. Showing no remorse, he had said that he was clearing the world of "biological waste."
However, at the end of August, a Russian teenage girl was arrested on suspicion that she was the actual mastermind behind the game. The 17-year-old girl was arrested from the Khabarovsk Krai region of Russia.