A government advisory on the Blue Whale Challenge has asked parents to keep an eye on their children's social media activity. It advised on ensuring that the children are not engaged with the deadly game which led to a series of suicides in India and other countries.
The advisory has been issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
The report told parents not to talk about the dangerous game "unless there is a reason to believe your child already knows of or has played the game" as discussing it may "increase the chance that your child will search for it on their own", NDTV reported.
At least nine suicides linked to the game have been reported in the country over the past few months, with latest being a 13-year-old boy in Lucknow, who hanged himself last week.
"Blue whale game (the suicide game) is abetment to suicide. It is understood through various internet reports that it is shared among secretive groups on social media networks. The creators seek out their players/victims who are in a depression and send them an invitation to join," the advisory said.
In the game, an anonymous group administrator gives 50 challenging tasks to a select few who must complete, document and post them during a 50-day period.
"Players of the challenge can't stop playing once they've started; they are blackmailed and cyber-bullied into completing the 'game'," the advisory read, warning the parents and guardians to be attentive if their child shows any unusual or secretive behaviour especially when it comes to internet related activity.
Other common symptoms are the sudden appearance of wounds or deep cuts on the child's body, unexpected increase in time spent on social media etc.
A recent revelation proves that the diabolical game has even managed to reach the remote regions of the country. About 30 children in 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 a government high school in Dantewada on Thursday, September 14, after the school officials told 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 thought that playing the game would solve "personal problems."