Express news service
KOCHI: A grade 9 student in Irinjalakuda in Thrissur District spent hours on his phone playing online games to earn money rather than study. Online gambling addiction took its toll when the college student ended his life by jumping into a pond near his house on Tuesday. Fourteen-year-old S Akash took the extreme step after losing a lot of money in mobile gaming and fearing reprehension.
On November 8, Sabith, 14, from Chirayinkeezhu in Thiruvananthapuram, died after becoming addicted to online games. The Grade 8 student entered the world of mobile games using the phone his mother gave him for his online studies. His father Shanavas, who works overseas, and other family members never heard of his addiction until they checked the phone after he hanged himself.
Online games such as “Free Fire” are the new villains ruining the lives of teens in the state. Back-to-back incidents in the Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur neighborhoods in which the two students resorted to the extreme step following mental trauma caused by losing money in online games have opened up a new challenge for parents even though experts say strict surveillance is the only way to deal with the threat.
“Early identification is the only way to avoid such incidents and family and school authorities should maintain extra vigilance,” said psychiatrist Dr CJ John. Since classes were moved online due to the pandemic, parents have allowed their children to use cell phones to attend sessions. But it caused addiction and other behavioral problems.
âContent intended for adults passes into the child’s brain through online games. A child does not have the mental capacity to sense danger. An online behavior label should be developed and children’s online activities monitored, âadded Dr John. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had announced the establishment of digital drug rehabilitation centers with the help of the Police Cyberdome to keep children away from the dangers of online games. However, the project remains on paper.
When contacted, ADGP Manoj Abraham, Cyberdome nodal officer, said police had launched âChiri,â a 24/7 helpline (9497900200) to provide counseling to students, ahead of the launch of the digital detox centers offered. âWe need technical assistance and expert services. The project will be launched at full capacity within two to three months, âsaid ADGP.
14-year-old found dead in pond
Thrissur: S Akash, 14, son of Shabi from Korumbissery, disappeared from his home in Irinjalakuda on Tuesday evening. As a result, her parents filed a complaint and the police launched a search. After finding the boy’s shoes and bicycle near the Koodalmanikyam Temple pond on Wednesday, a new search enabled police to locate and retrieve his body from the pond. According to police, Akash’s father berated the boy in Class 9 for spending money on mobile games such as “Free Fire”. Following this, the boy resorted to the extreme step. It has also been reported that Akash lost a lot of money in mobile games and chose to kill himself for fear of being represented.
E-GAME BEHIND T’PURAM BOY’S DEATH?
T’Puram: The police team investigating the death of a 13-year-old boy, who was found hanged at his residence on November 8 in Chirayinkeezhu, suspect that he too committed suicide as a result of an addiction to online games. The police sent the boy’s cell phone for a forensic examination. Based on the early findings, it was discovered that he downloaded several online games to his phone after locking it with a separate password. However, police have not confirmed the death was due to drug addiction. A scientific investigation is needed to uncover the truth, for which the phone has been sent to the forensic lab for further examination, police said.