Kota police ropes in Meta to prevent suicide among coaching students

Kota police ropes in Meta to prevent suicide among coaching students

Kota (Rajasthan) | The Kota police have tied up with Meta to identify students exhibiting suicidal tendencies on the company's social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, allowing for their timely intervention.

Since the collaboration a week back, the police claim they have already prevented a student from Jhunjhunu from committing suicide in this coaching hub, where young people from across the country come to prepare for competitive exams.

Nine students have taken their lives this year, with the most recent case reported on April 30. In 2023, 26 cases of suicide among coaching students were registered in the city, marking the highest number recorded so far.

Under the collaboration, however, Meta will share such information not only from the city but the entire state of Rajasthan.

A dedicated team, working round the clock on eight-hour shifts, has been deputed at Abhay Command Centre in the city to monitor red-flag tags indicating suicidal tendencies, as shared by Meta. This will be used to sound alerts to respective area police allowing them to intervene timely.

Kota city SP Amrita Duhan said she approached Meta for this collaboration after realising that in some suicide cases, students had expressed their distress and suicidal thoughts on social media and timely intervention could have potentially averted these tragic incidents.

Meta was happy to oblige but said they cannot specifically concentrate only on Kota rather they would provide such information from across Rajasthan, SP Duhan said. Subsequently, the Kota police, with approval from the DGP Police Headquarters in Jaipur, decided to take up this responsibility for the entire state, she said.

If a student from Kota posts content related to suicide or self-harm, red-flag tag will flash on Meta's system, SP Duhan said, adding that their account information will then be shared with the Kota police.

In case, the student is from outside Kota, then these details will be passed on to Abhay Command Centre or the relevant district's Control Room for timely action, she added.

Since the launch of this collaborative initiative, no such red-flag tags have been reported in the city, but "the police have prevented a possible suicide by a student hailing from the Jhunjhunu district", the SP said.

Currently, the initiative is active in the city but plans are underway to expand it to the Police Headquarters in Jaipur, she said.

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