An increasing number of anxious parents are now scampering for apps and trackers, even unobtrusive gadget. A handy tool that is being talked about among parents is ‘Life360’, which even has a panic button
The brutal murder of an eight-year-old at the Bhondsi branch of Ryan International School has triggered panic among parents, 1,460kms away, in Kolkata.
An increasing number of anxious parents are now scampering for apps and trackers — even unobtrusive gadgets — that can be downloaded or slipped into the children’s uniform or bag to help them monitor their kids’ activities in schools and on social networking platforms. The concern is also resonating in social group chatter of parents.
Ujjaini Sinha, an entrepreneur, has a daughter studying in Class V of Shri Shikshayatan School. Being a parent, she is part of several parents’ chat groups that have members not only from school but also from tuition classes.
“We have already started discussing ways to keep tabs on children. Social networking sites have become a menace. I have heard about an app called ‘MamaBear’ through which I can get updates about my daughter’s social networking site activities. I even heard that it will allow me to monitor messages that my daughter sends or receives from her smartphone, which was given to her for emergency communication,” said Ujjaini. She added that there are apps that even monitor the speed of a car.
The recent spate of gory incidents has left Olympian shooter Joydeep Karmakarworried. His son Adriyan is a Class VII student in Newtown School. “In the wake of the Ryan incident, there is a lot of clamour in the parents’ chat groups. We have downloaded ‘Mylyapp’ as suggested by the school. It is basically a platform from which the parents can know everything related to children in school. The daily routine of children, contacts of class teachers, the circulars and notices issued by school. Even classwork and homework given to students can be monitored through the app. The wall activities of the school are posted on the app,” he said.
Adriyan, like other kids in the school, has been handed a Radio Frequency Identification Card. “The moment my child enters or leaves the campus or even when he boards or disembarks from the bus, messages are automatically delivered to my mobile,” Karmakar said.
Dinesh Jha, father of Tridibesh Jha – a Class IX student in Rammohan Mission School — feels that awareness can be the only method to ensure security for a child. “A lot of discussion is going on among parents on how to protect the child, especially after the gruesome murder of a child at Ryan International School. My son have been prohibited from using social networking sites since he has not attained 18 years. Also, playing games on mobiles is a strict no-no as I have blocked all the websites to download such games. These are some of the basic precautions I have taken to ensure the safety of my child,” Jha said.
Another handy tool that is being talked about among parents is ‘Life360’, which even has a panic button that can be triggered by the child. “Though my child is not allowed to take mobile phones with her to school, I have downloaded the app on both his and my mobile. It helps me to save the places frequented by her and once she arrives or leaves the location, an alert is sent to me. This has lessened my concern about her whereabouts after school,” said Anusuya Ghosh, parent of a girl studying in Class VIII.