Suicide, Theft, Scolding by Actor-MLA: Complaints Involving Kids on Rise as Phones Replace Physical Class


As mobile phones have become learning tools in times of coronavirus, incidents of children getting into trouble due to the gadgets are also on the rise. From death by suicide to theft, several complaints have surfaced recently.

A Look at Three Incidents in July

July 5

A 12-year-old from Thiruvananthapuram committed suicide as his mobile phone was misplaced. Later it was found that it was a prank, played by his friends.

July 4

A voice clip went viral with actor-MLA Mukesh yelling at a boy. The class 10 boy later told reporters that he called the actor-politician to help his friend who could not afford a mobile phone for attending online classes.

Mukesh, CPM MLA from Kollam, was heard talking roughly to the boy for interrupting him during a meeting and asked him to call the Ottapalam legislator, triggering a controversy. As the audio became viral, Mukesh, in a Facebook video, alleged that the phone call was part of a political conspiracy to malign his image and therefore he would lodge a complaint with the police.

VK Sreekantan, the Congress MP from Palakkad, said that the allegation by Mukesh that the phone call was a political conspiracy does not hold water, as the father of the boy is a CPM activist.

The boy said he thought Mukesh could help him as he is a cine artist. He also said he does not nurse any grouse against Mukesh for scolding him. “It was natural for anyone to feel angry if someone called him several times,” the boy told reporters to douse the controversy.

July 3

A mother reached the police station with her son, a plus one student, and a smartphone he duped from a deprived person, gifted by a local MLA.

“The children are obsessed with the mobile phones as it has become more than a tool for learning. During these days all their activities are glued to mobile phones, whether it is studies or entertainment. There are no other options for the children other than being engaged with a mobile phone. Parents are also helpless as they do not have an answer even if the kids ask for an alternative for mobile phones. Hence these types of incidents are on a rise,” Dr. CJ John, senior consultant psychiatrist told

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