Written by Shashank Raj
Women’s helpline Abhayam recently got a call from a 19-year old mother of an infant, seeking help to get a divorce from her husband because she wanted to live in with her gaming partner.
The woman was addicted to PUBG (Players Unknown Battleground) game and played with this partner everyday.
Abhayam assigned a counsel-ling team, who went to her house, and spoke to her and the family. They found she had been spending hours everyday playing PUBG on her phone and it had created a rift between her and the family.
Abhayam 181 Helpline Project Head Narendrasinh Gohil told The Indian Express that the helpline got around 500-550 calls a day of which “around 90 had to be addressed by a team of counsellors” with home visits. He said this was the first call of its kind, whereas usually mothers call complaining about children addicted to PUBG.
The woman, who has a child of less than one year of age, began playing the game a few months ago and got hooked. She met a fellow player, also from Ahmedabad, and became so close to him that she decided to divorce her husband and live with this man, Abhayam staff told this paper.
Counsellor Sonal Sagathiya advised the woman to reconsider her decision. The woman was told that the man she wanted to live with “was not predictable”, and it was not sure whether “he wanted to live with her or not”. She was advised to give it a thought as she had a baby to look after.
Gohil said, “As per policy of Abhayam helpline, the counsellors didn’t force a decision on the lady and just counselled her on the options available to her. The woman said she needed time to think about it.”
(Shashank Raj is an intern with The Indian Express, Ahmedabad)