With cyber-bullying on the rise, children, women being pushed over the edge (India)

15-year-old Ankush (name changed) had been active on social media ever since he got his hands on a computer. After creating an account on Facebook, bypassing the minimum age criteria, he was soon a part of his school’s online community.

Soon, however, the school canteen was abuzz with gossip as Ankush became the butt of everyone’s jokes and was trolled on a daily basis.

“I have a small face and my hair sticks up, so they called me ‘pineapple face’. I did not mind it as even my seniors called me that. At least they knew about me,” said Ankush.

However, what started as a trickle turned into a flood of incessant trolling, as his bullies made a hate page in his name and photoshopped his face to poke fun at him, reducing his existence to a meme.

That was when Ankush started to cut himself with a blade, frustrated that he could not even talk to his parents about this issue, as he was asked not to open a Facebook profile. “I used to cut my right forearm and conceal it with a sports band. I would show it to my friends, who asked me to stop hurting myself,” he says.

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