Pune IT firm mourns software engineer’s suicide

August 8th, 2008 - 8:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Pune, Aug 8 (IANS) Expressing profound grief over the suicide of software engineer Sandeep Shelke employed with them and extolling his excellent track record, IT company Persistent Systems management Friday clarified that the young professional never complained about work pressure, the reason he gave out for taking the extreme step. “Sandeep never mentioned about work pressure; the option of transfer to some other project, available to any executive in the company, was open to him,” Persistent senior vice president (HR) Kishor Bhalerao told IANS about the software engineer who ended his life Wednesday by jumping from the company building’s seventh floor.

In an SMS sent to his brother half an hour before committing suicide, Sandeep had said he was resorting to the desperate act as he was unable to cope with severe work pressure. In a hand-written suicide note he had left in his pocket, the promising 26-year-old software engineer had given the same reason for his suicide.

“Our work culture, which revolves around good ‘work life balance’, is our unique selling point (USP),” Bhalerao said, adding that employees’ health, both physical and mental, being crucially important to them, they run regular yoga classes for them.

The company also has a full time physician-counsellor who visits all departments of the organisation.

Bhalerao also talked about the company’s skip-level meeting system where an employee can discuss his situation with higher ups without the immediate boss knowing about it. “This helps the organisation to know about the negative aspects of its working apart from sorting out the aggrieved employee’s problem,” he said.

Pointing out that the matter was sub-judice, Bhalerao said everyone handled stress and strain differently.

Employed with Persistent Systems since 2003, Shelke was sponsored by the company for a master’s course from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and sent to the US for a project from where he returned six months back.

The news of the suicide came as a big surprise to the organization too especially because Wednesday, the day of the incident, the employees celebrated the ‘tradition day’ to mark which, all employees, including Shelke, came dressed in traditional attire - Kurta Pajama.

“He seemed very normal and comfortable, displaying no sign of disturbance,” Bhalerao recalled.

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