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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Aug 7, 2008

Persistent Systems (Pune) Employee commits suicide - couldn't handle work load

CEans,

I just came to know that Sandeep Shelke - employee of Persistent Systems Limited, a Pune baseed IT firm, has committed suicide. As reported by this website -

Star Majha - View News

[Translation: Sandeep Shelke, a software engineer from Pune has committed suicide by jumping off a 7 story building in Erendawane, Pune. Before committing suicide, he SMS'ed his brother saying he is committing suicide because he is unable to handle work load.]

Here is his linkedin profile: Sandeep Shelke - LinkedIn

and his IIT B homepage: Sandeep Shelke's Homepage

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We are very sad to hear the news. We want your opinion on growing frustration among IT engineers.

May Sandeep's soul rest in peace.
technospartan
technospartan • Aug 7, 2008
very sad to hear that
Ashraf HZ
Ashraf HZ • Aug 7, 2008
That is indeed sad 😔 My condolences to his family for their loss.

One wonders.. why would he choose suicide above other options?
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Aug 7, 2008
That's what I've been thinking about. Suicide - the final step to solve all problems?

Agreed that there is growing frustration among IT engineers. Most of them either have no work - or have lot of work.

Can't we teach others how to handle stress?
Mayur Pathak
Mayur Pathak • Aug 7, 2008
This is very sad. But I'm not sure if Persistent Systems is responsible for this. May be the project manager is to blame. Or may be he was a weak hearted person and couldn't handle stress. But considering he was from IIT B, its surprising.
technospartan
technospartan • Aug 7, 2008
why is that so surprising mayur??? cant iitians commit suicide????? they are homo sapiensa after all (arent they????)
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Aug 7, 2008
mayurpathak
This is very sad. But I'm not sure if Persistent Systems is responsible for this. May be the project manager is to blame. Or may be he was a weak hearted person and couldn't handle stress. But considering he was from IIT B, its surprising.
We cannot comment on that. It could be anything - either the manager, or the client, his team-mates - we just don't know!

Whatever happened is very sad. I'm still wondering - how can the things go so bad for anyone to commit suicide?
kedarjk
kedarjk • Aug 7, 2008
Truely it's very sad. I have all the sympathy for him but I can't blame anyone else for his sucide.
God has given us birth of a human (so called most intelligent animal on earth planet) and by suciding you are losing that chance.

If something is not happening good around you, that means god is buisy in creating something more beautiful for you. So you have to wait and struggle with current difficulties. After all life is all about hits and misses.

To talk about frustration in IT industry it's not breaking news. If you try to find out, hardly 20-30% people in IT industry are happy with work what they are doing. Sucide can't be solution to any problem in life.
AlameluKrishnan
AlameluKrishnan • Aug 7, 2008
Hi,

Suicide is not the solution for anything and hence dont blame anyone here for the same.

If you are not able to handle stress, my advice is please meet a Psychiatrist. In that way, you will help yourself and help others (by not giving your near and dear ones the kind of mental torture because of your actions)...........

Why blame managers, colleagues or clients for anything?? If you cannot handle these, then we are best Not in the industry for what ever reason..........

This does not solve the problem ............... rather it aggrevates the problem for others............

Regards,
Alamelu
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Aug 7, 2008
AlameluKrishnan
Hi,

Suicide is not the solution for anything and hence dont blame anyone here for the same.

If you are not able to handle stress, my advice is please meet a Psychiatrist. In that way, you will help yourself and help others (by not giving your near and dear ones the kind of mental torture because of your actions)...........

Why blame managers, colleagues or clients for anything?? If you cannot handle these, then we are best Not in the industry for what ever reason..........

This does not solve the problem ............... rather it aggrevates the problem for others............

Regards,
Alamelu
I agree. If one cannot handle stress, he/she does not belong to IT. Say, stress is a part of your 'package'.

We don't want to play the blame game here. How many of us here think they are 'way too stressed' ?

Comment!
Mayur Pathak
Mayur Pathak • Aug 7, 2008
technospartan
why is that so surprising mayur??? cant iitians commit suicide????? they are homo sapiensa after all (arent they????)
You haven't understood my point of view. IITians are anyway subjected to a stressful curriculum. In fact, they handle more stress before getting into the IIT too. Now since Sandeep Shelke committed suicide because of work pressure, it surprised me.
Archana Kannouj
Archana Kannouj • Aug 7, 2008
Hi,

Its really sad, and i agree with Big K that we are not aware of his situation.
and surely he was under great stress.

And if its about IT industry specific then we have to find the root cause. As most of the engineers are in IT.


Still in one corner of my heart i feel, suicide cant be solution to any problem.
xero
xero • Aug 7, 2008
I know its sad, but I don't have any sympathy for him. That guy was a jerk. People should value their lives, if not about their own, then of those who love him. No matter how much sympathy i show its not gonna change the fact that he was selfish and coward.

Being myself as a part of this so called "IT industry" I know how the workload thing goes. But the solution is simple, plan your work. If it doesn't fits your plan, lessen the work, not squeeze the plan. If this is not possible escalate it. It doesn't make any sense to make your conscious self enslaved by rules of IT leading to such foolish steps !!

I only feel very sad for the fact that, even in the last moments he couldn't find anyone, to which he could share his true feelings inside him !

Suicide is never a solution of the problems, its probably the second best a way to ignore them (obviously the best way is to face them), and certify the fact of being a coward.

Sorry for being cold for this guy, but I couldn't feel any better for him.
Mayur Pathak
Mayur Pathak • Aug 7, 2008
AlameluKrishnan
If you are not able to handle stress, my advice is please meet a Psychiatrist. In that way, you will help yourself and help others (by not giving your near and dear ones the kind of mental torture because of your actions)...........

Why blame managers, colleagues or clients for anything?? If you cannot handle these, then we are best Not in the industry for what ever reason..........
You seem to be a Manager to me 😛
Anyway, the first person he should talk to is of course his Manager. He/she must be open enough to let them know how much work load one can handle. I'm sure his manager would cooperate. I have seen most of the people leaving their jobs due to their superiors ( I left my first job for the same reason).

Change of environment and/or going to a psychiatric is next option.
c00lesh
c00lesh • Aug 7, 2008
I think Suicide is the step of cowardness.
One can understand the case of Farmers being exploited and they do Suicide. But Sandeep being an IITan, he may have many options changing job I mean if he was so much exploited.

Thanks,
Kulesh D
AlameluKrishnan
AlameluKrishnan • Aug 7, 2008
Hi,

I am not supporting Managers because I happen to be one...

My suggestion was if a person cannot handle stress, you can just put up your hands and say " enough is enough............." People can bring a horse to the water but not make it drink........... and the old saying still stays

No hard feelings for anyone but I pity the mind which forced him to commit suicide.................

and sympathy to all the near and dear ones................

Regards,
Alamelu
xero
xero • Aug 7, 2008
please don't turn in a blame game !!
Mayur Pathak
Mayur Pathak • Aug 7, 2008
AlameluKrishnan
My suggestion was if a person cannot handle stress, you can just put up your hands and say " enough is enough............." People can bring a horse to the water but not make it drink........... and the old saying still stays
Exactly! Alamelu, sorry if I hurt you. I'm a Manager too 😀

Anyway, every individual has his own ways to handle stress. I wrote an entry in my blog (click here if you want to read) some time back on how do I handle stress. I was completely stressed out that time around. Thank fully, no damage was done. Its own mental capacity, nothing else.

xero
please don't turn in a blame game !!
Dont worry xero. We play it too much in our offices.

Do we have a CEan from Persistent Systems who knew this guy? May be we can know the reason.
Differential
Differential • Aug 7, 2008
What happened is really very sad !!! But I think it would be an eye opener to others !!
Moreover IMHO, work stress is not the kind of think that you cannot control ! Most of the times it's you who involve yourself in this rat race ! It's, I guess, an individual who has to decide what he wants in life, how much and what he should compramise/pay for that !!!
mech_pro
mech_pro • Aug 7, 2008
Just wait for a while and think. The situation is created by some of the IT professionals only. There is mad house in the IT feild and the people who dont know what we do in IT field. They just see the money we earn but they dont see the stress, fatigue we go through. Now a days wherever you go to purchase anything if the person knows that you work in IT, he will definitly tell you the price 30=40% more. If you go to a broaker for a house, he will say on your face that you are an IT engineer so you must be earning lots of money. And I have seen IT engineers paying this excess amount without thinking.
Even the people who knows you (your relatives, friends who are not in IT etc) they also thinks in the same way.
This all adds into the expectations from a person working in IT field. They takes home for 50L to 1Cr without thinking that the job is not secure. This adds into the stress. People needs to change their mindset to see a IT engineers. We are not milking cow for the people. We need to act to change this view.
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Aug 7, 2008
@ mech_pro: You've a good point.

I've heard huge number of cases where IT engineers were asked for more fare by taxi drivers. They say "You earn so much! What will you lose if you pay us more?"

The fact that an average IT engineer in India earns more than others has lead to problems. I personally know a person (IT Engineer) who pays about 36,000 bucks every month for the two flats he purchased in a posh area in a tire II city. He works his a$$ off, doesn't take leave - and his managers know how to extract more work from him.

Let's do a RCA (root cause analysis) of the problem.
mech_pro
mech_pro • Aug 7, 2008
Thanks The_Big_K for supporting the point !! The kind of rat race is created by the IT employees themselves!!... i mean its not there fault as well (i am one of them as well).... u always have to keep pace with the fast moving technology field. If you dont participate in the rat race u will left behind...which will result in frustration.... if u participate then u will be stressed out.. and atleast in india you cannot choose your field by choice but you have to go by availibility hence its the time which decides what you do...(some of our friends have mentioned that if you cannot handle stress then you are not for IT industry).. lots of our friends are from different engineering background then why they are in IT... because of the availibility.... so we should be sensetive about these things... there are reasons due to which people have to continue work under stress (family background, needs etc its not always a lifestyle)... but obviously we have a choice... see our friends around and support them in crisis situations...
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Aug 8, 2008
Btw,

I just came to know that Pune Mirror has published all our comments in today's edition [2[sup]nd[/sup] page, right column] .

The print media is taking note of our concerns. I believe we can make a difference here. IT engineers can now share their frustrations with us. We are here to help!

PS: If anyone's got a scanned copy of the same, could you please email it to admin at crazyengineers dot com?
after reading your post!!!can anyone tell me his back-ground???as far as i know work-pressure is expected,and now a days theer are plenty of oppurtunities to earn a healthy life,we shud better comment after we have got complete details
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Aug 8, 2008
sauravgoswami
after reading your post!!!can anyone tell me his back-ground???as far as i know work-pressure is expected,and now a days theer are plenty of oppurtunities to earn a healthy life,we shud better comment after we have got complete details
From what I got from 'insiders' - he was an IIT B (M.Tech) ; was working as a Team Lead in Persistent.
well then he was not able to handle the pressure,he shud have got some help or chuck the job,he wud have got any opppurtunity soon,watever i think it is the only reason,wat the police investigation say abt the this
Mechboyz
Mechboyz • Aug 8, 2008
Hello,
Sad news that this guy commited suicide due to work load. Surely there were other options...
Kartik Vyas
Kartik Vyas • Aug 8, 2008
My Heartfelt condolences to the family of departed soul. It is really shocking that a person from PSPL took this extreme step. I am a Persistent employee myself (albeit on study leave) and I am naturally concerned about this. These are my personal views.

I think, Persistent Systems has the USP of employing some of the most talented people. People who have been winners all throughout their lives, people who have seldom seen failures thanks to their undeterred determination and devotion to studies. But professional life is far too much different to academic life. (I think,I can give a better description because I am back to the academic life once again). The competetion in professional life is very different to the competetion in academic life. In acdemics everyone runs the same race and it is quite easy to find out a winner as the distance is fixed and the yardsticks are straightforward. Professional life, on the contrary is like a treasure hunt. It hardly matters how fast you ran or how much effort you put in. If ,by hook or by crook, you found the treasure you win. Else you dont. And the treasure is ever so elusive. When a sprinter joins this treasure hunt it is really difficult for him to fathom this distinction.
Ace sprinters like IITans, NITians (me included) and other Ivy league grads always tend to think that since they ran the fastest, they aught to win. But that is not the case.

At Persistent the competetion is even stiffer. Reason , all people are extremely talented and even more determined. At such places, the competetion tends to become cut throat and some people start thinking like " If my colleague works 12 hours he shall get promoted and I won't . So what do I do? I too work 12 hours!" That tends to become the mindset. Standards tend to change. Why blame Persistent, all the IT companies are like that. The mindset has become like that overall. Bosses (with all due respect to all of my ex-bosses) tend to give their own examples to subordinates - If I can work 12 hours being married and despite having so many responsibilities why cannot you?? In all fairness it is a valid argument. But what most managers tend to forget is the value preposition for the subordinate. Salary for a manager is at least twice as much as that for a subordinate. Marriage means some division of responsibilities, at least. For a bachelor, it is not possible to have a washing machine to do your washing, because he stays in a shared flat. If bachelor works for 12 hours, travles for 2 hours and spends 2 hours in arranging meals, and doing other mundane chores, where is the time to destress? Married people can destress by interacting with family (assuming that - if you cannot manage your family stress , you better not get married or get divorced , dont crib!- fair enough argument considering the fact that most people have said that if you cannot manage stress you are not meant to be in IT). Where does a bachelor get time to do distress? He has to find solace in at best some relationship (which again tends to be fragile because of the workoholic nature) or at worst smoking and liquor. Where is the time to talk to family? Where is the time to play a sport? and since there is no other vent for competetive energy it is all used at the workplace. And Manager encourage working hard. Yes it is their job! But this productivity comes at a cost ! It comes at the cost of lost personal life. The race is becoming rat race! People are losing sleep over that extra 20k bonus that they get for getting a better band. People are ready to forgo the priceless evenings in their youth for that wad of 20 or 30 red notes of 1k. Those, like me, who dont care run the risk of being seen as non serious. The point is if you dont cool off your heels often, you may get burnt out.

There is surely no point in committing suicide. It is an act of cowardice, but there can be reasons for a person to find that option as a solution. We must look into the situation that caused this. I think as Amir Khan said in Taare Zamin Par, we are breeding race horses in our kids. We need to give ourselves some time. I say all this , despite being a racer and a hard core competetor myself, because, the life is a race afterall. But it is not a 100 mt dash or 4x100mt relay. It is long long marathon! One needs to run alone but one needs to keep up the momentum till the end. And last but not the least, its the fact that you tried your best that matters, at the end winner also loses and losers also win because it is a zero sum game!
TechoPi
TechoPi • Aug 8, 2008
Dont know the actual reason behind it but for sure life in IT industry is not a cool as it seems from outside. We are more lonely that others...
May god bless Sandeep's soul
U shud accept every job has its ups-n-downs but u have to live with it or else u will never able to face any challenge or task in hand
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Aug 9, 2008
@KGV : I really loved the way you analyzed the whole thing.

All said, how many of you think there could have been a 'hidden' reason? I just cannot believe that an Engineer could end his life just because the work pressure is too much?

It could be something that Sandeep could not share with his friends/family etc.
I agree with you!!
Mayur Pathak
Mayur Pathak • Aug 11, 2008
sauravgoswami
U shud accept every job has its ups-n-downs but u have to live with it or else u will never able to face any challenge or task in hand
Well said. By the way, good analysis KGV. I read in the Mumbai TOI yesterday that there could be a foul play behind the suicide. Lot of people believe work pressure can not provoke one to kill himself. You always have an option to switch your job.

Do you guys smell murder in this case? 😕
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Aug 11, 2008
mayurpathak
Well said. By the way, good analysis KGV. I read in the Mumbai TOI yesterday that there could be a foul play behind the suicide. Lot of people believe work pressure can not provoke one to kill himself. You always have an option to switch your job.

Do you guys smell murder in this case? 😕
Could be. But Sandeep had left a suicide note (in his own handwriting). Do we have anyone from Sandeep's close friend circle?
GUYS,he must have some serious problems,and m sure its either MONEY or HONEY nothing greater than that...
SHELKEAHERO
SHELKEAHERO • Aug 12, 2008
jai bajrang bali tod de dushman ki nali.

sandeep shelke was a true maratha fighter.

his name should come in the war agaisnt IT

PERSISTENT notorius among all companies for slaving their employees beyond the horizons is all well known. What you don't know is that treats you like shit. i was there and i faced hell. yes i got free food and i got 20k bucks in my pocket but what was not there was peace of mind. i worked like the bonded laborourers of the pre independent era of india. even the pm never bothered if i had food or not he only cared if the module was done or not. finally i told him i needed another project and could not do it any longer he said we dont have any other projets and you must work on it. since that day i never went to office again.

i gave them a resignation letter with effect from today..

persistent sucked like hell..
it made my eyes weak with their stupid bloody crt monitors. i got specks... 😔(((
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Aug 12, 2008
SHELKEAHERO
jai bajrang bali tod de dushman ki nali.

sandeep shelke was a true maratha fighter.

his name should come in the war agaisnt IT

PERSISTENT notorius among all companies for slaving their employees beyond the horizons is all well known. What you don't know is that treats you like shit. i was there and i faced hell. yes i got free food and i got 20k bucks in my pocket but what was not there was peace of mind. i worked like the bonded laborourers of the pre independent era of india. even the pm never bothered if i had food or not he only cared if the module was done or not. finally i told him i needed another project and could not do it any longer he said we dont have any other projets and you must work on it. since that day i never went to office again.

i gave them a resignation letter with effect from today..

persistent sucked like hell..
it made my eyes weak with their stupid bloody crt monitors. i got specks... 😔(((
Hmmm.

Did you know Sandeep personally? Do you think the 'work load' actually responsible for Sandeep's decision to end his life?

If that's the case, he could have switched the job. We'd appreciate your views.
Mayur Pathak
Mayur Pathak • Aug 20, 2008
Another suicide by an employee of Tech Mahindra, working on a professional assignment with ACS has rocked Pune city. Whats happening?

Does any one have any update on Sandeep Shelke case? What happened? Did they order Police probe?
devesh
devesh • Aug 20, 2008
Its just the game of handling stress at times.There is always a solution to every problem but suicide is not the best solution.why we are considering IT engineers only,just take the example of Doctors,they also have a highly stressed life but that doesn't mean that you become a coward without understanding your responsiblities for your family.I believe if you are not able to handle stress in your job or you have some problem with your teamates then simply leave the job.There is no point doing a job which ruins your life.Being an Engineer from such a prestigious institute could fetched him a second job anywhere else then why did he attempted suicide.
Nobody in this world can bound you to do a particular job if you are not interested so we can not blame the company or his manager.everything is a part of life and we have to face it,you just need courage and patience.

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