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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Postmaster ends life over job stress

KOLKATA: Unable to cope with client pressure and struggling to adapt to a new banking software, a 56-year-old postmaster, Abhijit Roy, ended his life at his Sodepurresidence on Monday. He had worked in the postal department for 37 years.

Staff strength in post offices have been dwindling for several years now following a recruitment freeze even as employees retired. The situation has been compounded with the rollout of Core Banking Solution (CBS) that required the staff to undergo a crash course to use the software. While those between 35 and 45 years have been able to grasp the technology, a section of those in the 50s have been struggling to meet the demands of clients and officials.

Roy, who was transferred to Belghoria post office as a postmaster barely 10 days ago, found himself under customers' ire as he struggled with the new system, affecting routine operations like processing of pension and MIS accounts. Chided by customers, Roy decided to put an end to his misery.

A suicide note recovered from his room told the poignant tale of his struggle and failure. "I could not cope with the huge work pressure. I have faced a lot of humiliation due to my erroneous handling of the new system. I could not handle so much pressure at this age and decided to take this drastic step. Nobody is responsible for my death," states the suicide note.

The victim's family members claimed Roy had appealed to higher authorities to transfer him to a clerical job as he couldn't operate the new system. He was earlier posted at Khardah's Surjya Sen Nagar sub-post office. India Post officials, though, denied he had approached them with his problems.

CBS comprises networking of branches to enable customers operate their accounts and avail banking services from any post office on the network. The roll-out has, however, been plagued by lack of infrastructure, frequent link failures and hasty training of staff.
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