No fan, no water, under the bridge turns into a classroom and a fierce battle for survival
Parts of northern and central India are struggling with an unprecedented heat wave in recent days.
A reporter from Bloomberg Green spent hours on the street to realistically record what Indians are struggling to survive in order to overcome the heat wave that peaked at more than 43 degrees Celsius and forecasted it could reach 50 degrees Celsius in a few days.
This extreme heat wave is the result of the Earth’s warming, the greenhouse effect has made the “hell” situation worse than ever. Millions of low-income workers, about 40%, are struggling to get through the harsh sunny days without any help.
Even those who have money and can afford to buy cooling devices, they still have to face the constant worry that is: Power failure. Here are the reporter’s notes on how Indians overcame the record-breaking heat in 24 hours:
9 am. Temperature: 36 degrees Celsius
Darshan Mukhiya, a vegetable seller, was walking barefoot along the banks of the Yamuana River, pushing a cart carrying his 83-year-old father. The man is taking his father to update the elderly’s health records at an office of the authorities.
Both men had to move very early before the heat of the sun reached its zenith. Mukhiya said: “We don’t have a fan let alone a cool air conditioner“.
Mukhiya’s 6 children study all day in school. Only now can they enjoy the cool breeze from the ceiling fans in the classroom. When they returned home, their family had only one option left to take a dip in the polluted river near their home.
11:30 am. Temperature: 39 degrees Celsius
Without fans at school, dozens of children at a free school had to study under the bridge, where there was a shaded canopy amidst the sweltering sun. Mahato, 51, a school representative, said that they should have 300 students, but many families have left the city with the sweltering heat to return to more airy villages.
There are 50 children who are continuing to pursue their studies with sweaty faces all the time. They often have to find the only faucet available to relieve this discomfort.
The air-conditioned subway cars are packed with passengers. There’s not much room for the slow. Mr. Mahato shared that many children living in cramped houses have had abdominal pain, even fever due to unsafe living conditions. Malaria cases are increasing in India as mosquitoes proliferate in this hot and humid weather.
13 pm. Temperature: 43 degrees Celsius
This is the hottest time of the day. Bhumi, 18, is wearing a clay mask as she gets home from work. This is considered a traditional cooling and cooling method of the Indians. However, the effect is not very positive in the midst of the current record temperature.
Bhumi has five siblings and her large family is crammed into a cramped house with only one window, located in a squalid neighborhood in south Delhi. They often cook and sleep on the terrace to somewhat dispel the summer night heat.
Although the family has a cool fan, Bhumi said, it is like salt in the pool. The neighborhood she lives in often suffers from power outages. During this heat wave, at least every day, where she lives, the power is cut off twice.
According to Bloomberg, according to official figures released, there were 25 deaths in the last heat wave, but this number is expected to increase.
Bhumi said, traffic is still busy on the street, but all cars have their windows closed to run the air conditioner. Fewer and fewer people go out for a walk. If so, they will always wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to withstand the harsh sun. The famous open-air markets are now sparsely populated. Instead, the shopping centers are packed with people as they flock here to enjoy the free air conditioning.
16 pm. Temperature: 41 degrees Celsius
Madhu, 62, was upset when she received news that water supply trucks to the slum, where the woman lives in south-west Delhi, had been cancelled.
Madhu’s residence does not have running water, combined with the hot weather, which has created an opportunity for private agents to provide clean water to “make money”. A delay in the water supply today meant Ms Madhu and her neighbors had to fight in long lines the next day to get water.
Adults have to leave work and children also have to miss school to take turns standing in line, otherwise their families will “die of thirst”. Experts warn that disadvantaged families are the ones most affected by climate change.
6:30 pm. Temperature: 40 degrees Celsius
Although waiting until evening, Mahavir Singh still could not relieve the hot heat in his body. He had never experienced anything like it this summer, when the outdoor temperature didn’t drop at night.
The hot temperature remained from midnight until 2am the next morning before it dropped a bit. Experts say that the most worrying thing is that the temperature remains high at night. This condition will cause the body to not produce enough sweat to cool down.
Within hours, people can die from heat stroke. This situation occurs densely in slums and in large cities, where there is an “urban heat island” effect with a very large temperature difference. No one knows how long this situation will continue and day after day, the people of India have to continue to plunge into the war with “hell”.
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