Indian workers suffer as heat waves turn factories into 'furnaces'

(Reuters, 9 Jun 2022) Workers at India's manufacturing hubs are calling for cooling equipment and wider change as rising summer temperatures impact their health and power cuts disrupt their livelihoods.

Nagendra Yadav has been working shirtless in a stuffy room at a fabric printing factory near India's industrial hub of Ahmedabad for years, but this summer the rising heat drove him to despair.

With May temperatures hovering over 40 degrees Celsius (104°F) for more than two weeks in the region, and little respite from the heat since, the 32-year-old said his workplace - which has no fans or air-conditioning - has become a "furnace".

"Our endurance is tested everyday," Yadav told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

"The factory owner has air-conditioning in his office but there is not even a fan on the factory floor where we work. The shift is for 12 hours. Some of us fall sick, take a day off, lose wages but then come back here. We have no choice."

Many Indian cities recorded their highest average temperatures this summer, breaching century-old records, with multiple heat wave alerts announced by local administrations.

External link

Reuters, 9 Jun 2022: Indian workers suffer as heat waves turn factories into 'furnaces'