Poor workers bear the brunt of India's heatwave

(Reuters, 16 May 2022) Labourers on construction sites are falling sick due to extreme heat - but when they can't work, they lose income, which makes it hard to afford enough to eat.

For construction worker Yogendra Tundre, life at a building site on the outskirts of the Indian capital New Delhi is hard enough. This year, record high temperatures are making it unbearable.

As India grapples with an unprecedented heatwave, the country's vast majority of poor workers, who generally work outdoors, are vulnerable to the scorching temperatures.

"There is too much heat and if we won't work, what will we eat? For a few days, we work and then we sit idle for a few days because of tiredness and heat," Tundre said.

Temperatures in the New Delhi area have touched 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) this year, often causing Tundre, and his wife Lata, who works at the same construction site, to fall sick. That in turn means they lose income.

The relentless heatwave is likely to result in some parts of Delhi experiencing temperatures north of 120 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

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Reuters, 16 May 2022: Poor workers bear the brunt of India's heatwave