“Accidents are increasing this season, as some workers fall after losing consciousness” – Liberation

heat wave

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While the state of Gujarat, in India’s northwest, is hitting stifling temperatures and hospitals are dealing with many heat victims, the association is trying to compensate for the lack of support from politicians and help the poorest to build refreshing roofs.

Vanku Khangeda adjusted his faded green sari around his frail chest, leaned forward, grabbed the heavy bag of cement and placed it on top of his head. The young woman then slowly advanced along the building under construction, where her body faced another formidable foe: the heat of hell. It’s 2pm in Ahmedabad (India’s northwestern state of Gujarat), and the thermometer has just hit 45.8°C, the city’s highest recorded level in six years for the month of May.

The megalopolis of 7 million inhabitants lives in slow motion, but the construction site is running at full speed. Twelve workers at this site in the southern suburbs are building a two-story brick and cement factory. They came, with their families, from the tribal and deprived areas of this State. “Between noon and 4 p.m., it was scorching hot, acknowledged Anu Pangla, the young and stocky overseer of the site, with skin tanned by the sun. We then stopped for an hour.

During this heatwave period, the city government recommended a four-hour shutdown of the construction site, but these workers, despite their union, were not aware of it. “Who will pay us if we stop working? he just answered. We have no choice. After all, we lived in tin houses in the slums next door, which were even hotter. It’s very difficult to rest there.” To protect themselves, they drink…

Serena Hoyles

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