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 here, breaching century-old records, with multiple heat wave alerts announced by local administrations.
With the average global temperature having warmed about 1.2 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial times, such heat waves in South Asia are 30 times more likely, scientists have said here.