#BreakingNews Heat Wave in #India Kills over 2000 - Please PRAY

by Nirmala Carvalho
Pre-monsoon rains are expected by the end of this week. Varanasi Priest speaks of "human tragedy", which mainly hit the poorest in the country. Because of the high temperatures, many are too weak to work and also risk of starvation.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - the heat wave that, in the last two weeks, has killed more than 1,700 people in India is beginning to loosen its grip. In Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, where the temperature  hit over 45 degrees, clouds have begun to gather for the past three days, promising pre-monsoon rains from June 5.
Fr. Anand Mathew IMS, director of the cultural Vishwa Jyoti Communications association in Varanasi, told AsiaNews that "the poor are those who suffer most. Their main problem is that the heat has a direct bearing on their ability to earn a living. Their conditions, already precarious, have deteriorated further. It is a human tragedy. "
In Andhra Pradesh, the state most affected, the thermometer marked 47 degrees and more than 1,300 people have died since May 18 last. In neighboring Telangana at least 340 victims have been registered.
Although temperatures have declined, "from a practical standpoint - explains BR Meena, Commissioner of the State Department for managing disasters - the heat wave is not over yet." Public hospitals in fact are struggling to manage the many patients affected by heatstroke.

"During the day - Fr. Mathew tells AsiaNews - people are not able to work outdoors in the great heat. The farmers can get up at 4 am, but those who do not have land remain unemployed. The workers are too weak to work. The poorest of the poor, such as musahars ("mice eaters ", ed), are unable to perform their traditional work, which is to make baskets from leaves, because they fall from the trees already dried up". Without being able to work, these people "are at risk of dying of hunger."

However, notes the priest, "even the rich are not safe. Especially those who work in places with air conditioning, they are easy victims of sunstroke when they go outdoors. The obese are finding it extremely hard to cope with the heat. "

In the city of Varanasi "people are miserable. Many buildings are under construction, the heat is extreme and there is very little green. The government makes many promises, but nothing has been done to develop the environment and thicken the forests for shade".

To solve this problem, Fr. Mathew adds, "our organization Sajjha Sanskriti Manch (United Forum for Cultural Diversity) has long called the local administration to plant more trees and plants”.  But so far there has been no response from the authorities.

The intense heat can cause cramps, exhaustion and heatstroke. In 2002 and 2003, thousands of people died across the country for similar heat waves. In 2010 about 300 people were killed by the heat.
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