Heatwaves in India: Silent crisis impacting our children | India News – Times of India

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BATHINDA: As India grapples with increasingly severe heatwaves, the nation’s most vulnerable population, its children, face significant health and developmental risks. Bal Raksha Bharat, a child rights organization, highlights the urgent need to address these extreme weather conditions, exacerbated by the global climate crisis. Bal Raksha Bharat, also known as Save the Children India, is dedicated to improving the lives of children through education, healthcare, and protection.
India has experienced unprecedented heatwaves this year, with temperatures touching 50°C in many regions of north India. These extreme heat conditions pose severe risks to children, including dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Moreover, prolonged exposure to such high temperatures can lead to long-term health issues, affecting children’s physical and cognitive development.
“As we face unprecedented sweltering weather conditions, our community’s resilience is being tested like never before. Though summer conditions have never required a humanitarian response, we are continuously monitoring data and the situation, and may need to treat this like a disaster. Meanwhile, across our project locations in affected regions, we are ensuring children coming to our Multi-Activity Centers have access to clean drinking water and umbrellas, and we will help the community navigate this challenging time,” said Sudarshan Suchi, CEO of Bal Raksha Bharat.
“With temperatures rising, children are particularly susceptible to heat-related illnesses due to their higher body surface area relative to their weight and their bodies’ slower acclimatization to temperature changes. The increasing frequency and intensity of heatwaves in India are alarming and demand immediate action. Protecting our children from the adverse effects of climate change is not just a moral imperative but a necessity for sustainable development,” added Suchi. “We must act now to safeguard the future of our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.”
The consequences of heatwaves extend beyond immediate health concerns. Rising temperatures exacerbate the spread of diseases, increase issues related to nutrition. Additionally, children from marginalized communities, who often lack access to adequate shelter, clean water, and healthcare, are disproportionately affected.
These extreme weather patterns are not isolated incidents but are directly linked to the broader global climate crisis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, including heatwaves, will continue to rise unless immediate and concerted global action is taken.
Bal Raksha Bharat calls upon the government, civil society, and the international community to take urgent and comprehensive measures to mitigate the impact of heatwaves on children. Key recommendations include implementing advanced heatwave prediction and alert systems to prepare and protect vulnerable populations, strengthening healthcare infrastructure to address heat-related illnesses, especially in rural and underserved areas, building and upgrading infrastructure to withstand extreme weather conditions, including heat-resistant school buildings and community centers, raising awareness about the impact of climate change and encouraging sustainable practices among children and communities, and advocating for stronger international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support climate adaptation and mitigation efforts in developing countries.



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