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Heatwaves in India: The Silent Crisis Impacting Our Children

Addressing the Extreme Weather Conditions as a Consequence of the Global Climate Crisis

New Delhi, India – 31st May 2024: 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 leading child rights organization, highlights the urgent need to address these extreme weather conditions, exacerbated by the global climate crisis.

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 before 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 Centres 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 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 international community to take urgent and comprehensive measures to mitigate the impact of heatwaves on children. Key recommendations include:

Enhancing Early Warning Systems: Implementing advanced heatwave prediction and alert systems to prepare and protect vulnerable populations.

Improving Access to Healthcare: Strengthening healthcare infrastructure to address heat-related illnesses, especially in rural and underserved areas.

Investing in Climate-resilient Infrastructure: Building and upgrading infrastructure to withstand extreme weather conditions, including heat-resistant school buildings and community centres.

Promoting Climate Education: Raising awareness about the impact of climate change and encouraging sustainable practices among children and communities.

Global Cooperation: Advocating for stronger international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support climate adaptation and mitigation efforts in developing countries.

About Bal Raksha Bharat

Bal Raksha Bharat, also known as Save the Children India, is dedicated to improving the lives of children through education, healthcare, and protection. With a focus on ensuring that every child has the opportunity to thrive, the organization works tirelessly to address the root causes of child poverty and vulnerability.

For more information or to support our efforts, please visit or contact Geeta Lama


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